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Craig David produces music video with Trainline, Hennessy opens exclusive Web3 society and Gen Divided reflect deepening cultural rifts.

Craig David partners with Trainline for new music video

Better Days (I Came by Train) by Trainline and Craig David, UK

UK – Comparison website Trainline has released a music video with singer Craig David and creative studio Mother, raising awareness of the environmental benefits of rail travel. The new song, Better Days, is part of Trainline's I Came by Train campaign, which aims to educate travellers on the polluting impact of various modes of transport such as planes and cars.

According to the UK Department of Transport, planes create 58% of the UK's CO2 emissions, compared with the entire train network's contribution of an estimated 1.5%. The video is an approachable way to help consumers reduce their carbon footprint. ‘In a nutshell, we want to move the debate on from ‘flight shame’ to a more positive ‘train brag’,’ explains Omar El-Gammal, strategy director at Mother.

With current conversations about climate change tending towards pessimism, the partnership with entertainer Craig David takes a positive approach to raising awareness. Explore more fresh approaches to rail travel in Rail Travel Re-ignited.

Strategic opportunity

It can be draining for consumers to be bombarded with information on how they can reduce their environmental impact. Taking a more light-hearted approach can be a more effective way to educate consumers

A community co-created makeover of a 144-year-old design institution

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Identity by Gretel and ON ROAD, US Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Identity by Gretel and ON ROAD, US
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Identity by Gretel and ON ROAD, US Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Identity by Gretel and ON ROAD, US

US – The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has introduced a refreshed brand identity, updated to match the institution’s vision to ‘question to create, create to question’.

To lead the rebranding, the institution enlisted design studio Gretel and ON ROAD, a research agency concentrating on Black, Indigenous young people of colour and under-represented voices. Together, they initiated a co-creation process involving designers, students, alumni, artists and scholars for research and interviews to inform the rebranding and design. This community-led and inclusive approach came in response to racism allegations in 2020 relating to RISD’s structure and practices, and is designed to reflect the institution’s commitment to inclusivity and its continuing learning curve.

The resulting visual identity features a customised typeface family designed by RISD alumnus Ryan Bugden and a revisited version of the institution’s seal. Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and RISD alumnus, further comments on the rebranding: ‘This openness resulted in work that captures the ethos of the community and feels recognisably RISD – rooted in the institution’s history but fresh and forward-thinking.’

The project is an example of the circular and conversational organisation to end user interactions we have explored in the Feedback Frontiers macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

RISD’s rebirth shows how even cultural or educational institutions with a hefty heritage and legacy to honour can adjust to serve their communities better

Hennessy ventures into NFTs with Friends With Benefits

France – Heritage beverage brand Hennessy has partnered with Web3 network Friends With Benefits to create Café 11. This exclusive club is inspired by the free-thinking café society of the 1920s, and invites attendees to a series of cultural experiences across the globe. Membership to Café 11 is granted to holders of an 11 NFT, featuring artwork by New York-based artist John P Dessereau.

The membership grants access to original artwork NFTs and early access to curated live and digital experiences at cultural hubs around the world. Commencing at Art Basel Miami, members will commemorate Hennessy's tradition of tasting hour, speak to other members and access exclusive live music performances.

Reconfiguring 250 years of cultural innovation within the world of Web3, the limited membership is designed to create meaningful connections and instigate innovation among the community. You can find out more about Web3 dining experiences in our Crypto Dining Clubs microtrend.

Café 11 by Hennessy and Friends with Benefits, France and US

Strategic opportunity

Hennessy has shown how a traditional institution can evolve to remain relevant. Partner with emerging collectives like Friends With Benefits for entry into Web3 spaces

Stat: Gen Divided reflect deepening cultural rifts

Saint Laurent explored the concept of ‘destination runways’ with its spring/summer 2023 menswear show set in the Agafay desert. Designed by Es Devlin, Morocco Saint Laurent explored the concept of ‘destination runways’ with its spring/summer 2023 menswear show set in the Agafay desert. Designed by Es Devlin, Morocco

Global ­– FleishmanHillard’s latest report, The Culture Gap, has introduced a new psychographic group, Generation Divided.

Internally conflicted and struggling to keep up with the ever-changing cultural landscape, the dissonance and inconsistency of Gen Divided are fuelling societal schisms. Faced with a constant flow of contradictory information, this group are feeling a multi-faceted disconnection – between what they are told they should care about, what they genuinely believe, and what they actually do.

Data backs up this picture of conflict. Some 52% of those surveyed think brands should be bold and brave, while 54% say they should be conservative, totalling over 100% because some respondents chose both contradictory options. Culturally sensitive topics like politics also reflect this generation’s lack of confidence in their beliefs, with just over half (51%) of respondents saying they feel loyal to a political party. Similarly, only 50% think that monogamy will still be the norm in 20 years.

Internal conflicts and ambiguous attitudes held by Gen Divided consumers are mirroring The Paralysis Paradox that is tainting the post-pandemic reality. Businesses can help consumers navigate the complexity to halt this state of arrested development.

Strategic opportunity

Generation Divided are seeking reliability and certainty. They will favour brands and businesses with a clear stance that act as cultural navigators while remaining aligned with their own values

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