Need to Know
01 : 03 : 18

01.03.2018 Travel : Beauty : Drinks

Sheldon Chalet turns luxurians into glacial adventurers, Proven offers an AI-driven skincare journey, Budweiser pays attention to the young Chinese consumer.

1. Luxury travellers can now experience remote Alaska

Sheldon Chalet, Alaska Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
Sheldon Chalet, Alaska Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
Sheldon Chalet, Alaska Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
Sheldon Chalet, Alaska Sheldon Chalet, Alaska

Alaska – Located in the middle of Denali National Park, 10 miles from the summit of Denali – the tallest mountain in North America – Sheldon Chalet offers luxury consumers an experience previously reserved for mountaineers. During their stay at the 10-room chalet, guests can choose to explore the Ruth Glacier, experience the aurora borealis and venture to the original Don Sheldon mountain house, built in 1966 as a retreat for mountain-climbers.

Guests are flown in by helicopter and are treated to a champagne reception upon arrival. The family-run business is working to make the accommodation completely carbon-neutral, with solar panels and a run-off powered water supply as well as a special Finnish fireplace that doubles as a high-efficiency, clean-combustion heating system, all contributing to this aspiration.

Recently, Norwegian architecture studio Snøhetta unveiled plans for its Svart Hotel, which similarly concentrates on offering a sustainable hospitality experience in the Arctic Circle. There is a growing conscientiousness among brands of the need to create travel experiences that have a minimal impact on the local environment.

2. Proven uses AI to create customised skincare

Proven, US Proven, US

US – Proven is a new skincare brand using artificial intelligence (AI) to create responsive skincare tailored to the individual. The brand uses machine learning and deep learning algorithms to distill the countless online beauty testimonials into a comprehensive database.

’The average person spends 45 minutes to 1.5 hours researching products before they buy any beauty products and even after they buy based on the research that they’re able to do, 55% of people are still unsatisfied post-purchase,’ says co-founder Ming Zhao.

Customers fill out an online quiz, answering questions like age, ethnicity, skin type and skincare goals, which are amalgamated with learnings from the database to offer personalised skincare recommendations. Product recommendations are updated every eight weeks, responding to factors like changes in weather, hormonal changes and fluctuating stress and sleep levels.

In the next iteration of At-home Analysis, brands like Proven and Atolla are demonstrating the power of using machine learning within the beauty sector to ensure the ongoing efficacy of skincare products.

3. The impact of evolving alcohol intolerances

Global – Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that populations in Asia and Africa are evolving a genetic intolerance to alcohol.

Normally, alcohol is broken down in the body by the gene ADH, turning into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance, which is then transformed into harmless acetate by another enzyme. New variants of ADH, however, found predominantly in these populations, are breaking down alcohol faster than the body can metabolise it causing the drinker to feel unwell after drinking even a small amount.

Brands navigating within the Global Spirits Market need to consider the implications that these findings could have on sales in these regions, developing new alcohol-free alternatives that would appeal to consumers with this gene.

Untitled by Tony Conigliaro, London Untitled by Tony Conigliaro, London

4. Budweiser campaign illustrates changing attitudes in China

Marathon by Anomaly Shanghai for Budweiser, China

China – Following the launch of Fang, a campaign that celebrated Chinese electronic dance music, Budweiser is once again focusing on China’s drinking population with its new campaign, Marathon. The three-minute-long spot, launched in conjunction with Chinese New Year, shows a young woman who choses to break with tradition and spend the holiday away from her family so that she can run a desert marathon.

‘[The film is] a universal story that expresses an underlying tension,’ says Elvis Chau, partner and executive creative director at Anomaly Shanghai. ‘Many young Chinese people keep their communication with their parents to a minimum, because they think their parents don’t really understand who they are.’

In our Emerging Youth China Market we take an in-depth look at the shifts in attitudes occurring among the next generation of Chinese consumers.

5. Chinese tourists want greater access to mobile payments

Figures from Nielsen indicate that interest from Chinese tourists in using mobile payments abroad is far outstripping availability. In this vein, WeChat last year expanded its payment services in Europe and China to better facilitate in-app payments for Chinese tourists, who on average demonstrate a higher average purchasing power than non-Chinese tourists, having spent £551 ($762, €623) per person towards shopping on their most recent overseas trip.

6. Thought-starter: Why does American Apparel's new campaign miss the point?

American Apparel is back. But despite the removal of notoriously pervy founder and CEO, Dov Charney, and the implementation of an all-female branding team, Foresight editor Daniela Walker asks, why does the brand’s latest ad campaign still miss the mark?

The campaign, Back to Basics, aims to refamiliarise consumers with the brand and change the conversation that much maligned it in its later years. Under CEO and founder Dov Charney, American Apparel ads were known to be NSFW, often featuring women posed in near nudity, with a hint of pubic hair, breast or butt on show.

Many models looked under-age and the copy writing was shamelessly sexual. The ad strategy was part of the brand's rise to success as well as its downfall.

Now, the company is making much of the fact that the new team responsible for the branding is all female. The campaign is apparently not about sexualising women, but about sexual women (and men). But does the fact that these ads were made by women, make them inherently less sexist?

Read the full opinion here.

American Apparel campaign Back to Basics campaign by American Apparel