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07 : 11 : 18

An autonomous bus for extreme climates, The New York Times checks the facts and Web Summit 2018 kicks off in Lisbon.

A fitness campaign that doesn’t focus on weight loss

Age Better, ParticipACTION by Zulu Alpha Kilo, Canada

Canada – Non-profit organisation ParticipAction has launched a national campaign that highlights the myriad lifestyle benefits of getting active.

The ad series are part of a long-term movement that aims to shift perceptions beyond the traditional benefits of getting fit, such as weight loss. The short, playful videos demonstrate how physical activity can make people sleep, age and focus better.

ParticipAction’s website has also been redesigned to reflect the campaign, featuring the slogan ‘staying active isn’t just about looking better. It’s about living better’. It also backs up each of its claims with scientific facts, as well as providing tips on motivation and general healthy living.

As body positivity continues to gain prominence, health and wellness brands are shifting their marketing campaigns away from weight loss and towards a healthier lifestyle. In September, Weight Watchers overhauled its brand identity to focus on wellness over dieting.

Muji is developing a line of self-driving buses

Self-Driving bus by MUJI and Sensible 4 Self-Driving bus by MUJI and Sensible 4
Self-Driving bus by MUJI and Sensible 4 Self-Driving bus by MUJI and Sensible 4

Finland – Muji’s Gacha will be the first autonomous vehicle in the world capable of functioning in extreme weather conditions.

Currently, self-driving vehicles cannot operate in weather such as heavy rain, fog and snow, as many prototypes are being tested in warm climates such as California. However, Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4 is testing the technology in Arctic conditions to ensure the bus operates safely in environments that are often lacking in transportation.

The bus will hold a maximum of 16 passengers, and incorporates Muji’s minimalist design, which has previously been limited to homeware, fashion and accessories products. Gacha will make its public debut in Helsinki in March 2019, before launching in three Finnish cities by 2020.

While self-driving cars must iron out kinks in how they deal with traffic and parking in cities, extreme weather is another obstacle brands must overcome in order to bring these vehicles to market in colder climates.

Web Summit 2018: Developing a quality mark for robotics

Lisbon – At this year’s Web Summit, Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe, president and co-founder of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR), announced the launch of a certified quality mark for AI and robotics early next year.

Working alongside the accounting firm Deloitte, FRR is developing this new certification to assure consumers that their robotic purchases adhere to predefined ethical and sustainable standards and so allowing them to better align their purchasing habits with their ethical standpoint.

‘In the same way that when you buy a fair trade product you know the product has had to go through rigorous standards and accreditation before it can get that logo,’ van Wynsberghe told the audience. ‘We think it’s time that we do that for robotics, we think it’s time we have a system in place where companies are then accountable.’

With climate change now a pertinent issue for the majority of consumers, van Wynsberghe explained that the quality assurance mark will address issues like the sustainable development of these technologies, both in terms of the manufacturing process and their life cycles. For more on why brands need to integrate a new moral code into their business model, see our Morality Recoded macro trend.

Pepper by Softbank Robotics

The truth is worth it, says The New York Times

The Truth Is Worth It: Perseverance by The New York Times

New York – Rallying against the fake news claims levelled at it by President Donald Trump, the New York Times newspaper has released a new series of adverts that the shows the depth of analysis, insight and fact-checking that goes into its stories.

The series forms part of the newspaper’s ongoing The Truth is Hard campaign, which takes a brandstanding approach to ‘post-truth’ culture. The new films, entitled The Truth is Worth it, focus on real stories from reporters, tracking each point of newspaper’s comprehensive reporting process.

One of the films, Perseverance, follows the efforts of reporter Caitlin Dickerson on her mission to uncover the truth about the immigrant children separated from their parents at the US border, which broke earlier this year. The ad takes a cinematic approach to Dickerson’s dedication to the story, building from rumours to confirmation, concluding with a factual article that readers can trust.

In today’s Dislocated World, consumers are hungry for media content they can trust to give them an accurate analysis of current affairs. For more, read our microtrend, Veritas Media.

Stat: The potential for Facebook’s beauty market

A new report by Accenture for Facebook explores the online behaviour of the UK’s beauty consumer. According to the study, these consumers are using Facebook for beauty-related content over Instagram – a surprising discovery given the much-publicised decline of Facebook and the rising popularity of the photo-sharing app. The haircare consumer is demonstrating a similar mindset – with 43% using the social network for beauty activities, compared to just 28% who are seeking these out on Instagram.

Although the Instagram Beauty Market is expected to grow, Facebook still offers potential for beauty brands, especially among older consumers. Sephora has been experimenting with new technology on the social media platform – the brand recently rolled out a Messenger chatbot that offers augmented reality product testing.

Thought-starter: How can your brand enter the gaming world?

As the physical and digital worlds continue to blur, brands have an opportunity to innovate within the video games sector, says Josh Walker.

For both gaming brands and the gaming community alike, 2018 has been the year for photo mode. Initially introduced as a casual tool with which gamers could capture screenshots in-game, a vast improvement in graphics and environment design has seen photo mode become a standalone selling point for a number of mainstream titles.

In recent months, photo mode has reached such a peak that certain publishers have launched dedicated microsites highlighting player photos, while projects like Shoes For Virtual Feet have launched, collating images of simulated footwear captured through photo mode. While the pull of photo mode is clear for players, it also offers an untapped opportunity for brands.

What if players could share a high-quality screenshot of their character holding a branded drink, wearing a recent streetwear drop in an in-game apartment that aligns with their design tastes? With customisation and co-creation becoming increasingly sophisticated in the real world, a space is opening up for furniture, fashion, technology, and food and drink brands to innovate and inspire within the digital one.

Find out more by reading the full Opinion piece.

Shoes for Virtual Feet by Leo Sang
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