1. Nike celebrates Air Max Day with Netstalgic film
Air Max Day 2018, Nike and ManvsMachine
Global – For the fourth consecutive year, Nike collaborated with ManvsMachine to celebrate its annual Air Max Day. The global campaign combines past and present identities of Nike Air to reflect the collection’s continual reinvention.
The 2018 film, which features nine new sneaker designs for the Nike Air collection, embraces an anti-design approach, taking inspiration from early generation internet web browsers. The visual direction takes its cues from modern editorial design and combines an extensive number of assets, from live action and 3D typographical design to film animation.
‘It still needed to retain the haphazard nature of the layouts but through multiple rounds of refinement we looked to land on a crafted version of this on-trend design style,’ ManvsMachine said in a statement. ‘One of the biggest factors was establishing an interaction between the different elements and windows, finding ways to have a piece of 3D design move in a way that triggered a movement in a live action element.’
The film explores a wider aesthetic trend where brands are experimenting with ways to make abstract digital environments more tactile.
2. British perfume brand celebrates home-grown scent
Parterre by Keyneston Mill, UK
UK – Parterre is a new fragrance brand originating from Keyneston Mill, a 50-acre private botanic garden in Dorset. The brand celebrates its Made in England heritage, with all the ingredients grown, harvested and distilled on the property.
The gardens combine more than 2,000 plant varieties dedicated to aromatic and scented plants. Each compartment features plants from the principal perfume families such as floral, fougere, spice and citrus. A team of experts oversee the production process from seed to bottle to ensure maximum intensity of the home-made scents.
Keyneston Mill is also open to the public, with an exhibition space, where visitors can witness live distillation and partake in perfume workshops. Other events on offer include ingredient discovery days, botanical cocktail evenings, as well as enjoying a fresh meal in the Scented Botanist bistro.
As the perfume market develops beyond the mass market, consumers are searching for fragrances with more niche appeal. Parterre’s home-grown story gives itself a point of difference, especially with Britain’s impending exit from the EU, when imported goods such as perfume could become more expensive.
3. Google adapts search app to better serve African consumers
Nairobi, Kenya – While there are now about 230m smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa (source: Google) – a figure that is expected to double over the next few years – many of these devices contain very little RAM and have minimal storage capacity.
In recognition of the massive potential in this underserved market, Google is adapting its new search app, Google Go, to work on 2G networks and use 40% less data when displaying search results. The app takes up only 5Mb of storage compared to a typical iPhone app, which uses between 25Mb and 35Mb, and users are able to search in languages such as Kishwahili, spoken by the Swahili people. Google Go also takes into account slower connection speeds and more limited network coverage by allowing previous searches to be accessed while offline.
‘Unfortunately, users can’t always decide on the type of device they have or the kind of connection they are on,’ explains Mzamo Masito, Google sub-Saharan Africa chief marketing officer. ‘Google Go is designed from the ground up to address these issues and provide a seamless experience irrespective of what device or network the user is on.’
For more on the challenges facing e-commerce brands in Africa, see our Q&A with Jeremy Hodara, co-founder of Jumia.
Bosjes, South Africa
4. Mother London explores the changing role of AI
TED AI Therapy by Mother London
Vancouver, Canada – Created as part of TED talks The Age of Amazement series, creative agency Mother London has created a witty short film exploring a future scenario in which artificially intelligent (AI) bots experience mental health problems.
The film features AI humanoid Archie and his therapist, who explains how AI devices have evolved over 100 years. The first generation were digital assistants capable of carrying out menial tasks, while the second generation of humanoids remedied many of the world’s biggest issues: ‘They cured cancer. They refroze the Arctic’. But as they evolved, they developed a sense of self and in doing so are now undergoing an existential crisis.
The therapist explains that this third generation has grown up ‘without any real purpose’, parodying current fears around AI infiltrating the workplace and leaving humans with a sense of meaninglessness.
As explored in our Neo-kinship macrotrend the relationship between mankind and machines is changing as AI increasingly adopts more human traits and consumers open themselves up to forming more intimate relationships with these devices.
5. Brands struggle with customer loyalty programmes
A new study by Oracle has found that brands tend to overestimate the relevance of their loyalty programmes.
The research, which was conducted among 13,000 consumers and operators across retail, hotels and restaurants globally, found that 58% of retailers think they are sending out relevant offers. Despite this, 19% of consumers say they rarely join loyalty programmes.
As consumers are becoming less loyal, brands need to encourage them not only to sign up to loyalty programmes but also to use them. The majority of participants suggested an interest in personalisation and immediacy of these programmes, with 69% looking for personalised offers based on their preferences and 74% saying immediate benefits are more appealing.
6. Thought-starter: Why insurance brands need to consider digitisation
A new wave of insurance brands are creating digitally powered products that fit with Millennials’ lifestyles.
With more fluid lifestyles and a desire for hyper-convenience, many of today’s consumers find traditional insurance products unfit for purpose. According to a 2017 YouGov poll, 72% of US adults think insurance companies use confusing language that is difficult to understand. Now, a new wave of insurance brands are stepping in to fill the gap, offering digitally powered solutions that fit seamlessly into their lives.
One key difficulty for insurance customers is that most products aren’t closely tailored enough to their needs. In an age of New Bricolage Living, where consumers move fluidly across borders, often the only option to ensure peace of mind is to buy expensive blanket cover packages.
Revolut wants to streamline this process by offering people the option to buy travel insurance through geolocation technology. Using customers’ mobile phone geolocation data, the brand can ascertain where in the world someone is and automatically calculate the cost of basic medical and dental insurance, covering them for their travels.