Need to Know
17 : 11 : 21

Iceland’s sensorial campaign rejects the metaverse, speculative tech for the future home and streaming causes a decline in cinemas.

Visit Iceland mocks the metaverse to promote IRL trips

Welcome To The Icelandverse by Inspired by Iceland

Iceland – The tourism board is drawing on the proliferation of the metaverse in mainstream conversation as part of its latest tongue-in-cheek campaign. Referring to the country as the Icelandverse, Visit Iceland presents popular tourist sights such as waterfalls and geysers, satirising tech and entertainment companies' metaverse efforts by noting that everything can be experienced in reality, without the help of a virtual reality (VR) headset.

By doing this, the campaign also emphasises how some consumers are craving Sensory Destinations that connect them with nature, instead of screens and devices. We’re proud of what has been built so far, and we’re excited about what comes next [...] beyond the constraints of screens, [to] create new opportunities and experience new things in reality,’ says Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, head of Visit Iceland. ‘It is a future that involves getting out in the real world.

Looking ahead, the travel sector can build on emotive and sensorial associations with new destinations, pushing the idea that physical experiences can offer a break from constant connectivity.

Strategic opportunity

Consumers are seeking tourism experiences that excite their senses. Travel companies should consider teaming up with local restaurants or entertainment spaces to elevate these ideas when promoting new destinations

This exhibition materialises the home of 2050

Tomorrow's Home by The Liminal Space at Museum of the Home, UK Tomorrow's Home by The Liminal Space at Museum of the Home, UK
Tomorrow's Home by The Liminal Space at Museum of the Home, UK Tomorrow's Home by The Liminal Space at Museum of the Home, UK

London – Pondering how our domestic settings could look and function in 30 years, a new exhibition at the Museum of the Home points towards health-orientated homes driven by data. The Tomorrow’s Home exhibition breathes life into speculative technologies by inviting visitors to step into the imagined home of 2050, informed by research from UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering.

Curated by public engagement consultancy The Liminal Space, the exhibition unites immersive technology, data and storytelling to situate visitors in abodes that are intuitive and responsive. Among potential innovations are a health-monitoring toilet and microbe-growing wallpaper that can help to elevate or gauge residents' moods. The exhibition draws on themes of future technology, ageing, healthcare, climate change and community, encouraging visitors to examine their own levels of comfort with technology, data and privacy.

Tomorrow’s Home animates trends explored in our Home and Family series, while demonstrating how embedded technology seen in our Neo-kinship macrotrend could play a key role in our interpersonal relationships and wellbeing at home.

Strategic opportunity

Go beyond designing for nuclear families to consider the needs of intergenerational and diverse groups that will live together in future. Ensure products appeal to a broader cross-section of people, alongside in-built longevity and sustainability

Louis Vuitton is rewilding a London neighbourhood

London – In a bid to restore biodiversity and bolster natural areas in London’s Chelsea, the luxury brand is creating a small forest close to its Sloane Street store. Some 630 native trees and 77 shrubs species will be planted in the 240-square-metre forest using the Japanese planting methodology of Miyawaki – a technique that will allow the greenery to be self-sustaining within three years.

Created in collaboration with urban rewilding organisation SUGi, the brand hopes its project will provide inspiration for similar initiatives across the city. It also aligns with Louis Vuitton’s wider sustainability goals, and shows how a brand can support environmental action beyond the parameters of its branded spaces and products. Hugh Seaborn, CEO of property investor and developer Cadogan, says: This forest is certainly a complementary contrast to the 15 acres of more manicured gardens across the estate and our plans to make Sloane Street a dramatically greener boulevard from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square.

Here, Louis Vuitton sets an example to brands in how to positively take up space in urban areas beyond conventional storefronts. By investing in outdoor environments, brands can foster a sense of play, exploration and community.

Heritage Forest by Louis Vuitton, Cadogan and SUGi, UK

Strategic opportunity

Retailers must think beyond shopping destinations and find ways to expand their presence in urban areas. This could take the form of natural areas or offer space for activities and socialising

Stat: Cinemas face uncertainty amid rise of streaming

Beta Cinema by Module K, Ho Chi Minh City Beta Cinema by Module K, Ho Chi Minh City

While the pandemic continues to affect consumer behaviour worldwide, the film industry has not been spared from disruption. According to new research by Engine, about half of US adults say that they prefer to stream films at home rather than visit the cinema, forcing picture houses to consider new ways to attract audiences.

Although many global cinemas have opened again, viewers have been reluctant to return, citing comfort and affordability as two major reasons why they prefer to stream film releases at home. According to Engine, 71% of US Millennials and 72% of US Generation Z said they would consider paying to stream a film at home rather than going to the cinema. By contrast, only 14% of Baby Boomers have purchased a new movie release to watch at home.

With only 35% of those surveyed saying that they miss the big screen, it is clear that cinemas will have to do more to attract viewers. As people continue to opt for ease and convenience when it comes to entertainment, film venues will have to think of novel ways to win back custom from the Homebody Economy.

Strategic opportunity

With growing demand for immersive retail experiences, cinemas can take inspiration from innovative interstitial designs or activations emerging in stores and restaurants to attract more customers

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