News
14 : 02 : 22

Actress Issa Rae uses Airbnb to uplift small businesses, OpenWeb’s rebranding celebrates the analogue era, and the future potential of the metaverse.

Airbnb’s traveltainment plan uplifts Black businesses

Issa Rae on Airbnb, US Issa Rae on Airbnb, US
Issa Rae on Airbnb, US Issa Rae on Airbnb, US
Issa Rae on Airbnb, US Issa Rae on Airbnb, US
Issa Rae on Airbnb, US Issa Rae on Airbnb, US

Los Angeles – For just £41 ($56, €49) a night, two lucky fans will be able to stay in actress Issa Rae’s California home for the weekend. Partnering with home rental platform Airbnb, the actress is treating her guests to a curated itinerary that has been designed to uplift Black businesses and communities in the area.

With South Los Angeles playing an integral role in Issa Rae’s Emmy-nominated television programme, Insecure, fans will be able to experience the local neighbourhood, which features as a backdrop to the show. Organised to coincide with the Super Bowl weekend, guests will also be given a guide that includes Rae’s favourite bookshop, clothing store, cafés and more. Inside the home, artworks by local Black artists are also on display.

As part of the initiative, £368,268 ($500,000, €438,723) will be donated to South Los Angeles-based charities that serve under-represented communities in the area. Boosting local businesses and empowering Black travellers, this temporary campaign shows how Traveltainment can align itself with Black History Travel.

Strategic opportunity

Hospitality companies should use tv-inspired travel to boost local businesses. Consider commissioning personalised guidebooks from a range of different contributors

OpenWeb’s rebranding channels the 19th century

OpenWeb visual identity by Collins, UK OpenWeb visual identity by Collins, UK
OpenWeb visual identity by Collins, UK OpenWeb visual identity by Collins, UK

New York – Distancing itself from the aesthetics and ethos of other technology companies, OpenWeb has unveiled a rebranding that hearkens back to the analogue era.

Focusing on ways to improve online conversation and build healthier discourse between netizens, OpenWeb provides publishers such as Hearst, Yahoo! and News Corp with integrated comments sections and chat forums. Its new look eschews modern web aesthetics for a brand identity that references nineteenth-century typography and newspaper headlines.

Designed by strategy and communications company Collins, the result is a more tactile alternative to the cold, sleek identities that dominate much of the technology industry. ‘From the beginning of the project, we believed OpenWeb was not a ‘tech’ company – it’s a conversation company. So not feeling or looking like an interchangeable, shiny tech company is exactly where we needed to be,’ explains Megan Bowker, design director at Collins.

Separating itself from the social media platforms and tech companies that capitalise on the culture wars to maximise engagement, the rebranding helps align OpenWeb with the principles of Veritas Media.

Strategic opportunity

Tired of the same sleek aesthetics, consumers are embracing nostalgic design that evokes a time when conversations and debate were slower and more considered

Canada legalises psilocybin and MDMA for medical use

Canada – Previously outlawed recreational drugs are making their way into medical institutions. Canada has passed ground-breaking new legislation that will legalise the medical use of psilocybin and MDMA outside of palliative care.

With mounting evidence linking mental health benefits with psychedelic substances, medical institutions are incorporating previously prohibited substances into clinical trials. The legislation in Canada will allow patients suffering from life-threatening mental illnesses to be treated with MDMA and psilocybin. The drugs will be available to patients who have not benefitted from more traditional therapeutic procedures as part of the Special Access Programme, administered by professionals in controlled, supervised settings.

Previously only available in palliative care situations, the pharmaceutical approval of MDMA and psilocybin for other mental health treatment represents a breakthrough in the Psychedelic Wellness Market. ‘There has been emerging scientific evidence supporting potential therapeutic uses for some restricted drugs, most notably psychedelic restricted drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin,’ states the Canadian government’s official communication.

Image by Skyler Ewing Image by Skyler Ewing

Strategic opportunity

This legislation builds on growing public interest in understanding the subtle chemistry of their moods and wellbeing. From food to beauty, companies have a chance to experiment with mood-enhancing ingredients

By 2026, visits to the metaverse could be daily

Kaleidoscopic Home by Tin & Ed for SPACE10’s Everyday Experiements, Denmark Kaleidoscopic Home by Tin & Ed for SPACE10’s Everyday Experiements, Denmark

Just like other digital platforms and innovations before it, new research predicts that the metaverse will soon integrate itself into people’s daily lives and routines. According to a study conducted by Gartner, 25% of people will spend at least one hour in the metaverse daily by 2026.

The metaverse – which can be defined as a collective digital space where people socialise, work and play – is anticipated to become an integral part of business models. With growing consumer curiosity, companies are finding inventive ways to enter this nascent realm and to translate their businesses in the virtual world.

‘From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences,’ explains Marty Resnick, vice-president of research at Gartner.

Although metaverse literacy and adoption are on the rise, the report cautions against companies investing too heavily too quickly as the market is changing fast. To learn how to competitively position your company in the metaverse, readers can consult our new Meta-tainment Report.

Strategic opportunity

Consulting or surveying your audiences can help you to understand the types of features and activities they might like to encounter online – and other ways to surprise or engage them using digital tools

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