Need to Know
23 : 11 : 21

Mercedes-Benz and Proenza Schouler hit the road, a Glaswegian nightclub takes climate action and East Asians drive the self-gifting market.

Proenza Schouler rethinks the great American road trip

The Power of Two Capsule Collection by Mercedes-Benz and Proenza Schouler, Germany and US
The Power of Two Capsule Collection by Mercedes-Benz and Proenza Schouler, Germany and US
The Power of Two Capsule Collection by Mercedes-Benz and Proenza Schouler, Germany and US

US – With its latest collaboration, Proenza Schouler is exploring the possibilities of automotive apparel. Inspired by the great American road trip, the luxury fashion house has introduced a line of clothing and accessories in partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

Taking the open road as its starting point, the collection includes leather necklaces for car keys, travel holdalls for long journeys, and cashmere blankets suited for glamping or gazing at the stars. Paying tribute to the natural splendours encountered on road trips, the campaign features actress Laura Dern and her son Ellery Harper exploring the outdoors. In a further nod to the natural world, every item in the collection has been made with recycled materials such as eco-cashmere and recycled leather.

By centring the campaign on an intergenerational family relationship, Proenza Schouler and Mercedes-Benz are aiming to reach both younger audiences and seasoned drivers alike. With the fashion brand entering a new market, the heritage car company is using nature to refresh its image and attract younger consumers, a trend that we have already monitored in the motorcycle sector.

Strategic opportunity

With the rise of hobby-led travel, car companies that are looking to reach younger consumers should consider campaigns that focus on lifestyle rather than aspiration

Heinz simulates Martian conditions to grow tomatoes

Heinz Marz Edition, US Heinz Marz Edition, US
Heinz Marz Edition, US Heinz Marz Edition, US

US – The FMCG brand is establishing methods of successfully growing tomatoes in Martian conditions. Its Marz Edition ketchup comes as a result of a two-year scientific project, Project Red, in which scientists experimented with artificial LED lighting and regolith soil to harvest food in extreme conditions. The brand also hopes its breakthrough research will inform growing strategies in Earth’s increasingly harsh climates.

Together with the Florida Institute of Technology’s Aldrin Space Institute, Heinz broke further boundaries by launching its Martian Ketchup into space – exposing it to -70°C temperatures. Importantly, this project provides hope for a future when food suppliers will increasingly have to grow products in challenging environments, such as deserts. Before now, most efforts around discovering ways to grow in Martian simulated conditions are short term plant growth studies,’ comments Dr Andrew Palmer, a scientist at the Aldrin Space Institute. What this project has done is look at long-term harvesting of food.

In future, many of our core ingredients will no longer survive in many parts of Earth due to our rapidly changing climates. Brands must innovate and experiment with resilient food strategies to prepare for this future.

Strategic opportunity

Food and drink brands must invest in scientific innovation to future-proof ingredients. Consider tactics such as bio-engineering or space-based research to find alternative methods of creating your products

Clubbing for climate justice in Glasgow

Glasgow – Combining clubbing with climate justice, the SWG3 music venue in the Scottish city is partnering with geothermal energy consultancy TownRock Energy to transform the heat from dancers’ bodies into renewable energy.

In a similar way to a refrigerator, the cutting-edge technology redirects heat exerted by revellers into a series of boreholes. Once this heat is captured, it can be used to regulate the club’s temperature and converted into renewable energy – saving up to 70 tonnes of CO2 annually.

‘We would love different clubs in different cities to start to compete to be the most green and see off the back of that how they can get more customers. The clubbing generation right now are very enlightened with regard to climate change, and it will make a big difference for clubs to be able to say they’re net zero,’ explains David Townsend, founder of TownRock Energy.

As the entertainment industry wakes up to the planetary impact of large-scale events, innovators are taking advanced steps to integrate technologies that we have previously seen in the Eco-fitness world into nightclubs and music venues.

Honey Dijon at SWG3’s BODYHEAT launch event, UK

Strategic opportunity

Today’s hedonists are much more climate-conscious than previous generations. Nightclubs, bars and venues should consider integrating environmental offsets and technology into their offering

Stat: Asian shoppers are self-gifting luxury goods

Burberry Shenzhen store by Burberry and Tencent, China Burberry Shenzhen store by Burberry and Tencent, China

A study by Bluebell Group outlines the changing luxury behaviour of Asian consumers, revealing that many buy luxury items as a way to reward themselves. The study takes into account the behaviours of consumers across six markets – mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Between 76% and 94% of consumers – from Southeast Asia and mainland China, respectively – agree that they buy luxury items as a reward for themselves. Meanwhile, the importance placed on brand reputation is strongest in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, suggesting a traditional attitude to luxury as a marker of status. There is also a strong interest in virtual products among Asian consumers, with mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong consumers the most interested (85%, 77% and 73%, respectively) in investing in luxury goods in this new omni-channel frontier.

This rewards-based mindset suggests new opportunities for brands to capitalise on self-gifting and even luxury consumption as a form of self-care. For more industry insights, delve into our comprehensive Five States of Luxury report.

Strategic opportunity

Luxury players can position physical and digital products as items for self-gifting. Reframe your messaging to prioritise personal purchases over reliance on buying gifts for others

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