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Netflix and General Motors to showcase EVs, Highsnobiety launches a dedicated beauty vertical and CEOs have a bleak outlook on the future of their businesses.

Netflix partners with General Motors to give EVs more screen time

EVs On Screen by Netflix and General Motors, US

US – Netflix is ramping up its commitment to sustainability by joining General Motors’ Everybody In initiative and pledging to increase the presence of electric vehicles (EVs) in its tv shows and films. The car company launched its campaign in 2021 in order to pioneer an all-electric future for the automotive industry – inviting brands and businesses across all industries to join its movement.

As part of its pledge, Netflix will instruct its creators to incorporate EVs into their stories, with General Motors’ EVs already set to appear in leading productions like Love is Blind, Queer Eye, and Ustable over the next year.

The brands kicked off their partnership with an advert starring Will Ferrell broadcast during the Super Bowl final. It featured the actor comically entering the world of popular Netflix shows in GM EVs, including Squid Game to show viewers where the initiative would make sense, and Bridgerton to reassure Netflix watchers that they won’t be including the cars where they don’t naturally fit.

In Neo-collectivists, we’ve observed that community and cooperation are increasingly important resources for consumers in building engaged and ecologically healthy futures. This partnership by industry leaders illustrates the sharing, caring and collaborating they seek to be motivated by.

Strategic opportunity

Burnt out on woe, consumers need engaging and energising when it comes to tackling sustainable issues. From comedic campaigns to unexpected collaborations, they’re looking to brands to inspire and lead with optimism when thinking about the future.

MSCHF’s viral big red boots take phygital fashion a step further

MSCHF. Photography by Garrett Bruce, US MSCHF. Photography by Garrett Bruce, US

US – MSCHF, the Brooklyn-based art collective known for its short-lived viral drops, is bringing cartoonish fashion into reality with the launch of its first pair of boots.

Based on the vibrant red shoes worn by Manga character Astro Boy, the label’s over-the-top and extra smooth design is made from a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shell and is set to retail for £288 ($350, €326).

The shoes may be available from 16 February, but the’ve already divided opinion and won internet virality, from an extensive social media roll-out to a campaign starring NBA player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and footage showing the struggle of taking the boots on and off.

Making human-size versions of cartoonish shoes is not new, but MSCHF is taking it further, making boots that ‘free us from the constraints of reality’, according to its press release.

In In-Game Fashion, we highlighted how the synergy between fashion and gaming is growing as designers and brands produce garments for wearing in-game and in real life. In just a few days, MSCHF has raised interest in items bringing digital fashion (and cartoon nostalgia) into reality – catering for a Gen Z who experience life across both realms.

Strategic opportunity

As Gen Z live out their phygital realities, brands should find inspiration in the aesthetics of the virtual world – creating tangible items that move seamlessly across both realms.

Highsnobiety launches beauty vertical

Germany – Highsnobiety, the cult youth-focused fashion and lifestyle publication, has launched a dedicated beauty vertical, substantiating the sector’s growing cultural cachet.

Highsnobiety Beauty is the Berlin-based magazine’s latest addition, joining its established style, culture and sneakers sections. Beauty editor Alexandra Pauly will lead the vertical, examining emerging beauty trends, supporting and spotlighting small brands and creators, and exploring the deeper meaning of beauty for younger generations – from identity to intersectionality and how technology is shaping self-perception.

‘As we look at how social media is changing, and the way people express themselves and dive into this concept of personal style, it feels like if we’re going to champion young people, beauty is a no-brainer,’ explains Willa Bennett, Highsnobiety’s editor-in-chief.

Highsnobiety Beauty’s first features include a manifesto for crying as a self-care routine, as well as the weird-ification of beauty trends. Pioneering Anti-aspirational Beauty, this content illustrates how Gen Z’s beauty narratives and standards are influencing the wider industry.

Highsnobiety Beauty launch. Photography by Poupay Jutharat, US

Strategic opportunity

From Woo’s feel-good approach to wellness to Highsnobiety’s new-wave beauty coverage, the media landscape is catching up with youth culture. When targeting a Gen Z audience, make sure your message and lexicon are relatable, even if this means breaking traditional communication codes

Stat: CEOs have a bleak outlook on the future of their businesses

 Zünc Studio for The Future Laboratory, UK Zünc Studio for The Future Laboratory, UK

Global ­– Business leaders worry about the prospects and economic viability of their businesses, a new study finds, highlighting the need for bolder leadership to overcome the upcoming challenges.

In the 2023 CEO study, PwC surveyed CEOs across 105 countries, revealing a climate of concern and reservations about their businesses’ futures. Almost four in 10 (39%) believe that if they continue on their current path, their company won’t be economically viable in 10 years.

Exploring the reasons for C-suite cynicism, the research revealed that more than half of CEOs cite shifts in consumer demand (56%), regulatory changes (53%) and labour shortages (52%) as the main challenges to their profitability and growth. Nearly half of CEOs also expressed worries about how AI is negatively affecting profits (49%) and about supply chain disruptions (43%).

In a turbulent economic, political and social landscape, some degree of uncertainty about future growth is only rational. But as the report suggests, in order to avoid the stagnation that characterises The Paralysis Paradox, tomorrow’s leadership must make bolder choices about the future.

Strategic opportunity

In times of global dissonance, both workforce and consumers expect the C-suite to show confidence and embrace disruption, whether through rapid tech adoption or involvement in promoting positive social change

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