News 21.11.2023

Need to Know

A new game challenging players to get hit by a self-driving car, Heineken’s genetic taste kits and why nearly half of women condemn women’s style media.

New game challenges players to get hit by a self-driving car

How (not) to get hit by a self-driving car by Tomo Kihara and Playfool, Japan

UK – Artist and game developer Tomo Kihara has teamed up with designer Daniel Coppen to develop a public game that invites participants to interact with a self-driving car.

How (Not) to Get Hit by a Self-driving Car challenges users to avoid being detected as a pedestrian by an object detection algorithm known as the Single Shot Detector (SDD). Players are displayed on a large LED screen and assigned a detection percentage that rises the more AI recognises them.

Showcased at Mshed in Bristol in July 2023, the game aims to foster discussions about surveillance cameras and advanced image recognition systems in self-driving cars, and the potential challenges and dangers they might present.

In our Future of Responsible AI report, we investigated how human oversight must be operationalised to ensure AI is being used safely. Kihara and Coppen’s game both raises awareness about the limitations of AI and generates data to help improve it.

Strategic opportunity

As AI anxiety grows, consider initiating campaigns or experiences that demystify AI technologies, educating the public about their limitations, functionalities and implications for societal safety

Heineken unveils genetic taste kits to decode beer preferences

Heineken, New Zealand Heineken, New Zealand
Heineken, New Zealand Heineken, New Zealand

New Zealand – Heineken introduced a pioneering way for New Zealanders to explore their taste buds through genetic testing in November 2023. Collaborating with geneticist Andrew Shelling, the brand launched the Heineken Choice taste kits. Available in selected Auckland bars, the kits allow beer lovers to uncover their beer preferences – full-bodied or smooth – based on their genetic make-up. The kits employ a PTC test to detect bitterness sensitivity, linking it to beer preferences.

‘We are genetically hard-wired to detect bitterness,’ says geneticist Andrew Shelling. ‘It is written in our DNA, and has evolved to be like that over millions of years for our survival from potentially toxic and poisonous foods. Some of us are born to detect strong bitter flavours more strongly than others. Those who are more sensitive to bitterness are likely to make food and drink choices to avoid the taste. But, as we age, our bitter taste sensitivity also changes.’

The new kits coincide with the launch of Heineken Silver, a new low-carb beer catering for a generation that value easy-drinking and smooth taste. According to the brand, this unique beverage aligns with the soaring popularity of low-carb beers, which has surged by 22% between 2022 and 2023.

In How Beverage is Borrowing From Personal Care, we previously analysed how some alcoholic drink manufacturers, such as spirits specialist Amass, are finding inspiration in health and wellness brands’ strategies.

Strategic opportunity

Following the success of DNA tests and hyper-personalised AI filters, consider using genetic insights for targeted marketing. Communicate how your products cater for specific genetic predispositions to foster a personalised brand experience

L’Oréal and Cosmo International Fragrances use green sciences for scent extraction

3000 for Studio Végété by Studio Siebrecht 3000 for Studio Végété by Studio Siebrecht

France – L’Oréal Groupe unveiled an unprecedented partnership with Cosmo International Fragrances in November 2023 by introducing a green sciences-based extraction method. This exclusive technology, offered solely to L’Oréal, signifies a ground-breaking shift in fragrance creation, employing a waterless, low-energy extraction process.

Developed by Cosmo International Fragrances, the innovative patent-pending process uses only air. The extraction technology harnesses the volatile fragrance molecules of flowers, fruits and other natural ingredients without the heating, cooling or chemical solvents used in conventional scent extraction. Flowers retain their integrity and, at the end of the process, can be recycled and re-used in a second extraction, helping to reduce waste.

This development enables L’Oréal to expand its scent library with 100% natural extracts, fostering authenticity and sustainability. The collaboration will focus on bringing tuberose’s natural floral signature to a future fine fragrance to be released in 2024.

As explored in Is this the Future of Fragrance?, brands are taking their manufacturing processes to the next level by using new technologies, including those used by NASA, to create a new era of genderless, carbon-neutral and synthetic perfumes.

Strategic opportunity

Forge partnerships with specialist firms to access exclusive green technologies, enabling differentiation in product offerings and positioning your business as an industry leader in sustainability

Stat: How female style media is failing women

Reconstructed Visages by Marleen Van Der Knaap, Design Academy Eindhoven, photography by Femke Reijerman, The Netherlands Reconstructed Visages by Marleen Van Der Knaap, Design Academy Eindhoven, photography by Femke Reijerman, The Netherlands

Global – What are women looking for in style media? Lifestyle publication Hurs, founded by Futures 100 Innovators nominee Bonnie Langedijk, has partnered with female-led research agency The Mix to uncover how media can reclaim its cultural relevance and better serve its audience.

The white paper, On Women’s Media, highlights the growing disconnection between the female press and women’s expectations. Publications are weighing women down instead of uplifting them – 66% of readers feel discriminated against in the media at large, and only 21% feel positive about how content addresses women.

The study revealed that 79% of women consume style media for inspiration, but only 26% feel inspired by what they find. Only a third (33%) of readers seek content about female empowerment. Instead, women want style media to create connections and to go beyond aspiration to create community, value and growth.

Read more on how media outlets are racing to re-invent themselves for the next generation in The New News.

Strategic opportunity

Knowing what content makes women tick is valuable knowledge for any business, not just media platforms. Use these findings when communicating to female audiences, swapping the aspirational narrative for inspirational content spotlighting a range of diverse and authentic voices

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