Need to Know
08 : 11 : 17

08.11.2017 Digital : Technology : Advertising

In today’s daily digest: Samsung takes a swipe at Apple, Ixcela optimises the body through the gut, Airlabs tackles indoor pollution and other stories.

1. Google Poly opens up new opportunities in augmented reality

Poly by Google

Global – Google’s new open-source library of 3D objects is now available to all designers working in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The platform includes thousands of objects commissioned by Google, as well as additional items created by individuals, creating an easily accessible resource for brands.

Poly can either be accessed through a desktop web browser, for anyone programming on a Mac or PC, or can be uploaded directly to the virtual reality applications Tilt Brush and Google Blocks. While still in its early stages, the extensiveness of Poly’s assets and the ease with which it can be accessed offers retail brands the opportunity to enter the realms of AR and VR seamlessly.

Although AR can be gimmicky, some brands are successfully using it to drive real engagement.

2. Airlabs launches in-car air purifier to combat pollution

Airbubbl by Airlabs, UK Airbubbl by Airlabs, UK
Airbubbl by Airlabs, UK Airbubbl by Airlabs, UK

UK – Following on from its Clean Air Bench, which was created to instigate a conversation about the dangers of air pollution, Airlabs has developed its first consumer-facing product, the Airbubbl.

The in-car device is designed to be fastened behind the driver’s headrest, using the car’s cigarette lighter as its energy source. It sucks in air, removing 95% of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which can cause breathing problems, particularly among children and other vulnerable groups. Research shows that NO2 levels inside vehicles with the windows shut are on average 21% higher than those found outside, demonstrating a real need for brands to start addressing this problem.

For more, see our Smog Life Series.

3. Ixcela gut health programme aims to enhance fitness levels

US – Founded by biochemist Erika Angle, Ixcela offers at-home testing kits to enable customers to determine whether the metabolite levels associated with their gut microbiome are out of balance. Subscribers send a blood drop sample to Ixcela for analysis and receive a mix of natural supplements and probiotics based on their specific requirements.

Angle tested Ixcela on members of yacht-racing team Team Oracle USA, whose athletic performance increased by 48% following the implementation of the programme, according to Angle. Brands such as Ixcela are tapping into consumers’ growing desire to optimise their body from the inside out, something LS:N Global first identified in 2014.

As consumers take a more holistic approach to health and fitness, brands such as Ixcela are tapping into their growing desire to optimise their body from the inside out.

Ixcela, US Ixcela, US

4. New Samsung ad highlights differences from Apple

Samsung Galaxy: Growing Up by Wieden + Kennedy, Portland

US – In a similar vein to Google’s Free Up Space ad, a new campaign by Samsung aims to undermine Apple by highlighting the shortcomings of a selection of the brand’s iPhone products, such as the iPhone 7’s plug-in headphone jack and previous iterations’ lack of storage space and water protection.

Growing Up follows a young consumer who buys a new iPhone each year, from its launch in 2007 to the present day, despite becoming increasingly frustrated by each version’s drawbacks. He eventually buys a Samsung Galaxy phone, symbolising his entry into adulthood. Although Google’s ad featured no direct references to Apple, the iPhone features prominently in Samsung’s campaign.

For more on how brands are becoming bolder in their marketing efforts, read the Aggro-tising section of our Backlash Brands macrotrend.

5. Asians will make up the majority of US immigrants by 2055

While Hispanics have traditionally been the largest immigrant population in the US, new research suggests that by 2055 this is set to change as the number of Asian immigrants surpasses them.

In the next decade young consumers in China and Africa, who are becoming disillusioned by Western culture, will instead choose to reassert their cultural heritage, something that brands will need to consider when communicating with this growing immigrant population.

6. Thought-starter: How will eco-anxiety affect tourism?

Travellers are increasingly aware of the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism, argues senior journalist Maks Fus-Mickiewicz.

In the US, 16% of consumers with a household income of between £15,150 ($20,000, €17,190) and £25,750 ($34,000, €29,230) were likely to book an eco-tourism trip in 2016 (source: GlobalData). The figure rises to 25% among those earning between £45,450 ($60,000, €51,590) and £74,970 ($99,000, €85,130), and 57% among those whose income exceeds £113,600 ($150,000, €128,970).

In tandem, sustainability and luxury are also fast becoming bedfellows. Where eco-hotels once carried a stigma – think composting toilets and scratchy sheets – they are now considered highly desirable, combining sharp design and eco-conscious services to attract a new generation of luxury consumers for whom being green is no longer a niche aspiration.

But there are still significant challenges that brands must address to find favour with eco-conscious travellers.

Read the full market report here.

Alila Anji, China Alila Anji, China