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Fragrances embrace hype culture, Selfridges sells Iceland mince pies and Pantene tells Japanese women to break expectation.

This casino ad plays on serendipitous encounters

If It's Meant To Be film by Virtue for Park MGM, Las Vegas

Las Vegas – The Park MGM casino resort has released a series of melancholy vignettes inspired by travellers’ real-life experiences.

The short films explore modern romance, each telling a story about a near-miss romantic encounter. The voiceovers, which include accounts such as: ‘I was the girl pretending to stare at my phone but trying to steal glances at you’ are all real posts taken from people visiting Las Vegas.

Virtue, the agency behind the ads, also conducted a survey to explore the romantic attitudes of its Millennial tourists. It found that 62% of those who are thinking about visiting Las Vegas believe in love at first sight.

The campaign represents a change in the way casinos are communicating. Whereas Las Vegas marketing would traditionally rely on symbols of excess and luxury, a more thoughtful aesthetic is emerging.

Drop culture hits the fragrance market

Joya, New York Joya, New York
Joya, New York Joya, New York

New York – Perfumer Joya is implementing a quick-strike strategy, with weekly launches and high-profile collaborations.

The fragrance brand, which doubles as a design studio, will release new merchandise every Friday and collaborate with a range of artists, designers and film production companies. The quick drops will culminate with an enhanced version of Joya’s fragrance collection.

New innovations will include whisky-inspired candles in partnership with Kings County Distillery and a scented activation for pop culture and sneaker platform Complex’s forthcoming festival. ‘We want to make noise in the scent and beauty world with a strategy that’s never been used before in this industry,’ says Eileen Nardoza, digital and communications manager at Joya.

Hype culture is not exclusive to fashion and trainer brands. Increasingly, beauty brands are aligning with new cultural communities to drive customer loyalty. For more, read our Hype Beauty microtrend.

Selfridges sells Iceland mince pies

UK – With both the premium department store and frozen food retailer vowing to remove palm oil from their private-label ranges, the collaboration signals their shared commitment to sustainability.

In April, Iceland became the first UK supermarket to remove all palm oil from its own-brand foods, which will be completed by the end of 2018. Selfridges, which has been rolling out its own sustainability initiative, is also going palm oil-free by 2019.

The partnership will see Iceland’s mince pies, which are priced at £1.89 ($2.45, €2.13) for six, stocked in Selfridges’ food halls in time for Christmas season. ‘These delicious palm oil-free mince pies by Iceland offer a little taste of what’s to come. For us, there’s no point palming off the inevitable – together we must end deforestation,’ a spokesperson for Selfridges told The Guardian.

Although Iceland is typically considered a budget supermarket, its values are in line with those of Selfridges. Our microtrend Accessible Premium explores how affordable products can still offer quality.

Iceland mince pies at Selfridges, UK

Pantene Japan challenges expectations around hair

#Freedom in Job-Hunting campaign by Pantene, Japan

Japan – The haircare brand has launched an advertising campaign that encourages women to embrace their individuality when job-hunting.

In Japan, the societal norm is that women must tie back their hair in a uniform style when being interviewed for a job. But Pantene is hoping to change this with its latest campaign, #Freedom in Job-Hunting. The campaign was influenced by a recent study of university students, which found that 81% had compromised themselves to appeal to employers in job interviews.

The video campaign follows a woman who has dyed her hair a darker shade and worn it in an identical style in order to fit in with other job candidates. But she eventually decides to break away from the mould and celebrate her individuality through her hair.

Pantene is highlighting the outdated customs that women in Japan are expected to follow when it comes to their appearance. For more on how the Japanese beauty industry is evolving, read our Market.

Stat: The UK has a food desert problem

According to new research by the Social Market Foundation, the main barrier to healthy eating in the UK is a lack of access to retailers that sell cost-effective healthy goods. It found that nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents have purchased cheaper and less healthy food due to unaffordable prices.

In addition, the UK has a problem with so-called food deserts – areas that are poorly served by food stores. The study estimates that 10.2m people in the UK live in food deserts, and this affects nearly one in ten (8%) of deprived areas in England and Wales. Food deserts make it difficult for people without a car or with disabilities to access a wide range of goods.

In the US, convenience stores are already remedying this by providing fresh food at accessible prices. For more on this new retail offering, see our microtrend Convenience Stores 2.0.

Thought-starter: Are shaving brands still relevant?

With conversations surrounding body positivity gaining momentum, Josh Walker explores the shaving brands adopting a more inclusive language that celebrates men’s and women's myriad attitudes to body hair.

Shaving is big business. Statistics suggest that 75% of men shave their face everyday and, according to Euromonitor, the male grooming market is expected to be worth more than £45.6bn ($60bn, €51.8bn) by 2020. Yet, while shaving brands have long relied on outmoded tropes of masculinity, such as the narrative that a shaved face gets the girl, a new wave of brands are taking a more nuanced and inclusive approach to body hair.

A Man Like You, the new campaign from subscription shaving brand Harry’s, questions traditional ideas of what it means to be a man. The film begins by discussing traditional masculine ideals before concluding that a real man is simply a good human.

Women are embracing a shift away from shaving. Recent research published by Mintel shows that the number of young women aged between 18 and 24 shaving their underarm hair fell from 84% in 2014, to 77% in 2016. As a result, brands are reframing their messaging and campaigns to cater for this new female mindset.

Read our Shaving Rebranded microtrend here.

Flamingo by Harry's
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