News 22.05.2023

Need to Know

Dove highlights the over-sexualisation of women in gaming, Aizome turns waste water into skincare and why Gen Z crave phone breaks more than Boomers.

Dove campaign highlights over-sexualisation of women in gaming

Real Virtual Beauty by Dove and Epic Games

US – After a first instalment in autumn 2022, Dove, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine education team and Women in Games have unveiled the sequel to their Real Virtual Beauty video campaign.

Viewers will recognise an avatar inspired by Argentinian gamer Cinthia, chosen by Dove as one of the inspirations for its diverse range of inclusive gaming avatars. The new clip shows her character represented as a fierce fighter wearing tight armour, enhancing her breasts. As she looks at her reflection after taking it off, she realises her curvaceous body does not need to be trapped inside a digital corset.

The campaign, which aims to ‘make virtual beauty real’, is in response to worrying figures from a 2022 Dove study claiming 74% of girls feel under-represented in video games. On top of a series of videos and activations, the Real Virtual Beauty initiative built a curriculum to train game developers to avoid unconscious bias across the stages of avatar and character development.

In Affirmative Avatars, we previously looked at how, as 92% of people agree that ‘customisation is important when creating virtual avatars’, the market for creative and authentic ways to design and dress up online avatars is booming.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses strengthening their presence in the virtual world should consider how to make their skins – a purchasable item changing the appearance of a character in gaming – more inclusive with larger sizing, various ethnicities or gender-fluid options

Aizome introduces skincare range made from dye waste water

Aizome Aizome
Aizome Aizome

Japan – Japanese-German start-up Aizome has teamed up with creative agency Serviceplan Innovation and New York-based design studio Workbyworks to create Wastecare, the world’s first skincare range made from waste water collected at its textile dyeing factory. Aizome claims that since it uses only plants, water and ultrasound in the dyeing process – instead of synthetic chemicals – its waste water offers natural health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relief and skin rejuvenation qualities.

According to the UN, chemical use in the dyeing process is the second biggest cause of water pollution. Aizome hopes to show that if its waste water is clean enough to be certified for skincare use, the processes and materials used in its factories are truly natural. A single, limited-edition Wastecare product will be available for purchase in its upcoming Aizome Indiegogo drop, which will be followed by pop-up stores, trade fairs and conferences.

In Clean Water Market, we previously analysed how a new generation of innovators are stepping in to reshape consumers’ beauty and wellness routines radically by channelling growing concerns over clean water supply and toxicity.

Strategic opportunity

As a rising number of sceptical consumers call out greenwashing practices, evidence-based products such as Wastecare offer a new kind of green credibility and authenticity while building a loyal community of eco-conscious consumers

The first baby with three biological parents born in the UK

EctoLife is a conceptual artificial womb facility created by biotechnologist and film producer Hashem Al-Ghaili, Germany EctoLife is a conceptual artificial womb facility created by biotechnologist and film producer Hashem Al-Ghaili, Germany

UK – Thanks to a cutting-edge IVF (in vitro fertilisation) procedure, a baby conceived with DNA from three people has been born in the UK.

The ground-breaking IVF technique, mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), has been developed to allow women carrying incurable and fatal disorders at a cellular level to have children without passing on genetic mutations.

The MDT is based on the finding that adding a third parent’s DNA can avoid mitochondrial mutations. In practice, this means tissue is taken from a healthy woman donor’s eggs and used to create IVF embryos.

On a genetic level, although three different sets of DNA can be found in the baby, some 99.8% belong to the mother and father.

While the success of the process is yet to be determined, the achievement is an important milestone for the future of artificial reproduction.

Strategic opportunity

As society moves beyond the nuclear family unit, businesses and workplaces must ensure they are catering for new – albeit often unfamiliar – family dynamics and models, from external communications to internal policies and services

Stat: Gen Z crave phone breaks more than Boomers

Sophie Pagès, Paris. Photography by Diaba Touré Sophie Pagès, Paris. Photography by Diaba Touré

Global – According to a new study by website-building company Squarespace, digital natives Gen Z are more willing to take a break from their devices than Baby Boomers.

On its 20th anniversary, Squarespace surveyed 4,000 adults in four countries (US, Canada, UK and Australia) on their digital behaviour. It found 50% of Gen Z would like to take a break from their phones – the most of any generation. By contrast, only 20% of Baby Boomers want to do the same.

Overall, 62% of people agree that the flexibility of having a smartphone outweighs the downside of always being accessible. In addition, 53% of respondents value a digital presence as a way of staying connected or sharing their life with friends and family.

As we’ve recently observed in our Youth culture is entering its flat age future opinion piece, technology, once considered primarily a tool for young people, is now increasingly embraced by older consumers.

Strategic opportunity

Online spaces often prioritise the needs of young consumers. But as our future becomes increasingly post-demographic, businesses will stay ahead by creating platforms that encourage intergenerational connection

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