US – The latest campaign from fast food chain Burger King captures the collective sense of confusion and unease at returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles.
The humorous ad, Confusing Times, centres its narrative on several familiar scenarios as lockdown periods begin to ease in some countries. Opening with the line, ‘Joe wonders if this is working from home, or living at work’, the advert spotlights various pandemic tropes such as taking on new hobbies or muting video calls – as well as the changes people are experiencing as their Covid-19 comfort bubbles are burst.
Burger King carries through the message of widespread confusion before ending with an introduction to its new vegan burger. ‘These are confusing times,’ says the narrator. ‘Which is just about the right time to have the Burger King Impossible Whopper. A Whopper made without beef that tastes just like... a Whopper.’
This playful yet relatable approach to introducing a new product is likely to resonate with consumers who are navigating their re-entry to society, work and socialising in the inter-Covid period.
A fashion platform for ‘make do and mend’ mindsets
The Netherlands – Fixing Fashion is providing education to empower people to keep – and maintain – their clothes for longer.
The open-source platform is organised into three categories – Care, Repair and Upgrade – and offers an ever-growing library of information about repairing and maintaining garments and accessories, delivered as video tutorials, diagrams and detailed instructions. Each of the tutorials includes techniques that are accessible and available to everyone, using resources such as household bleach, cardboard and basic sewing kits.
Alongside this, Fixing Fashion is creating a community around the concept of fixing and upgrading clothing, beginning with a dedicated chat on messaging platform Discord. ‘I didn’t want to support the linear way of producing and say recycling is the answer,’ says Alicia Minnaard, designer and co-founder of Fixing Fashion. ‘Repairing, upgrading and actually caring for clothing is what’s really missing in fashion.'
With growing awareness of sustainability in fashion, consumers are getting creative and adopting DIY Dressing behaviours to revamp their wardrobes.
Phonogram uses NFTs to upend music ownership
Brazil – Phonogram.me is a non-fungible token (NFT) platform that enables music fans to directly invest in their favourite artists, while decentralising how the industry operates.
The start-up allows the public to invest in artists by acquiring a share of their individual songs. Both investors and artists can then earn royalties on songs as they are played on radio stations, streamed online, broadcast at an event or featured in a tv programme.
Unlike many other NFT platforms, Phonogram.me empowers users to decide how they want to be paid for their share – either in cryptocurrency or Brazilian real.
‘Phonogram.me is here to increase value in the musical scope, generating monetisation for each play, share or broadcast,’ Lucas Mayer, co-founder of Phonogram.me, explains. ‘The sense of community on the platform is huge, as it cannot only generate income but also makes it possible to become a record label or even invest in an artist's career.’
In the coming age of Alternet Economies, the platform shows how artists can achieve greater ownership of their work.
Stat: China’s Generation Z hold vital spending power
Burberry Shenzhen store by Burberry and Tencent, China
According to new research by consultancy OC&C, Chinese Generation Z account for a large proportion of household spending – and significantly more so than in other countries.
The study shows that China accounts for the biggest share of Gen Z household spending, at 13% compared to just 3% in the UK and 4% in the US. When it comes to products, the data reveals that this consumer group are spending more on technology and clothing than those in Western countries.
Meanwhile, O&C reports that the wider Chinese mindset is moving from investment to consumption, with China ranking the lowest among other countries surveyed for having savings. A closer look shows that 72% of Chinese Gen Z say they have savings compared with 89% of Gen Z in France – highlighting this group as a consumer segment more willing to spend than save.
As China’s luxury retail sector shows promising growth, Gen Z are fast becoming a lucrative consumer group for global brands to connect with.