News 10.07.2024

Need to Know

Toys R Us’s new commercial is AI-generated. Burberry brings signature British dishes to Hong Kong pop-up, and why cultivated meat divides the US political spectrum.

Toys R Us and Native Foreign use AI to bring the toy brand’s origin story to life

The Origin of Toys R Us, US

Global – Toys R Us Studios, the global toy brand’s entertainment production arm, has partnered with creative agency Native Foreign to create the first ever brand film using Sora, OpenAI’s text-to-video tool. 

Premiered at Cannes Lions 2024, the brand film tells the story of Toys R Us founder Charles Lazarus and how the brand mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe came to him in a dream. 

Co-produced by four-time Emmy Award-winner Kim Miller Olko and directed by Native Foreign co-founder and chief creative officer Nik Kleverov, the film was executed in just a few weeks. Only a limited number of visual artists, designers and film-makers – including Kleverov – currently have alpha access to Sora. But public access is expected to be rolled out in late 2024, which will have enormous consequences for the creative industries.

On LS:N Global, we’re tracking all the latest innovations in consumer-facing AI-driven tech in our Artificial Intelligence topic to ensure your business is prepared for an AI revolution. 

Strategic opportunity

Creative businesses should proactively prepare for Sora’s roll-out by developing a comprehensive brand rulebook with guidelines for creative attribution and regulation of generative AI-produced materials to ensure ethical and transparent use 

Burberry serves authentic British food in Hong Kong

Burberry Knight Bar, China Burberry Knight Bar, China
Burberry Knight Bar, China Burberry Knight Bar, China

China – From 26 June to 14 July, Burberry is transforming The Landmark’s Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar in celebration of its new Rocking Horse bag and the brand’s new store in the Landmark shopping centre in Hong Kong.

The bar is adorned in Knight Blue, featuring neon light installations of the iconic Equestrian Knight Design, a crowdsourced illustration from 1901. Guests can indulge in a traditional British dining experience with a set menu that includes scones, toad in the hole and fish and chips. Customised QR codes provide access to gifts from the Burberry Landmark store vending machine, including horse-shaped clips, new seasonal Burberry Check totes and rubber key charms.

In our analysis of Luxury’s Food Strategies, we previously unpacked how, from high fashion embracing high flavours to pantry staples becoming status symbols, brands are getting creative about turning eating into a luxury experience.

Strategic opportunity

Host events celebrating cultural elements related to your brand’s heritage or theme. This could be through themed dinners, cultural performances or educational workshops that provide a deeper connection to the brand’s story

Nike struggles to retain market share amid competition from challenger brands

US – Nike is bracing itself for a further revenue slump in 2025, as it faces intensifying competition from brands such as On and Hoka.

Revenue was down 2% in Q4, according to Nike, while at least seven brokerages have slashed their price targets for Nike recently, anticipating further market share losses as its strategy to focus on direct-to-customer business failed to yield expected gains (source: Reuters).

The popularity of competitor brands, especially in the running category, has forced Nike to implement a £1.6bn ($2bn, €1.8bn) cost-saving plan, including scaling back on lines such as the Air Force 1.

Despite these setbacks, Nike is banking on the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris to regain some market share, by spotlighting products such as the Alphafly 3 and Pegasus running shoes.

Nike has been criticised for taking its eyes off running culture and being slow to catch on to the sudden post-pandemic influx of running clubs (source: The Wall Street Journal). In our Mass Movement report, we predicted the unprecedented increase in in-person gatherings centred around moving the body in 2023.

Hoka and Nicole McLaughlin, US

Strategic opportunity

Tap into the Mass Movement trend by hosting in-person events centred on activities that encourage movement and meaningful social interactions

Stat: Cultivated meat divides US political spectrum

Bioplastic Skin by Valdís Steinarsdóttir, Iceland Bioplastic Skin by Valdís Steinarsdóttir, Iceland

US – A Morning Consult survey of 2,201 adults reveals distinct political differences in the perception of cultivated meat in the US. Democrats show a net-positive view, with a score of 36% believing it’s good for the environment, compared to just 9% for independents and 7% for Republicans.

Despite widespread awareness, attitudes vary significantly. Overall, most respondents lacked a positive perception of cultivated meat’s health value, with the net share of Democrats who think it is nutritious at 15% compared with -7% for Republicans. Similar perceptions exist for healthfulness.

Age also plays a role. The survey reveals that Baby Boomers, often advised to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol for health reasons, are most likely to cut back on meat, but are less informed about cultivated meat. Only 31% of Boomers have heard of it, versus 45% of Millennials and 54% of Gen Z.

These results highlight the need for targeted education, especially among older and more sceptical demographics, to improve acceptance and understanding of cultivated meat. In addition, the cost of cultivated products was a recurring theme in the survey, showing the gaps the Cultivated Meat Market must attempt to plug in order to attract and retain consumers.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses should focus on marketing the taste and nutritional benefits of cultivated meat to attract more consumers, as environmental responsibility is often seen as costly  

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