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25 : 03 : 20

Powerful packaging for modern life, Ford’s legacy-building campaign for Covid-19 and sober beer drinkers drive category growth

Covid-19: Ford rethinks campaign amid pandemic fear

‘Built Ford Proud’, Ford

US – Ford has decided to rethink its marketing campaign to reflect its response to the current global pandemic.

Having initially launched new advertisements at the beginning of 2020 to promote its vehicles, Ford’s new campaign describes how it is responding to the impact of Covid-19, including a scheme offering payment relief for some customers. The two ad spots, Built to Lend a Hand and Built for Right Now, act as a play on the tagline, Built Ford Proud – and signify a shift towards more civic efforts.

Drawing attention to Ford’s more than 100-year history, the advertisements refer to the brand’s previous philanthropic acts; having built planes during wartime and recently offered payment relief to consumers affected by natural disasters. Matt VanDyke, director of US marketing for Ford Motor Co, says: ‘It’s important to be reassuring right now and not trying to say to people 'Rush into your car dealership for a sales event’.

As society navigates uncertain territories, brands are stepping in and creating Civic Ads in place of traditional advertising.

Packaging waste as an art form

PAK-UH-JING by Daniel Emma at the Hugo Michell Gallery PAK-UH-JING by Daniel Emma at the Hugo Michell Gallery
PAK-UH-JING by Daniel Emma at the Hugo Michell Gallery PAK-UH-JING by Daniel Emma at the Hugo Michell Gallery

Australia – A new exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery in Australia is shedding light on existing views around packaging, and questioning the potential of waste products.

Designed by Adelaide-based industrial design duo Daniel Emma, the exhibition positions packaging as memorabilia and prompts new ways of thinking about often discarded objects. For example, a water bottle is re-invented in an oak, acrylic and aluminium structure, while a tennis ball is displayed with an adornment of sapphires.

Comprising 16 items – from a five dollar note pack to a resin envelope – the featured pieces also evoke a sense of nostalgia. The result is lighthearted and experimental, allowing viewers to question and reconsider the potential of everyday items, rather than acting as a way of challenging unsustainable practices. Reflecting on the exhibition, the duo says: ‘Packaging is quite often just a throwaway item. It is what is inside that is celebrated, which is such a shame!’

As brands continue to focus on eco-alternative packaging, they’re also taking the opportunity to upgrade their aesthetics and spark pleasure in everyday items. For more, read Refined Refillables.

Vans designs shoes for sensory inclusivity

Global – The Autism Awareness Collection was created to alleviate the sight and touch sensitivities of people with autism.

Created with the aim of enhancing comfort, the skatewear brand’s new shoe collection is designed to empower autistic toddlers, children and adults who often have sensitivities with touch and sight. Alongside heel-pull tags to ensure ease of access, the line has been fitted with Vans’ ComfyCush soles, and many styles are slip-on or use Velcro fastenings.

With design informed by autism specialist IBCCSES and the experiences of those with the condition, the collection features a muted and calming colour palette alongside more sensory elements – from holographic patterns to visualise stimulate wearers, to tactile details such as ‘squishy’ velvet hearts. Developed for Autism Awareness Month, the line has been accredited as a Certified Autism Resource.

Fashion and retail brands are finally stepping up to offer their differently abled customers more inclusive and adaptive apparel. To find out why minimal, conscious design is key, read our Design Direction, Implicit Inclusivity.

The Autism Awareness Collection by Vans

Stat: No-lo beer sales are boosting overall UK market

Research by Nielsen has shown that zero- and low-alcohol beer sales have driven growth in the UK beer category as a whole. Without these sales, the market would be struggling to meet its targets. Despite only representing 1.6% of the total beer category, up from 1.3% in 2019, sales in the No-lo beer sector grew by £15.2m ($17.5m, €16.3m) in the year to January 2020.

This clear interest in sober-curious drinking by UK consumers is not limited to Dry January, with people also opting for non-alcoholic beers throughout the year as a way to mitigate the health concerns associated with alcohol consumption.

Although we’ve identified a number of drinks companies offering alternatives to wine and spirits – as seen in Low-proof Drinkers – there is still an opportunity for brands to cater for the increasingly sober tastes of beer drinkers.

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