1. Missguided turns reality tv stars into brand models
UK – Fast fashion label Missguided has announced a partnership with the popular tv dating series Love Island. Targeting a similar demographic to the 20something cast of the show, the fashion brand plans to capitalise on the spending power of its viewing audience by styling all of the show’s female contestants in its clothing. Missguided is also running an accompanying campaign during the show’s advertising breaks, encouraging visits to its app in order to explore and purchase items seen on tv.
In addition, the brand will post the contestants’ daily outfits and similar styles on its blog for viewers to shop for any looks they might have missed. Meanwhile, the male contestants have been gifted with items from menswear label Mennace, which was established by Missguided founder Nitin Passi.
Brands are searching for new forms of authentic promotion as audiences become wiser to paid product placements. Missguided intends to turn tv entertainment into a live shopping experience, supported by its lively digital platforms.
2. Ikea caters for a future of micro-apartments
Älmhult, Sweden – At its recent Democratic Design Days 2018, the furniture retailer showed a future-facing collection designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s urban, small-space living. Due to be launched in 2020, the Rumtid collection will feature new furniture concepts such as modular designs made from lightweight materials and air purifiers to ease the impact of city living.
To explore the impact of small spaces on interior design, members of Ikea’s team took a research trip to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, as well as capsule hotels in Tokyo. The resulting range will be divided into four smaller collections focused on the concepts of time, smaller spaces, water and air.
The new materials and building methods featured in the Rumtid range offer flexibility, allowing consumers to reconstruct designs to meet the needs of their living space. ‘We want to learn from extreme scenarios and connect them back to Earth, focusing on urbanisation and small space living’, says Siri Skillgate, one of five designers involved.
The limits and opportunities offered by space travel have long influenced design, with brands looking beyond our planet as a way to solve problems closer to home. Mini Living has recently explored this concept with an installation that encourages residents to shape and contribute to the development of their future micro-neighbourhoods.
3. Vivarail upcycles tube carriages into new trains
Stratford-upon-Avon – Independent train manufacturer Vivarail is transforming the bodyshells and motors of old London Underground carriages into modern low-cost regional trains, reducing the use of new materials in the development of its carriages.
Recognising the importance of creating a more sustainable future for the British rail network, the company has also developed a modular engine that enables its trains to be powered by a hybrid battery, rather than relying on diesel. ‘We know that emission-free trains are the future and we will continue to spearhead that development. With this hybrid fleet we will deliver a train that is clean, green and reliable, making use of GPS systems to cut out the engines in stations and environmentally sensitive areas,’ says Adrian Shooter, CEO of Vivarail.
As well as providing greener rail transport, the company will prioritise passenger comfort and travel requirements by fitting its new carriages with power supplies at all seats, high-speed wi-fi, air-cooling, bike spaces and a new seating layout.
For more on the ideas and innovations that will help shape the future of the urban environment, see our Smart Cities series.
4. Store windows that transform into an advertising display
New York – As featured at this year’s NYCxDesign, Avery Dennison debuted its Vela Dynamic Window film technology as part of an installation for the Design Pavilion in Times Square. This innovative system transforms glass walls and glazed store fronts into digital displays, enabling brands to project visual content such as advertising campaigns or moving artwork.
With increased pressure on bricks-and-mortar stores to perform, brands are seeking new ways to integrate innovative technology into their stores in order to create eye-catching and immersive moments that enhance physical touchpoints. Avery Dennison is now implementing pilots with several global brands and retailers to explore the possibilities of combining traditional storefront merchandising with innovative digital advertising.
‘Retailers typically change their window graphics twice a month to create fresh, new promotional displays. We are excited about the launch of Vela Dynamic Window film as this creates an alternative solution – the window film stays in place for up to four years, but the digital content can be updated weekly, or even daily, to create targeted promotions,’ explains Hassan Rmaile, Avery Dennison’s vice-president and general manager of its Global Graphics and Reflective Solutions division.
5. UK Millennials crave real-life dating interactions
Despite swiping left and right being a ritual for many, new research from dating network Badoo suggests younger people are becoming tired of the superficial nature of dating apps. While this screen-based culture has created greater opportunities to meet potential partners, 74% of British Millennials say they would prefer real-life interactions over messaging, with 62% adding that they would be interested in live video streaming on dating profiles. Badoo now plans to introduce this, to enable a more authentic depiction of users’ personalities.
To find out more about the impact of technology on dating, read our Courtship Crisis microtrend here.
6. Thought-starter: Why brands must demystify children’s meal times
Beth Bentley, global vice-president of strategy at Virtue Worldwide, on why brands play a crucial role in enhancing children’s nutrition.
It’s never been harder to keep your child’s diet on the straight and narrow. Western Millennial parents face daily pressure as they navigate the confusing 21st-century food landscape, trying to make good choices for their children. And while brands are in a position to help, they do more to add to the confusion than dispel it. To help today’s 20- and 30something parents, the most significant move that brands can make is to demystify and simplify food choices for children.
Brands doing this are thin on the ground. But heroes do exist, such as fast food chain Leon, with its fun but no-nonsense children’s menu, independent ice lolly brand Lickalix, and fruit treat brand Bear Nibbles, which cold-presses whole fruit into sweet-like shapes. And to offer clarity for families dining out, the Soil Association’s annual Out to Lunch survey creates an annual league table of high street restaurants based on the nutritional standards of their children’s menus.
Read the full opinion here.