Need to Know
25 : 04 : 18

25.04.2018 Retail : Beauty : Wellness

McDonald’s questions defined gender roles, Dizziak caters for ethnically diverse hair types, Uniqlo and Solange blur the line between art and commerce.

1. McDonald’s examines domesticity and fatherhood

Being a Mum, McDonalds by FP7/McCann Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon – In a region that rarely addresses gender roles, the fast food brand chose to explore the everyday duties of being a mum in its recent campaign.

The film, which features point-of-view shots, follows the journey of what appears to be a mother on her daily routine. It is later revealed that the film is from the perspective of the family’s father, who performed childcare duties, from wake-up call to bedtime.

With the tagline ‘You don’t have to be a mum to be a mother’, McDonald’s not only attempts to spark conversation about the definition of being a mum but also highlights how more men are participating in the domestic sphere.

In our forthcoming series, New Masculinity, we will explore how the role of fatherhood has changed in an increasingly Neutral Culture.

2. Dizziak revives damaged curls

Dizziak, London Dizziak, London
Dizziak, London Dizziak, London
Dizziak, London Dizziak, London

London – The new haircare brand, which was launched last month, provides conditioning products for afro and ethnically diverse hair types.

Despite curls becoming a big focus in the beauty industry, founder Loretta de Feo expressed her frustration with the lack of available products for her mixed ethnicity in the local UK market. ‘I created Dizziak because I needed it,’ she said in a statement. ‘Being half Nigerian and half Italian with incredibly thick hair, I felt frustrated that I had to import hair products from the US.’

The brand introduces a conditioner that goes beyond the usual moisturising properties, and is designed to control damage without the use of harsh chemicals. The vegan-friendly formula is built from four key ingredients: Quinoa Protein, known for enhancing penetration to improve hydration; Babassu Oil, which eases dryness and restores elasticity; Inca Inchi, which regulates oil production; and Coconut and Argan Oil, known ingredients for sealing in moisture.

As the ethnic make-up of Western markets change, beauty brands need to consider broadening their approach to include a more diverse range of skin and hair types.

3. Coal power station converts to blockchain energy

New South Wales, Australia – Australian technology company IOT Group and local power company Hunter Energy are set to re-open one of the East Coast’s coal-fired power stations to provide cheap power prices for blockchain applications.

The initiative will offer blockchain companies direct access to wholesale electricity prices, avoiding additional costs from the retailer and power transmission including grid costs, poles and wires. It is expected to reduce energy prices by 20%. ‘The average consumer pays about 28 cents per kilowatt-hour. With what IOT is doing, its pre-grid price is 8 cents, and will be 5 cents at night time,’ the company said in a statement.

Mining blocks is an energy-intensive endeavour. At present, many businesses avoid Australia due the nation's high energy prices and warmer climate, which require more energy to cool internet servers.

By providing more economical methods to power these businesses, the development aims to encourage more blockchain innovation in the region. For more on how brands are rethinking energy infrastructure, see our macrotrend Civic Brands.

Fuel Station of the Future by Foster + Partners and Nissan Europe at International Motor Show, Geneva Fuel Station of the Future by Foster + Partners and Nissan Europe at International Motor Show, Geneva

4. Solange performance piece doubles as Uniqlo ad

Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo
Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo
Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo
Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo Metatronia (Metatron's Cube), 2018 By Solange, Uniqlo

Los Angeles – Uniqlo has joined forces with musician Solange on her latest performance art installation, Metatronia. The piece features dancers moving around a cubic sculpture created collaboratively by the singer and sculpture designer Griffin Frazen.

The work, commissioned by Uniqlo, explores the process and mapping of creation and creativity. It focuses on the ‘intuitive force that guides us, helping us to create space, and silences the mind to create the work,’ Solange said in a statement. In a similar style to Uniqlo’s LifeWear campaign, the film flaunts the brand’s minimal and practical aesthetic through movement and dance. The piece premiered at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in April 2018.

With consumers becoming wiser about advertising, brands are seeking to bridge the gap between art and commerce to create a more meaningful and emotional connection with them.

5. US consumers don’t know how to travel sustainably

US – New research from e-commerce travel site Booking.com reveals that US consumers are increasingly keen to explore eco-friendly travel, but are concerned it lacks the luxury and comfort they are looking for.

Although more than a third (35%) of US consumers say they travel in an eco-friendly manner, there is still a lack of understanding about sustainable travel. According to the report, ‘eco-friendly’ is considered a subjective term, suggesting that travellers lack clarity about what this type of travel entails.

With 27% of respondents unaware of how to make their trips more sustainable, brands need to invest in schemes that are credible and transparent in order to educate consumers on sustainable practices.

6. Thought-starter: Is emotional wellbeing the next frontier for vitamins?

In our latest Q&A, Brendan Murdock, the founder of nutrition and health store anatomē, explains why human interaction is crucial to any health store proposition.

‘The concept of anatomē is to provide a clear, coherent selection of products that address nutritional, physical and emotional wellness. Most health stores are multibranded, but anatomē sells a variety of own-brand vitamins and nutrients,’ says Murdock.

When discussing the evolution of self-improvement, Murdock believes that ‘people are more competent and able to speak about how they’re feeling and what their needs are, and there is an inquisitiveness’.

Exploring the specific role of supplements in achieving a sense of wellness, Murdock states that it is about ‘anchoring science alongside nature, but also about making sure that when you are taking supplements for a particular problem that you don’t become over-dependent or feel that it can replace a healthy diet’.

Read the full interview here.

Anatomē, London Anatomē, London