India – The dating app, which was launched in India in 2016, has created a new advertisement with BBH India that likens swiping right or left to starting a new adventure.
In the ad, set to the hit song Jaan Pehchan Ho, musician and actress Kavya Trehan takes to the streets to ‘start something epic’, joyfully dancing and swiping her way through different men before finding a love match.
The ad is notable for its approach to a more traditional market, where campaigns still often have to step lightly when addressing shifts in behaviour and cultural norms. Indeed, it is a departure from Tinder’s first marketing attempt in 2016, which was mocked for trying to ‘Indianise’ the app. In contrast, Start Something Epic acknowledges the modern Emerging Youth of India, and is created for them rather than wider society.
2. Holland & Barrett doses up on cannabis oil
UK – The health retailer has become the first UK store to stock products containing cannabidiol, also known as cannabis oil or CBD.
The retailer began stocking Dutch brand Jacob Hooy's CBD+Oil after it saw a rise in demand from consumers. The number of people using cannabidiol has risen from 125,000 to 250,000 since February 2017, according to Cannabis Trades Association UK.
Used to alleviate pain and also known to help with anxiety, CBD oil contains less than 0.2% of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and so does not produce a high.
Sales of Jacob Hooy are up 37% since Holland & Barrett began stocking the product.
While Cannabusiness has been growing in the US over the past few years due to legalisation in several states, brands in the UK are just beginning to recognise its potential in beauty and health products.
CBD oil at Holland & Barrett, UK
3. BCO imagines the office of 2035
Dynamo 88 by 88mph
Dynamo 88 by 88mph
London – The British Council for Offices’ NextGen Workplace Design Competition asked young professionals to imagine how the office of the future might challenge today’s standard workplace.
The winner, Dynamo 88 by 88mph, imagined a new 2035 HQ for utility service provider E.On based on the premise that the workplace of the future should be ‘an infrastructure designed to sustain an energetic, employee-centric workplace’. Part of the proposal envisaged E.On locating its headquarters in an old Victorian building but with new approaches to energy. The HQ would be updated with ‘energy backpacks’ – structural steel components that can be plugged onto the back of the building, upgrading its power, heat, software and mobility functions with minimal intervention, using wireless technology and services.
The building would also have a reconfigurable interior, to adapt to the changing needs of a mostly remote workforce.
For more on how office structures will have to be rethought in the age of the Smart City, see our Far Futures channel.
4. New super-wood has steely strength
US – Scientists have created a new material that is stronger than steel. By putting wood through a chemical bath and hot press it can fortify the natural resource, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.
While scientists have tried various methods over the years for creating a stronger material out of the renewable resource, this new wood is three times as dense as natural wood and 12 times stronger, while also being six times lighter than steel.
Speaking of the potential, Liangbing Hu, materials scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park and one of the researchers of the study, explained: ‘Soft woods like pine or balsa, which grow fast and are more environmentally friendly, could replace slower-growing but denser woods like teak, in furniture or buildings.’
The research comes at a time when scientists are looking for sustainable alternatives to essential but unsustainable materials used in everyday life such as plastics.
Reconfiguration of a tree by Thomas Vailly
5. Consumers weary of influencer marketing
UK – Influencer marketing may no longer hold sway over consumers, according to a new study commissioned by prize promotions agency Prizeology.
Surveying 2,000 UK consumers, the study found that almost half of them believe influencer marketing to be damaging, 61% felt brands were not being transparent about their use of influencers and 71% believe there are no rules regulating influencers, despite the fact that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) does oversee this kind of marketing.
The survey shows the need for brands to be more selective not only in the influencer partners they choose, but how they communicate that relationship to consumers.
6. Thought-starter: Do beauty brands need to move beyond the glossy feed?
With the plethora of cult beauty brands appealing to the Instagram eye, creative researcher Jessica Smith asks why we are so easily seduced by visual eye candy.
From Glossier’s photogenic Millennial pink branding, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleep Mask’s shimmering texture to Tarte Cosmetics iridescent packaging – all are garishly designed to better catch a person mid-scroll. This influence of Insta-brands has prompted retailers such as Riley Rose to open a space that is dedicated to social media-first consumers, showcasing cult brands that are typically found on Instagram.
Have we reached a tipping point where we need more than just the Instagram factor? In today's hyper-educated beauty landscape, where consumers can Google the benefits of any ingredient in seconds, you would think a more scientifically led approach to branding is necessary. In an over-saturated market, now more than ever we need to strike a balance between overly aestheticised products and efficacy.