1. New zine takes an artistic approach to mental health
UK – Launched by community nurse Andy Walton, Swirl is a new zine tackling the taboo of mental health.
With mental health problems increasingly prevalent, the publication offers straightforward self-help advice from industry professionals. To differentiate from traditional self-help publications, the zine re-imagines the visual identity often associated with mental health literature to empower those who struggle with motivation and concentration.
‘We wanted to empower and engage through striking communications that showed how mental health is a spectrum of thoughts, feelings and emotions, not the grey usually associated with the subject,’ says Andy Walton, founder of Swirl.
As we examine in our related market, brands need to rethink the messaging around mental health and explore how to provide people with better access to support.
2. Adidas combines technology with sustainability
Germany – The sports brand has unveiled its latest product to be made with Parley Ocean Plastic.
After announcing a collaboration with the NGO in 2015, adidas is continuing to incorporate the eco-alternative material into its products. The new AM4LA high-performance trainer marks the integration of Parley Ocean Plastic into the brand’s Speedfactory production, combining its sustainability efforts with data-driven design.
‘The AM4LA shoe demonstrates the potential and flexibility of adidas Speedfactory to evolve and integrate new materials and technology that deliver progress towards solutions to current and new challenges,’ says Ben Herath, vice-president of design for adidas running.
3. Instagram tames excessive newsfeed scrolling
Global – The social platform has announced it is testing a new feature that aims to combat compulsive ‘zombie’ scrolling.
The tool is designed to alert users after they have viewed all of their newsfeed posts from the past 48 hours. Since the launch of the new algorithm that replaced the chronological feed, users are concerned that they are missing posts. The new tool indicates when ‘You’re All Caught Up’, ensuring users are up to date with posts as well as promoting a more controlled use of Instagram.
As digital addictions reach the point of psychological dependency, users are increasingly presenting subconscious behaviour such as zombie scrolling and phone walking. As such, brands must consider how to engage with consumers in an age of distraction, but also to encourage responsible consumption.
4. Global events inspire creative tasting
London – Diageo, best known for its portfolio of alcoholic drinks brands including Smirnoff and Guinness, has joined forces with Taste Festivals to create immersive food and drink experiences around the globe.
The collaboration will bring together leading chefs and mixologists to present Taste Tuesdays, a monthly event series in which guests can learn how to pair cocktails and food dishes to enhance flavour profiles, as well as Taste Residences, which will offer exclusive chef’s table experiences.
‘[We’ve] increasingly seen people from across the world demand more from their food and drink,’ explains Cristina Diezhandino, Scotch category director and managing director of Diageo Reserve. ‘They want to know what their ingredients are and where they have come from. They want to know how their food and drink has been prepared, learn how to do it at home and overall, be offered a more immersive experience.’
Brands such as Diageo and Banzarbar are satisfying a growing consumer interest in flavour profiling through new menus and methods that explore pairing spirits with meals.
5. Alibaba demonstrates progress in counterfeit fight
After announcing new measures to monitor counterfeit goods in 2016, Alibaba has highlighted its current success during the IPR Protection Summit in Seattle. The latest figures show 95% of takedown requests were processed within 24 hours in 2017, which is a 68% reduction in processing time compared to 2016.
‘Mutual trust and collaboration are keys to the success of IP protection. As an industry leader, Alibaba wants to collaborate with all stakeholders –whether they’re rights holders, agencies, trade associations or law enforcement – to keep leading the best practice in IP protection,’ explains Jessie Zheng, group chief platform governance officer at Alibaba.
For more on how brands are fighting fakes, see our Countering Counterfeits microtrend.
6. Thought-starter: How are Nigeria’s youth transforming the country?
Misrepresented by politicians, young Nigerians are reclaiming a sense of national pride through movements that will drive the future of their country.
In April 2018, Nigeria’s young people took to social media to protest about the comments of their president Muhammadu Buhari, who accused Nigerian youth of being lazy and expecting free housing, healthcare and education. Creating the hashtag #LazyNigerianYouths, the country’s netizens took the opportunity to share their stories of individual achievement with the rest of the world, highlighting the societal challenges they face growing up in the country.
Nigerian citizens are also re-evaluating the importance of their cultural heritage, turning their focus to driving positive definitions of Nigerian national identity. Young creatives who have spent time in the West are returning to their homeland armed with new skills to share. Dafe Oboro, a Lagos-born film-maker and photojournalist, studied in the UK before returning to Nigeria to document the country’s untold stories. They’re also using creative outputs to challenge traditional expectations of masculinity in Nigeria. Daniel Obasi addresses this through the medium of fashion film, exploring the tension between traditional Nigeria and the promise of a gender-fluid future in his work, Illegal.
For more on the future Nigerian consumer, read our Emerging Youth market.