News 11.09.2023

Need to Know

A new kind of kids’ playground in Los Angeles, Bang & Olufsen joins forces with Ferrari and why adults over 60 are nearly invisible in ads.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and NBBJ revamp LA playground

Nickerson Gardens Playground. Redesign by ESI Design, NBBJ and Michael Peter Balzary, US
Nickerson Gardens Playground. Redesign by ESI Design, NBBJ and Michael Peter Balzary, US
Nickerson Gardens Playground. Redesign by ESI Design, NBBJ and Michael Peter Balzary, US

US ­– American architecture firm NBBJ, in collaboration with musician Flea, has transformed the Nickerson Gardens Playground in Los Angeles. The Watts neighbourhood playground is situated in the largest social housing project west of Mississippi and spans 17,656 square feet (1,640 square metres).

Thanks to NBBJ’s designs, it now boasts new features like slides, swings and a carousel for the community’s children, all provided by Kompan, a playground equipment company. To ensure durability, the playground’s activity areas feature play-specific surfaces made from recycled materials in fade-resistant shades of orange and yellow.

Given southern California’s high summer temperatures, misting poles and shade structures have also been added. The renovation also includes an adult exercise facility. Flea’s funding of the project and collaboration with community members, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and designers to enhance the public housing complex’s outdoor space aligns with the case studies we explored in our analysis of the emerging Urban Wellness Market.

Strategic opportunity

As outdoor spaces are crucial for both physical and mental wellbeing, can your business explore opportunities related to improving urban living conditions and community wellbeing? Engaging in community-driven projects could enhance your company’s reputation and brand image

Bang & Olufsen partners with Ferrari on headphones and speakers

Bang & Olufsen Ferrari Collection, Denmark Bang & Olufsen Ferrari Collection, Denmark
Bang & Olufsen Ferrari Collection, Denmark
Bang & Olufsen Ferrari Collection, Denmark

UK – High-end consumer tech brand Bang & Olufsen has teamed up with luxury car-maker Ferrari on a collection of audio products, re-imagined in Ferrari’s iconic Rosso Corsa red.

The two brands collaborated on a customised Beosound 2 home speaker (the ‘supercar of speakers’), Beoplay H95 headphones, Beoplay EX earphones and a Beosound Explore portable speaker. Featuring geometric designs, anodised black and laser-etched logos and the unmistakable Ferrari red, prices range from £219 ($274, €255) to £4,449 ($5,570, €5,195). Much like a sports car itself, the products are designed to be both seen and heard.

‘This project is where two great design institutions meet,’ says Bang & Olufsen’s senior vice-president of business development and brand partnering, Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, while suggesting the partnership between the two brands is only just getting started.

Our Automotive Accommodation report explores how automotive companies have been applying their craftsmanship to the lifestyle industry in the face of declining car sales, part of a wider shift as the luxury industry recrafts itself to appeal to changing consumer values and priorities amid the economic recession.

Strategic opportunity

Premium car companies have a chance to apply their cutting-edge craftsmanship to new categories such as interiors, home appliances, fabrics and furniture

Fashion Institute of Technology introduces plus-size design courses

US ­– Designing clothes for plus-size bodies can be a challenging task, requiring specific tailoring and pattern-making skills – and education. With the launch of two dedicated courses in autumn 2023, the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) aims to train the plus-size fashion creatives of tomorrow.

The New York-based college is introducing two courses developed by Mallorie Dunn, a plus-size fashion design expert and founder of the clothing brand SmartGlamour. One focuses on small business production while the second centres on inclusive pattern-making. By making its curriculum more inclusive, the FIT hopes to give future fashion industry leaders the tools necessary to push the industry forward in catering for every body. ‘My inclusive class will cover real-life statistics and sizes. Students will also be able to fit their trial pattern and final garment on a plus-size fit model in line with the average plus-size consumer,’ Dunn told Teen Vogue.

While fashion has been making strides in inclusivity, the sector is still riddled with fatphobia. Education is key to bridging the gap between current unrealistic standards and the real needs of a US market where the average consumer is plus size.

Universal Standard, US

Strategic opportunity

Recognising the market potential of plus-size consumers is crucial, but so is adopting a consumer-centric approach to design. Just like Dunn in her classes, brands should prioritise using a diversity of plus-size models before conducting market research to understand the fluid preferences and requirements of this demographic

Stat: Adults over 60 are nearly invisible in ads despite strong spending power

PANGAIA Family, US PANGAIA Family, US

Global – CreativeX, a creative ad tech firm, has revealed that only 4% of individuals featured in advertisements globally in 2022 were over the age of 60. Released in August 2023, the study used CreativeX’s technology to analyse over 126,000 ads with more than 25,000 individuals. The findings exposed a significant oversight by brands in targeting older consumers. Despite representing about 25% of global spending power, this demographic receives only 3% of digital media budgets.

When older adults appeared in ads, 65% were placed in family and domestic settings. Astonishingly, fewer than 1% were featured in professional or leadership roles, despite the average retirement age being 66 and rising in the UK. ‘Today’s ads continue to paint a picture of our society that’s not representative, or inclusive, of what we see in the real world,’ said Anastasia Leng, founder and CEO of CreativeX.

CreativeX’s previous research, released in March 2023, found that female representation in ads diminishes further in the over-60s age group. Women aged 60+ accounted for fewer than 2% of all ad characters.

Our analysis of She Is Mother and Youth Culture Entering Its Flat Age Future suggests that the media and entertainment industry’s ageist views are shifting. Women over 60, such as actress Jennifer Coolidge and TikToker Grandma Droniak, are rallying audiences of all ages.

Strategic opportunity

As their audience is multi-generational and looking for a comforting maternal figure, influential women over 60 should be a priority for all advertisers looking to reach a broad public segment stretching from Gen Z to Baby Boomers

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