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31 : 08 : 17

31.08.2017 Fashion : Technology : Food

In today’s daily digest: Modern Fertility democratises female health, the evolution of chatbots, KFC gamifies staff training and other top stories.

1. A more grown-up visual language for childrenswear

The Music School by Stella McCartney. Photography by Emily Stein

London – A new campaign for Stella McCartney’s Kids range features a group of music students aged between 6 and 13 from Queensbridge Primary School in Hackney dressed in garments from the brand’s collection.

Shot by photographer Emily Stein, The Music School depicts the students as proficient, professional musicians and stands out from typical childrenswear campaigns with its mature, art-led approach.

As more Millennials have children, brands such as Stella McCartney and Hypebeast are creating campaigns that acknowledge how new Millennial parents increasingly view childrearing as an extension of their own identity rather than a steadfast concept, and are moving away from the traditional focus on the child.

2. Modern Fertility launches affordable fertility kit for women

Modern Fertility, US Modern Fertility, US

US – Fertility start-up Modern Fertility has launched an affordable at-home fertility test, which measures the level of up to 10 fertility hormones in users’ blood to assess their ovarian reserve – the number of egg cells present in the ovaries – and the general health of their ovaries. Subscribers submit a finger prick blood sample, which is analysed by an expert, and receive a personalised hormone report and an age-specific fertility score.

Co-founded by Afton Vechery, a former product manager at genetic testing company 23AndMe, and UberHEALTH developer Carly Leahy, the brand aims to demystify and democratise fertility testing. As explored in our Smartphone Therapies microtrend, women are increasingly turning to technology to take ownership of their reproductive health.

3. Chatbots to save billions across sectors by 2022

Global – New research by Juniper indicates that chatbots will deliver £6.2bn ($8bn, €6.7bn) worth of savings per year in the banking and healthcare sectors by 2022, up from £15.5m ($20m, €16.8m) in 2017. The study shows that, compared with traditional healthcare and banking call centres, customers who make an enquiry with a chatbot spend an average of four minutes less on the phone.

The efficacy of these chatbot interactions, however, is only rated at 20% at present, indicating that perhaps the shorter call times are based on a lack of comprehension or relevant answers.

Juniper predicts that by 2022, as the technology improves, the percentage of chatbot message interactions that are successful will increase to 93%, opening up a lucrative market that brands will need to develop in their own workforces. For more on the evolution of chatbots, see our Neo-kinship macrotrend.

Sephora chatbot Sephora chatbot

4. KFC launches virtual reality staff training programme

The Hard Way: A Virtual Reality Training Experience Trailer by KFC

US – Created by Wieden + Kennedy, the new VR training programme will teach KFC staff the five steps needed to perfectly fry Original Recipe chicken.

Narrated by a talking picture of Colonel Sanders, the programme is in the form of an eerie escape room game, with participants required to master the recipe before they can leave the virtual space. After completing the challenge, each person is awarded a certificate with a grade and his or her time on it.

Tapping into gaming culture, the novel approach marks the next iteration of gamified recruitment that we first identified in our Generation D Recruitment microtrend. Brands are now using digital platforms not only to capture the attention of a younger Gen Viz workforce, but also to promote engagement.

5. Gender divide emerges in approach to taking time off work

New research by Project: Time Off shows a growing gender gap among US Millennials in their attitude to taking time off work. Some 51% of Millennial men reported taking all of their annual leave days in 2016, up from 44% in 2015, while there was a fall in the percentage of women taking full advantage of their holiday benefits in the same period, from 46% to 44%. For more on the future of women in the workplace, download our free report here.

6. Thought-starter: What have Millennials done for us?

In the world of mega-trends, hating Millennials has become something of a mega-choice. The Future Laboratory co-founder Martin Raymond argues that consumers should learn to embrace the Millennial mindset.

In the case against Millennials, evidence for the prosecution includes tv shows such as Love Island and Girls, selfies, so-called ‘influencers’, dead cat memes and Millennials’ alleged propensity for killing things off, such as napkins, 9–5 working, cars, soap bars, casual dining, marmalade (the bastards!), focus groups, light yoghurt, beer, suits, gyms, golf, fabric softeners and handshakes, according to a recent list published by Mashable.

And what have they given us in their stead? Craft beer, street food, organic smoothies, the sharing economy, mindfulness, conscious consumption, Womenomics, gender fluidity and SpongeBob. Hang on. Womenomics, mindfulness, conscious consumption, the sharing economy – so far so good. Street food, craft beer, gender fluidity and SpongeBob? Bring them on. The feeling is magnified when you compare this list to the Mashable list us Generation Jonesers are supposed to be lamenting over our Dorset Cereals.

So let’s hold off on the generation blame game for a moment. Millennials are not the issue, the issue is how we deal with the issues that Millennials have been left to deal with.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

The Lonely Girls campaign, New York The Lonely Girls campaign, New York