Need to Know
06 : 02 : 18

06.02.2018 Beauty : Retail : Automotive

BP facilitates electric vehicle adoption, MIT transforms plants into lighting, why beauty brands need to develop their language around skincare.

1. Tide’s Super Bowl ad sends up advertising in general

It's a Tide Ad by Saatchi & Saatchi for Superbowl 2018

US – As the dust settles on this year's Super Bowl, detergent brand Tide has demonstrated its advertising credentials with a spot widely agreed to have won the coveted title of best half-time ad.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the self-consciously clever spot challenges the tired tropes of advertising, with protagonist David Harbour hijacking other advertisements – from a car ad to a beer ad to a razor ad – that viewers are likely to see during the Super Bowl broadcast.

At the end of each scene Harbour playfully denounces the viewers’ initial assumptions with the assertion ‘Nope, it's a Tide ad’, drawing attention to the over-saturation of bland and formulaic advertising in a way that feels fresh and new.

2. Nike expands third-party loyalty programme

NikePlus Unlocks NikePlus Unlocks
NikePlus Unlocks NikePlus Unlocks

Global – Sportswear brand Nike has formed partnerships with companies like Classpass and Headspace to offer Nike+ app members a range of new perks. Billed as NikePlus Unlocks, the loyalty passes were first launched in November 2017, but the lack of variety in rewards and the irregularity with which they were released has meant that it has so far failed to gain much traction.

Now, however, Nike has expanded the programme to include rewards including four months free of Apple Music when buying its Nike Epic React Flyknit shoe in an exclusive colour. Members will also receive discounts and gifts for the entirety of their birth month when they make purchases, adding an additional level of personalisation to the service.

In our Loyalty Market, we examine how brands are developing their loyalty offering to inspire greater consumer allegiance, which, in Nike's case includes moving outside of its own eco-system of products and services.

3. BP acknowledges the dawn of mainstream electric vehicles

Global – The UK’s largest petrol station operator BP has announced its investment in electric vehicle charging company FreeWire. As part of the move BP will provide Freewire’s mobile charging units on a number of its forecourts throughout the UK and Europe.

The Mobi units can be plugged in to normal wall outlets, allowing them to be introduced without needing to redesign the infrastructure of the forecourt.

‘Using FreeWire’s mobile system, we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure,’ says Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO of BP Downstream.

Read our Opinion on the pitfalls that brands need to avoid when investing in the future of electric vehicles.

Mobi by FreeWire Mobi by FreeWire

4. MIT scientists develop biophilic lighting

Bio-luminous plants by MIT

US – Scientists at MIT have pioneered a new way of transforming plants into light sources. While designer Daan Roosegaarde first raised the idea of turning trees into luminous streetlights in 2014, this marks an important step forward in realising the concept. Scientists introduced a solution containing the enzyme luciferase, which reacted with the plant’s leaves to achieve a glow.

This method, which so far has been tested on arugula, kale, spinach and watercress, produced a low-level light that lasted for about three and a half hours. ‘The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp – a lamp that you don’t have to plug in,’ explained Michael Strano, senior author of the study at MIT.

As wellness becomes ubiquitous, there is increasing interest in the positive effects of biophillic design, something that we explore further in our Wellness Architecture Market.

5. The skincare sector is being replenished as sales grow

The idea of anti-ageing, traditionally promoted by the skincare sector, has sparked a backlash in recent times and contributed to a fall in skincare sales. New figures suggest, however, that the sector’s new approach, which focuses less on fixing your wrinkles and more on taking care of yourself, is paying off, with the skincare category growing more than cosmetics in 2017. Read our Q&A with Dr Michael Southall, research director at Johnson & Johnson, for more insight into why helping consumers understand their skin is the future of skincare.

6. Thought-starter: How will electric vehicles change the forecourt?

A future dominated by electric vehicles (EVs) is going to mandate some significant changes to global transport infrastructure, not least the creation of dedicated charging facilities. Foresight writer Peter Maxwell asks what the forecourt of the future might look like.

Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2025 EV sales will hit 7m a year and account for 7% of vehicles on the road. Most new pure EVs can use rapid charging points that can top up the batteries to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes, a far more significant dwell time than required to fill a petrol tank.

This will necessitate the expansion and redefinition of the offer that fuel station operators provide, affecting everything from the architecture up. What new opportunities might this changed landscape present for sectors that haven’t previously been able to take advantage of the brief moment consumers spend refuelling?

Two companies, CODE and Tesla, have recently set out competing visions of how drivers might spend this dead time. Whatever the outcome, it appears that charging stations could radically transform the leisure and retail landscape.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Charging stations by COBE, Denmark Charging stations by COBE, Denmark