News 11.12.2023

Need to Know

Your daily digest of innovation across the consumer industries, highlighting the latest and best executed products and services.

This satirical Game of the Goose is not designed for family fun

Wakker Dier, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – The traditional Game of the Goose has been given a macabre makeover, denouncing cruelty involved in the production of fatty duck liver pâté, aka foie gras. This board game was re-imagined by Dutch animal rights group Wakker Dier and Antwerp-based creative agency Mutant.

At first glance, The Goose Liver Game looks like any family-friendly board game, but a closer look reveals that illustrations depict atrocities endured by geese destined to be used to make foie gras. As they advance in the game, players follow an unsettling and graphic journey, involving force feeding and bird flu outbreaks. The campaign video features children playing the game, adding weight to the stark message.

The provocative board game is meant to raise awareness of the unethical process needed to produce the delicacy. Wakker Dier aims to send the game to animal rights influencers, but also to restaurants who serve foie gras. While we have been tracking the rise of Subversive Sustainability Ads, The Goose Liver Game suggests that satire is making its way to new areas of activism.

Strategic opportunity

Cut-throat humour can be a way to amplify campaigns without falling into tropes of commiseration and tear-jerking, especially as audiences grow tired of, and desensitised to, issues like animal welfare or biodiversity

Haeckels campaign champions eco-friendly festivities

Haeckels, UK Haeckels, UK
Haeckels, UK Haeckels, UK

UK – Haeckels, a Margate-based natural beauty brand, has launched its Christmas campaign, Don’t Give Rubbish, which calls for responsible gift-giving with minimal waste. The initiative, which aligns with the brand’s holistic approach, challenges the traditional consumerism of the festive season, encouraging thoughtful, eco-friendly choices.

Since 2012, Haeckels has actively contributed to the Margate community, including beach clean-ups, which inspired this campaign. Its Christmas tree installation, made from discarded shopping trolleys, visually underlines the campaign’s message. The gift sets, comprising popular products like Marine Facial Cleanser and Algae Plump Serum, are wrapped in recycled paper featuring designs from local beach waste. Haeckels is committed to donating 10% of gift kit sales to Margate Independent Food Bank, reinforcing its dedication to environmental preservation and community support, as revealed in our Haeckels Brand Innovation Debrief.

Strategic opportunity

Haeckels’ commitment to its founding ethos shines through in every strategy it implements. Brands should follow suit and adopt ambitious sustainability and a post-purpose attitude if they wish to attract a loyal consumer base

Hinge launches One More Hour to warn of Gen Z loneliness

Hinge Hinge

US – Dating app Hinge is taking a bold step with its new social impact initiative One More Hour, aimed at combatting the growing issue of loneliness among Gen Z. The programme kicks off with a substantial £796,700 ($1m, €927,895) fund dedicated to addressing the loneliness epidemic by providing grants to social groups and organisations fostering in-person connections.

Gen Z today experience 1,000 fewer hours of in-person connection annually compared to two decades ago, according to the University of Rochester, largely due to a lack of accessible third spaces. From January 2024, One More Hour will offer individual grants up to £19,920 ($25,000, €23,200) to select social groups in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York. These groups will provide Gen Z with affordable and recurring in-person opportunities to connect with others.

Hinge is collaborating with DoSomething Strategic and the Foundation for Social Connection to set impact benchmarks and identify worthy organisations. The initiative will involve a group of Gen Z judges in selecting the final awardees. Josh Penny, Hinge's director of social impact, said the company ‘simply want to make these important resources more accessible’. Hinge will also track connections made through funded programmes and conduct surveys to measure participants’ wellbeing.

As explored in our Mass Movement microtrend report, in-person gatherings are increasing at an unprecedented scale, serving a visceral need for vitality and human connection among young adults.

Strategic opportunity

Brands can connect with the rise of in-person gatherings through a variety of touchpoints. Consider where your consumer communities are. How can you help some of these social spaces make the transition from online to in-person? How can you support consumers in finding the connection they are craving?

Stat: Alcohol industry’s health claims targeted at younger Australians

Aura Bora and Graza, UK Aura Bora and Graza, UK

Australia – A study led by the George Institute for Global Health reveals that the alcohol industry is increasingly using health claims like ‘low calorie’, ‘low sugar’ and ‘gluten-free’ to appeal to health-conscious young Australians. Analysing 491 pre-mixed alcoholic drinks from major retailers in Sydney, researchers found that 52% featured such claims, with hard seltzers, popular among younger consumers, averaging 3.4 nutrition-related claims. They also found the most common claims related to naturalness (32%), calories (32%), sugar content (31%), gluten (23%), carbs (20%) and a product being vegan (13%).

Despite alcohol’s inherent health risks, these claims suggest a healthier profile. This marketing strategy comes as alcohol consumption declines among health-conscious youth, forcing drink producers to find new flavour profiles to become more appealing as revealed in No-Lo Taste Lifts. The study, which has raised concerns about misleading consumers, has prompted a review of sugar claims on alcohol labels by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Strategic opportunity

Young consumers are highly discerning about the food and drink they consume. The key to long-term success in this consumer demographic is to be radically transparent in your communications about ingredients, processes and other value-driven claims

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