Need to Know
20 : 02 : 18

20.02.2018 Drinks : Health : Food

Unilever threatens to pull Facebook and YouTube advertising, Bikini Berlin opens design-focused food court, retailers disillusioned with in-store technology implementation.

1. PepsiCo makes water more enjoyable

Drinkfinity by PepsiCo Drinkfinity by PepsiCo
Drinkfinity by PepsiCo Drinkfinity by PepsiCo
Drinkfinity by PepsiCo Drinkfinity by PepsiCo

Global – PepsiCo is continuing to innovate its healthier beverage options with tasty alternatives to fizzy drinks. The brand has designed what it calls its Drinkfinity Vessel, accompanied by six flavour capsules. The low-calorie pods tap into the superfoods zeitgeist with ingredients such as spirulina, oat bran and acai fruit extract.

Designed to be mixed with cold water, they are classified into four modes – Charge, Flow, Renew and Chill, which include flavour profiles such as Blackberry Açaí Charge and Lemon Spirulina Flow.

In a nod to Convenience Culture, the drink is designed to be enjoyed on the go and is similar in premise to LifeFuels, which was launched at CES 2018. It embodies the ubiquity of wellness for the modern consumer.

2. Website mines cryptocurrency to create revenue

Suppress Ads pop-up on Salon Suppress Ads pop-up on Salon

US – Editorial platform Salon is tackling loss of revenue through ad-blockers by asking readers to donate their processing power to cryptocurrency mining. The platform explains that in order to keep the majority of its content free it has traditionally relied on advertising, but the rise in ad-blocker software is harming its ability to do that.

In an unusual move, Salon has replaced traditional advertising space with a message that recognises the value not just of a reader’s eyes but also their computer’s ability to make calculations, which it will use to mine Monero, a cryptocurrency that, unlike Bitcoin-based systems, does not publicly track who is sending and receiving the cash. In this respect, consumers are compelled to make the choice between using ad-blocking technology or allowing Salon to mine cryptocurrency.

As explored in our Ad-blocker Market, as consumers become more shrewd in their endeavours to avoid online advertising, brands need to think more creatively about how to generate new revenue streams.

3. Unilever pressurises Facebook to be more ethical

US – Unilever, the world’s second-biggest spender on advertising according to the Financial Times, has threatened to withdraw its campaigns from Facebook and Google-owned YouTube if the technology giants fail to clean up their platforms of ‘toxic content’ such as fake news, racism and terrorism.

Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed made the ultimatum at yesterday’s Interactive Advertising Bureau conference, accusing both platforms of being ‘little better than a swamp in terms of transparency’, and failing to act as forces for good in society.

The move follows Facebook, Google and Twitter being called to give evidence before Congress in January about accusations that they failed to block Russian trolls from influencing the election in 2016.

In our Morality Recoded macrotrend, we examine how we have reached a tipping point whereby the big four technology companies are being made to atone for their past actions and ingrain a greater sense of morality into their business models.

We will examine the three key mindset changes that are set to have an imminent impact on the consumer landscape at our Trend Briefing 2018.

Unilever Unilever

4. Bikini Berlin showcases design-led food court

Kantini at Bikini Berlin Kantini at Bikini Berlin
Kantini at Bikini Berlin Kantini at Bikini Berlin
Kantini at Bikini Berlin Kantini at Bikini Berlin
Kantini at Bikini Berlin Kantini at Bikini Berlin

Berlin – Billed as Europe’s first Design Food Court, Kantini offers shoppers at Bikini Berlin a taste of the kind of aesthetically astute dining space that would typically be reserved for the restaurant experience.

Designed by Studio Aisslinger, Kantini is inspired by the bright pastel colours of 20th-century artist David Hockney, juxtaposing clean, modern lines with an abundance of indoor foliage. The Instagram-worthy space incorporates 13 bespoke food stalls, designed as modular units, allowing them to be adapted to the tenant’s evolving needs. While creating dining spaces specifically for Instagram can be problematic, Kantini demonstrates that if approached in an intelligent way, without forgoing the quality of the food, it can help to augment the overall experience.

As consumers demand more out of the mall experience, brands need to evolve every aspect of their offering to create a well thought out environment that people are excited to spend time in.

5. Retailers believe technology disrupts their service offering

While around half of UK retailers believe that there is potential in augmented reality (AR) in the retail environment, the way it has been deployed until now is unsatisfactory to many people. Many feel that technology is impeding their ability to have a deeper connection with the customer, prompting the need for brands to balance the convenience of technology with the human touch in their service offering. For more, see our Future of Services Report.

6. Thought-starter: Do stores need to have products?

With 40% of global shoppers now preferring to purchase clothing and footwear online, brands are exploring new ways to push the buying power of these in bricks-and-mortar stores.

Nordstrom Local, a ‘service-focused concept store’ designed to bridge the gap between online shopping and in-person stylist advice, was launched by Nordstrom in October 2017.

The space, which features no inventory, enables consumers to book a free appointment with a stylist who transports pieces from Nordstrom stores to the space for them to try on. The space also offers free garment alterations such as sleeve or hem adjustments on full-price items purchased online, and a beauty bar offering nail treatments.

As well as offering new retail opportunities and channels focused on online orders, brands are also developing services that turn the time consumers spend waiting for taxis into a selling opportunity.

Uber has collaborated with Westfield Century City in Los Angeles to create a luxury waiting lounge. Products on offer within the space include tickets to local attractions, and customers can also book tables at local restaurants and have a consultation with a personal stylist.

Read the full Click and Connect microtrend here.

Nordstrom Local Nordstrom Local, Los Angeles