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03 : 09 : 21

Race Club brings hedonism back to China’s nightlife, Lidl trials traffic light labelling for sustainable products and Asia consumers seek relaxing foods.

An escapist nightclub to immerse post-pandemic hedonists

Race Club by JH Architecture Studio, China

Hangzhou, China – South Korean nightclub Race Club has arrived in China, bringing with it a new dancefloor experience that offers complete immersion to those who craved nightlife during the pandemic. With holograms, LED lighting and ‘fluid’ walls, the intention of the nightclub is to get clubbers lost in a concrete jungle.

Designed by JH Architecture, the nightclub uses stainless steel walls that light up when the sun goes down, enticing passers-by into the space. On entry, they will find no tables, sofas or seating, giving visitors no choice but to dance. These themes of immersion and escapism are also central to the interior design of the nightclub, with metallic colours of green, purple and red lending the experience a sense of futurism rather than comfort.

While safety has been a central tenet of many post-pandemic interior designs, as architects find ways to make consumers feel secure and comfortable in public spaces, Race Club offers a new proposition – total immersion. Find out more about the future of nightlife in what people experts are dubbing ‘the roaring 20s’.

Strategic opportunity

Nightlife isn’t dead. While some consumers will be seeking bubbles of safety post-pandemic, be prepared to cater for those hungry for after-dark experiences that offer true escapism from their isolated lifestyles

Eastenders unites UK communities with faction marketing

Eastenders It's Who We Are by BBC Creative Eastenders It's Who We Are by BBC Creative
Eastenders It's Who We Are by BBC Creative Eastenders It's Who We Are by BBC Creative

UK – The long-running soap opera has launched a new campaign that brings its much-loved fictional characters together with real communities around the country. The marketing effort showcases how entwined the tv show has become in the identity of the UK.

Created by BBC Creative, the campaign forms a series of group portraits that place the recognisable Walford characters among real people, blending the actors with everyday fans in situations such as queueing for a nightclub or attending a family barbecue. As well as offering a sense of drama and hidden narratives, the naturalistic and anti-aspirational nature of the photographs aim to bring real fans closer to the show and highlight the importance of Eastenders in British culture.

While we first identified Faction Marketing – in which brands sell consumers the suspension of disbelief – back in 2012, the merging of fact and fiction continues to drive imaginative marketing campaigns, especially in the entertainment sector.

Strategic opportunity

Fans are the ultimate currency when it comes to media and entertainment. Entertainment brands should find ways to spotlight everyday people in their marketing efforts as a way of rewarding their loyalty

Quick-glance eco-labelling lands at Lidl

Scotland – While customers are widely used to traffic light labelling on food packaging to denote how healthy a product is, supermarket group Lidl is trialling a new system that provides shoppers with greater awareness of an item’s sustainability credentials.

Its Eco-Score system is being rolled out across Lidl’s 105 Scottish stores, using a colour-coded leaf symbol ranging from A (green leaf, low impact) to E (red leaf, high impact) based on an independent assessment of factors including production methods, biodiversity impacts and a product’s carbon footprint. Applied initially to Lidl’s own-branded goods, such as tea and coffee, a product’s rating can also be boosted by third-party certification such as Fairtrade.

Through such a system, Lidl is tapping into growing eco-awareness among shoppers, using quick-glance, innovative labelling to communicate more about a product than its nutritional properties. Furthermore, it recognises a future in which people will be seeking to actively decarbonise their diets, with Lidl set to share the findings from this pilot to help shape an environmental approach that works for both customers and the industry in the long term.

Lidl Eco-Score, UK Lidl Eco-Score, UK

Strategic opportunity

Beyond packaging and product labelling, retailers can get ahead of the carbon-conscious curve by creating stand-alone aisles or spaces in stores for products with high eco or sustainability standards

Stat: Sleep becomes an inter-Covid nightmare in Asia

White Upland by Wutopia Lab, Huzhou, China White Upland by Wutopia Lab, Huzhou, China

While health concerns remain heightened around the world – in particular during shifting waves of Covid-19 infections and variants – worries relating to stress and sleep are heightening in Asia. In China, new research by Mintel shows that one in four (25%) survey respondents aged 18–39 are experiencing emotional problems before going to sleep, while one in five report experiencing emotional problems when they wake up.

In turn, local consumers are looking to hack their diets with holistic products to help with sleep, in particular foods and drinks with aromatic ingredients that offer relaxation or sleep-related benefits. In wider Asia-Pacific, food, beverages and health supplements with new product packaging involving aromatic descriptions of ‘stress-reducing’ and ‘sleep-aiding’ benefits have grown from 0.5% in 2018 to 1.1% in 2021, and ‘energy-boosting’ efficacy claims rose from 1.4% to 1.6%, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Catherine Liu, senior health and wellbeing research analyst at Mintel, notes: ‘Although [aromatics are] traditionally associated with the beauty and personal care category, this accelerating trend indicates the feasibility of expanding aromatic ingredients into the food and beverage category.’

Strategic opportunity

The cross-over between food, beauty and wellbeing products that aid relaxation or assist with sleep is growing. Consider the new products and night-time rituals that brands can create in this area

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