Need to Know
09 : 05 : 19

Biotechnology designed to improve air quality, Ecover launches a satirical fragrance advert and why Generation Z are driving less.

Virgin Media gives wifi a living identity

Virgin Media Intelligent WiFi. Branding by Zag
Virgin Media Intelligent WiFi. Branding by Zag
Virgin Media Intelligent WiFi. Branding by Zag

UK – Virgin Media has created an animated identity to bring its new Intelligent wifi product to life.

In partnership with consultancy Zag and motion graphics specialists Territory Studio, the brand has produced a series of marketing films that represent the next generation of wifi as a lightweight, futuristic entity. The films visually explore the unique features of this enhanced wifi service, which automatically fixes itself, detects black spots and optimises to use less congested channels.

‘The living identity we have created is a fusion of the well-known wifi radar symbol and the Virgin Media logo,’ says Neil Cummings, head of creative at Zag. ‘We’ve given it an intelligent mind of its own through four animated behaviour ‘stings’ and four explainer films where it moves and behaves in ways that communicate the product's key features such as scanning, mapping and optimising.’

Similarly, our Digital Dialogues design direction explores how a new visual language is helping to demystify algorithms and AI-driven systems by communicating them as visible and tangible entities.

The Chillery is a premium platform for CBD

The Chillery The Chillery
The Chillery The Chillery

London – The e-commerce platform is a wellness and retail destination that specialises in high-end CBD products from around the world.

Focusing on five key areas, The Chillery provides education and product recommendations for sleep, stress, pain, beauty and intimacy. The site was launched with brands such as Kiki Health, Yuyo Botanics, and You & Oil, and will continue to add premium brands in future, including Saint Jane Beauty.

‘We decided to build The Chillery based on three pillars that are our key beliefs: to raise awareness [of] and educate on CBD, to provide a trusted place to find the world’s most premium products, and to offer a helpful guide to the personal use of CBD,’ explains co-founder Marisa Schwab. By positioning itself as an online destination for elevated wellness, the platform reflects the extent to which CBD is undergoing a luxury makeover. For more, read our Luxury CBD Market.

These biosolar panels will tackle air pollution

London – Imperial College London is collaborating with start-up Arborea to develop pioneering biotechnology to help improve urban air quality.

The first-of-its-kind technology purifies the air through the photosynthesis of microscopic plant life, such as algae and phytoplankton. According to the research team, Arborea’s system can remove carbon dioxide and produce breathable oxygen at the same rate as 100 trees from the surface area of just a single tree. The process also supplies a sustainable source of protein that can be used as a nutritious additive in plant-based foods.

‘When I founded Arborea my goal was to tackle climate change while addressing the critical issues related to the food system,’ says Julian Melchiorri, founder and CEO of Arborea. ‘This pilot will produce sustainable healthy food additives while purifying the air, producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment.’

In our Uprooted Diets macrotrend, we examine the rise of urban food systems as climate change has a seismic impact on what we eat and where it comes from.

Biosolar Leaf by Arborea

Ecover’s scentless range parodies perfume ads

L’eau de Bébé, Ecover, film by Uncommon

UK – The eco-friendly cleaning and laundry brand has produced a satirical campaign to mark the launch of its scentless, hypoallergenic range, Ecover Zero.

In collaboration with creative studio Uncommon, the brand has created L’Eau de Bébé, a fictitious perfume supported by a humorous film and social media campaign that celebrates the unadulterated scent of a baby. The twist: the campaign encourages conscious consumers to question using products with chemical fragrances. Targeting parents, it states: ‘Everyone loves #BabySmell, so why cover it up?’

‘Our research proves that nothing in the world smells as good as natural new-born babies, and yet as a nation we’re in the habit of surrounding babies with overly fragranced laundry products that have the potential to irritate delicate skin,’ says Sara Mendez Bermudez, European head of brand at Ecover. Shot by playful Norwegian directors Matias and Mathias, the film is the first to highlight Ecover's brand mission, Let’s Live Clean.

Read our Home Cleaning Market for more on how environmentally friendly brands are championing the mindful act of cleaning.

Stat: Generation Z aren’t moved by new cars

Sales of new vehicles in the US are slowing as more young people delay purchasing their first car, or simply don’t buy one at all. Of those who do buy a car, many more are opting for used vehicles, according car review platform JD Power. Compared with Millennials in 2004, the company estimates that Generation Z will purchase about 120,000 fewer new vehicles this year.

Cost is seen as the main barrier, with the average price paid for a new vehicle rising from £19,606 ($25,490, €22,756) a decade ago to £25,032 ($32,544, €29,053) in 2018. Now, to appeal to younger consumers, car-makers are developing smaller vehicles at lower price points. Citroen, for example, recently unveiled an ultra-compact concept car that can be driven without a licence.

Thought-starter: Why is restaurant-first hospitality flourishing?

Chefs are venturing into high-end hospitality, opening B&Bs that promise not only Michelin star-worthy food but immersion into their foodie worlds.

Hotel restaurants used to be an afterthought composed of bad buffets and boring à la carte menus. But a rise in chef-fronted ventures has transformed in-house restaurants from an add-on to one of the most important hotel elements, bringing in revenue from the local community as well as from guests.

Nobu, the exclusive Peruvian-Japanese restaurant, has led the way, opening its first own-brand hotel in Las Vegas in 2013. With nine hotels in operation and plans to open 11 more by 2020, it has successfully translated itself from a restaurant brand to a lifestyle brand.

Elsewhere, chef Iliana Regan, known for celebrating local and foraged foods at her Michelin-starred restaurant Elizabeth in Chicago, is opening the Milkweed Inn near the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan. Its weekend getaway offers an all-inclusive package of accommodation, activities and meals including a 15-course dinner of food ‘all grown, harvested and fished on the 100+ acres’ that the site sits on.

Read the full Gourmet Getaways microtrend here.

Casa Maria Luigia, Modena
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