Need to Know
25 : 09 : 18

Ogilvy celebrates natural Afro hair, Walmart invests in VR and The Inkey List wants to become your beauty translator.

Diesel turns cyberbullying into Hate Couture

DIESEL Hate Couture FW18

Italy – The fashion brand’s latest campaign features celebrities proudly wearing clothes emblazoned with real online abuse.

Starring names such as actor Bella Thorne and rappers Nicki Minaj and Gucci Mane, the campaign addresses the fact that four in 10 Americans have personally experienced online harassment, according to Pew Research Center. Dubbing the movement Hate Couture, Diesel proposes that victims should embrace cyberbullying by proudly wearing the comments they receive, with plans to soon launch a service to custom-make this clothing.

Until then, customers can buy pieces worn by the celebrities in a supporting campaign video, as well as designs featuring hate comments received by 150 social media influencers employed by the brand. In addition, Diesel has embraced the brand’s own share of online hate by plastering its stores with comments such as ‘Diesel is dead’.

Online bullying continues to be a prevalent issue, in particular among Generation Z consumers. To find out more about how this generation is confronting these issues head-on, watch out for our upcoming Youth macrotrend.

Ogilvy’s latest campaign wants to eliminate hair bias

Change the Facts, Not the Fro for World Afro Day 2018, Ogilvy UK, Ogilvy Singapore and Wavemaker, Photography by Derrick Kakembo Change the Facts, Not the Fro for World Afro Day 2018, Ogilvy UK, Ogilvy Singapore and Wavemaker, Photography by Derrick Kakembo
Change the Facts, Not the Fro for World Afro Day 2018, Ogilvy and Wavemaker, Photography by Derrick Kakembo Change the Facts, Not the Fro for World Afro Day 2018, Ogilvy and Wavemaker, Photography by Derrick Kakembo

London – The advertising agency partnered with World Afro Day to empower and transform the experience of women with afro hair.

Featuring striking imagery from photographer Derrick Kakembo, the campaign layers the images with statistics from The Good Hair Study to showcase societal attitudes towards afro hair. With the tagline ‘Change the facts. Not the fro’, findings include how 78% of people instinctively prefer smooth hair, and only 27% of black women feel comfortable wearing dreadlocks to a professional event.

The campaign hopes to offset the association of straight hair with success and beauty, and wants to empower women to feel confident about their naturally afro hair, a texture that’s rarely celebrated or considered by mainstream brands.

Since outlining the importance of Curl Power in 2015, the beauty industry has been gradually diversifying, reclaiming the African art of braiding and developing products for under-served hair types.

Walmart will use VR headsets to train employees

US – The supermarket chain is investing in more than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to help improve customer service.

The VR headsets will be used to train employees in a variety of tasks, from operating new in-store technology to teaching soft skills like empathy, exploring how such training can enhance staff interactions with customers.

‘We've seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention while improving test scores 10-15% – even those associates who simply watched others experience the training saw the same retention boosts,’ says Andy Trainor, senior director of Walmart’s US Academies.

While many corporations, from KFC to Volkswagen, are investing in VR training programs in order to gamify often mundane training, this is the first time the tool has been implemented on such a large scale, with headsets going to all 4,700 of Walmart’s stores across the US.

Volkswagen VR training programme Volkswagen VR training programme

A new brand that translates beauty jargon

The Inkey List, UK The Inkey List, UK

UK – The Inkey List creates straightforward beauty products and gives customers 24/7 access to a skincare expert.

The recently-launched brand hopes to democratise skincare with high quality toners, masks, serums and moisturisers that cut through the scientific jargon of the beauty industry. With products priced between £5 and £10, The Inkey List is encouraging customers to test out what works best for their skin with the help of an online expert, with the aim of building a bespoke skincare wardrobe to fit their needs.

Its monochrome packaging helps to portray this transparent communication, clearly defining each technical term in the style of a dictionary. ‘We won’t talk down to you or intimidate you; this is beauty you can trust, on your terms, with expert skincare advice on hand around the clock,’ reads a press release from the brand.

Read our microtrend Honest Products for more on how beauty brands are navigating around industry jargon to create a more honest and accessible sector for consumers.

Stat: Consumers could soon be banking with Amazon

With sources reporting that Amazon is in talks to offer a basic bank account to its Prime members, a new study of 6,000 American consumers by Bain & Company suggests that Amazon already has a sum of loyal customers that would be open to banking with them.

The study found that two-thirds of Prime members would be willing to open a free online bank account with Amazon. Furthermore, 37% of consumers that don’t yet shop with Amazon would be willing to try it. The study also offered a direct comparison of customer loyalty rates between Amazon and US national banks, finding that the retailer’s score of 47 significantly exceeded the national banks’ average of 18.

If Amazon does open its own banking service, the brand’s high loyalty rates and significant customer base would give it a strong head start on competing with financial institutions. To find out how big banks can stay relevant in the future, explore our recent interview with Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank.

Thought-starter: How can luxury brands win local Chinese custom?

Chinese luxury consumers are swapping global names for regional nuances, giving brands a new, hyper-local challenge, says Nick Cakebread, founder of The Luxury Conversation.

It’s safe to say that Chinese consumers are even more knowledgeable of the world of luxury than their Western counterparts. In fact, luxury is a way of life for affluent Chinese consumers, and this arguably affects brands in many ways.

One of the major changes of recent years has been the shift from making blingy, big-logo purchases to a more curious look at luxury. Today, it’s about being discerning, as having a savvy knowledge of luxury goods expands from China’s first tier cities and well-travelled set of affluent consumers, to reach wider, regional audiences.

In fashion, for example, Chinese Millennials don't want to carry the same labels as their parents did. They want to show their peers that they are not only knowledgeable about fashion, but have the time to discover those more considered labels, emerging Chinese designers, and overseas names.

Luxury hospitality is also having to evolve to meet this local mindset, with the smartest hotel chains and properties turning their attention to niche or culturally-laden products and amenities.

Read the full Opinion piece here.