Luxury

An exploration of the luxury market through trends, insights and expert opinions

Need to Know
27 : 02 : 20

Burger King turns decay into daring marketing, Passbook enables banking for the unbanked, and luxury retail could be stifled by coronavirus.

Realness reigns with Burger King’s mouldy Whopper

Moldy Whopper by Burger King, campaign by INGO, David Miami and Publicis

US – Burger King has launched a shock-factor campaign to shine a light on the removal of artificial preservatives in its products.

Presented as a time-lapse video that documents the deterioration of a Whopper burger over 34 days, the campaign shows the burger gradually changing from its freshly made state to an unappealing serving covered with mould. The campaign is born from the brand's continued focus on rolling out its popular Whopper sandwich without preservatives, colours or flavours from artificial sources.

With the additive-free Whopper available in more than 400 restaurants across the US, the brand hopes to amplify the authenticity of its food through this audacious communication strategy, rounding off the campaign with the tag line: ‘The beauty of no artificial preservatives’. Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer, says: ‘At Burger King restaurants, we believe that real food tastes better. That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colours and flavours from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.’

By drawing attention to the uglier side of its products, Burger King is one of many Backlash Brands which are choosing to stand their ground on issues they care about, rather than bowing to consumers’ expectations.

Passbook salutes the identity of unbanked people

Passbook by Remitly Passbook by Remitly
Passbook by Remitly Passbook by Remitly

US – Passbook is a new bank that not only enables immigrants to manage their finances more easily, it also celebrates their heritage.

Launched by money-transfer start-up Remitly, Passbook is designed to remedy the issues faced by people who do not have an American social security number or other form of US-originated identification. Instead, it empowers them to use a range of picture IDs, such as a passport from their home nation. In turn, customers opening an account receive a bank card with their national flag positioned above their name in homage to their identity.

In this way, Passbook is working to assist the 1.7bn people globally who remain unbanked and off the financial grid (source: World Bank). As Remitly CEO and co-founder Matt Oppenheimer notes: ‘Passbook is the next step in Remitly’s mission to transform the lives of the millions of immigrants around the world who make the huge sacrifice of leaving their families behind to live and work in another country.’

Amid the rise of high-level mobile adoption, growth in e-payments, biometric identification and currency digitisation, companies like Remitly are playing a positive role in Banking the Unbanked.

Tesco’s plasters are a lesson in brand inclusivity

UK – Supermarket chain Tesco is demonstrating inclusivity in action with its latest personal care product – fabric plasters available in multiple skin tones.

Created in light, medium and dark tones, the plasters cater for more diverse skin tones and are designed to better represent UK citizens. They were developed after a Tesco employee saw a Tweet describing the emotional response a man had after first using a plaster that matched his own skin tone.

The product development was supported by the brand’s internal colleague network, BAME at Tesco, which tested the plasters, gathered feedback from friends and family, and had a say in the final design of the product. Uche Ezugwu, creative director for BBH London, which created the campaign, says: ‘The UK’s biggest retailer has just moved the dial on something that needed to change.’

Coinciding with the launch is a UK-wide advertising campaign that reads ‘About bloody time', with the swear word plastered over.

By consulting its own staff in the creation of the plasters, Tesco is demonstrating its effort to be a more inclusive business inside and out, something Bridgette Howard, founder of beauty incubator Parlor West Ventures, discusses further in Why beauty brands need a holistic approach to diversity.

About bloody time campaign by Tesco About bloody time campaign by Tesco

Stat: Luxury feels the impact of coronavirus

According to luxury organisation Altagamma, Boston Consulting Group and investment firm Bernstein, luxury brands are set to lose up to £8.3bn ($10.7bn, €10bn) in profits in 2020 owing to the impact of the coronavirus. The research even suggests that luxury brands have little chance of returning to normal trading conditions before the beginning of 2021.

In a series of infographics shared by Altagamma, luxury brands are forecasting a fall in sales of between £25bn ($32bn, €30bn) and £33bn ($43bn, €40bn), bringing the value of the personal luxury market in 2020 to between £256.5bn ($332bn, €309bn) and £264.7bn ($342.5bn, €319bn) – its lowest since 2015. Having hit companies from Burberry to LVMH and Capri Holdings, the epidemic has confirmed just how heavily the luxury sector relies on Chinese consumers, as well as international travel.

For other factors contributing to the luxury sector’s state of flux, explore our State of Luxury series where we uncover the changing behaviour of affluent consumers in global markets, from the US and France to Poland and South Korea.

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