News 27.10.2023

Need to Know

Kahlúa has ambitions to become a staple in consumers' liquor cabinets, Emily Rhodes' Foresight Friday and why brands shouldn't feel threatened by dupe culture.

Kahlúa coffee liqueur goes back to its Mexican roots in new campaign

Gasp starring Salma Hayek for Kahlúa, Mexico

Mexico – Actress and producer Salma Hayek is taking the leading role in a series of tongue-in-cheek novela-inspired adverts for the world's top coffee liqueur Kahlúa. The Stir Up campaign encourages people to add a touch of glamour from the comfort of their own homes, spicing up their coffee break with the versatile liqueur.

Directed by Mexican filmmaker Rodrigo Valdes, the campaign leans into the melodramatic world of daytime soap operas with a bold and delicious take. The move signals Kahlúa’s ambition to present itself as a vibrant and playful treat for everyday life, rather than just special occasions.

With her cheeky sense of humour, the Mexican actress delivers deadpan, mischievous punchlines and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. The coffee-based cocktail craze is booming as bars across the globe continue to hear the familiar call for espresso martinis. However, faced with a higher cost of living, many are choosing to indulge in a night-in and homemade cocktails.

As explored in Five Brands Rejuvenating Whisky, all kinds of spirits makers are challenging the sector’s heritage with unconventional branding and marketing to reach younger drinkers.

Strategic opportunity

As explored in Home States Futures: Residential Retail, recognise the trend of people choosing to stay in rather than go out. Develop products or services that cater to this market, such as cocktail kits for at-home mixology

Lab unveils reusable LED light therapy patch to treat acne

Light Therapy Patch by Lab., US Light Therapy Patch by Lab., US
Light Therapy Patch by Lab, US Light Therapy Patch by Lab, US

US – Lab (Light Activated Beauty) is an FDA-cleared skincare brand with pioneering patent-pending technology, poised to revolutionise skincare with its latest innovation, the LED Light Therapy Patch. Unveiled in October 2023, this compact, acorn-sized device promises precise and swift treatment of acne and dark spots.

The reusable patch is a breakthrough product that adheres to the skin via hydrogrips and provides focused LED light therapy. It delivers treatments before automatically turning off after a three-minute session. Each patch retails for £20 ($24, €23) and comprises a beam crafted from 80% recyclable materials. After 30 treatments, the beam can be replaced. Initially launched with an acne-treating beam, the brand announced that a dark spot version will debut in 2024. Lab's product line is being introduced directly to consumers and via TikTok Shop, Instagram Shop and Amazon.

As explored in Augmenting Beauty with Gen Z, beauty industry players are already capitalising on this generation’s transparency when it comes to showing off and sharing their acne treatments and plastic surgery journeys online.

Strategic opportunity

Find inspiration in Lab’s DTC approach. Brand with a strong social media presence and adapt distribution channels, prioritising on-platform transactions through the likes of TikTok Shop and Instagram Shop to meet consumers on their turf

Foresight Friday: Emily Rhodes, creative foresight analyst

Loewe SS24 campaign. Photography by Juergen Teller, Spain Loewe SS24 campaign. Photography by Juergen Teller, Spain

Every Friday, The Future Laboratory team offers an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, Emily Rhodes, creative foresight analyst, unpacks celebrity brand launches, flat age youth culture and the indie sleaze resurgence she wasn’t ready for.

: While in wait mode for the launch of Phoebe Philo’s namesake brand, we were teased with a new launch from Kylie Jenner. Branded KHY and designed in collaboration with New York label Namilia, the fashion line promises ‘creativity, collaboration and quality at an accessible price’. The internet reacted promptly, with Style Not Com expressing what most of us were thinking, ‘KHY but why?’ Having previously explored the rise of the entre-celebrity on LS:N Global, it seems not all Kardashian-Jenner ventures are destined for success, but we’ll have to watch this space.

: I had to give a mention to Loewe’s SS24 campaign launched earlier this week featuring 88-year-old actress Maggie Smith. The praise that followed is a great example of how pop culture is embracing a flat age future, something The Future Laboratory has been tracking since 2014, and more recently in relation to fashion and luxury.

: Sadly, when I look back at my 13-year-old self, my wardrobe seemed to mostly consist of t-shirts bearing moustache motifs, jeggings and fake glasses. I was living in what has now been labelled as the indie sleaze era. Instagram accounts dedicated to the 2006–2012 period have been gaining popularity since last year, and although I can get behind the musical nostalgia, I wasn’t quite prepared for the return of faux eyewear. To Gen Z who may not have lived through this time, perhaps the vision of short shorts with tights underneath seems appealing, but as a veteran, count me out.

Quote of the Week

KHY but why?

Beka Gvishiani, founder, Style Not Com

Stat: The dupe economy is thriving in the US

Blumarine by Marc Jacobs, Global Blumarine by Marc Jacobs, Global

US – Dupes – a glamourised term for counterfeits – have overtaken social media, but are consumers buying in this trend? Morning Consult has polled more than 2,000 US adults about their take on the topic, revealing that 31% of Americans have intentionally purchased a dupe of a premium product at some point, with this figure jumping to 49% among Gen Z adults and 44% for Millennials.

TikTok is the hotbed of dupe culture, offering a platform for creators to share their finds, promote them and forward sponsored links. The study suggests that this is key to the success of dupes – people are attracted by the smaller price tags of dupes, but mostly by their virality. Roughly half of Gen Z adults and Millennials report that a product going viral is important to them when considering a purchase.

Most interestingly, consumers don’t think duping damages brand reputation. Some brands have created savvy marketing campaigns off the back of dupes, such as Olaplex’s Oladupé activation or Lululemon’s dupe swap.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses can take their audience's advice. Instead of feeling concerned or threatened by dupes, use them as a tool to create brand engagement through creative activations on social media

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