News 06.05.2024

Need to Know

OkCupid and Photoroom want to erase exes, Wow Bao and Flaunt bring loyalty programmes to Roblox, and why are AI consulting services booming?

Photoroom and OkCupid launch AI ex-termination editing tool

Erase Your Ex by OkCupid and Photoroom, Global

Global – AI-powered photo editor Photoroom and dating platform OkCupid have joined forces to launch a new feature called the Ex-Terminator as part of its Erase Your Ex campaign. Users now have the ability to salvage their favourite selfies and portraits by eliminating unwanted exes from the frame via artificial intelligence – catering to individuals keen on reshaping their digital past when seeking future relationships.

According to a survey conducted by OkCupid with over 185,000 respondents, 62% of single women who use the app want to erase an ex from a ‘good photo’. Some 51% of all respondents said they wanted to erase an ex from a photo of themselves, with 43% saying it’s because they don’t want to look at them, 41% saying it helps them get over the breakup, and 16% seeking to use the photo on a dating profile.

Michael Kaye, OkCupid's head of brand, said he anticipates that ‘ex-terminating’ exes from photos will emerge as the summer’s ‘hot new dating trend’, as millions seek to either heal and move on or present themselves in a more favourable light online.

The survey showed younger users such as Gen Z exhibit a higher inclination towards ex-erasure compared to older demographics. For more insights on Gen Z, head to our Gen Z Now and Next: From Vision to Contradiction macrotrend report.

Strategic opportunity

Develop industry-wide ethical guidelines and best practices for using AI in altering images, addressing concerns about privacy, consent and the potential for misuse or manipulation

Battersea Power Station debuts Botanical Atelier embroidery pop-up

Botanical Atelier & Field of Dreams, Battersea Power Station, London, UK Botanical Atelier & Field of Dreams, Battersea Power Station, London, UK
Botanical Atelier & Field of Dreams, Battersea Power Station, London, UK Botanical Atelier & Field of Dreams, Battersea Power Station, London, UK

UK – Battersea Power Station is set to blossom this spring with its latest offering, the Botanical Atelier embroidery pop-up, adorning fashion and homeware purchases with floral finesse. Running from 4–6 May and 9–12 May, the pop-up promises a unique personalisation experience in collaboration with British contemporary artist Claire Luxton and MTArt Agency.

Designed to complement the former coal-fired power station’s vibrant mix of British and international brands, the Botanical Atelier invites shoppers to select from six nature-inspired motifs, free of charge, to enhance their spring wardrobe. Located in Turbine Hall A, the pop-up extends the allure of Claire Luxton's immersive Field of Dreams art installation which explores the nexus between nature, mental health, and self-awareness.

In addition to embroidery, visitors can immerse themselves in the sensory experience with fragrances from Penhaligon’s and organic soundscapes by Claire Luxton. At Searcys Champagne Bar, a limited-edition cocktail inspired by Field of Dreams will tantalise taste buds.

In Battersea Power Station Redefines Retail Placemaking, we previously analysed how this London landmark is giving UK shopping malls new agency with a mix of cultural and historical relevance and offering a fresh perspective on mixed-use retail development.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how consumers are looking for more purposeful and social reasons to visit physical store environments post-pandemic. Battersea Power Station is mixing live personalisation with experiential retail to convince even more consumers to leave the house

Wow Bao and Flaunt bring loyalty programme to Roblox

Dim Sum Palace Roblox Experience by Wow Bao, US Dim Sum Palace Roblox Experience by Wow Bao, US

US – Wow Bao, the renowned fast-casual Asian street food concept, has embarked on a journey into the metaverse by partnering with Flaunt to pioneer the integration of Roblox with a restaurant rewards programme. The Dim Sum Palace initiative merges Wow Bao’s Hot Buns Club rewards scheme with a virtual experience on Roblox, offering users in the US an unprecedented fusion of digital and physical rewards.

Dim Sum Palace immerses visitors in a vibrant 3D environment crafted by Sawhorse Productions and features an array of Wow Bao-themed attractions and exclusive rewards. Through this immersive campaign, users can unlock limited-edition avatar accessories, claim coupons for free Wow Bao boxes, and even win free meals for a year.

‘By connecting the Roblox community with our rewards program, we are inviting new customers to experience our brand and rewarding our most frequent guests,’ said Geoff Alexander, president and CEO of Wow Bao.

This partnership marks a significant milestone in the intersection of fast-casual dining and virtual experiences, paving the way for future innovations in loyalty and brand engagement between realms.

In our Gastro Gaming Market report, we analysed how video game publishers and food and drink brands are turning to gaming to offer tastes, skins and experiences that are transcending the screen.

Strategic opportunity

Consider incorporating gamification elements into loyalty programmes to enhance user engagement and retention. For instance, can you offer rewards and incentives for completing virtual challenges or activities within gaming environments?

Stat: Boston Consulting Group forecasts revenue surge from AI consulting

Aimagination by Fred & Farid, US Aimagination by Fred & Farid, US

US – Renowned consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) anticipates a significant leap in revenue this year, with AI consulting services projected to contribute 20% to its earnings.

Christoph Schweizer, BCG’s CEO, envisions this share doubling by 2026 as companies increasingly integrate AI into their operations. With more than 3,000 employees dedicated to its AI division and investments dating back to 2015, BCG remains at the forefront of AI consulting.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Schweizer emphasised the pivotal role of AI, saying: ‘AI and generative AI were a huge boost to revenues in the past year.’ BCG collaborates with tech giants including Microsoft and Google, as well as AI firms such as OpenAI and Anthropic, to integrate cutting-edge technology into corporate processes.

Schweizer highlighted AI’s transformative potential, citing improved productivity and quality among consultants equipped with AI tools. Despite the firms focus on AI, advising on climate change and sustainability projects remains its fastest-growing practice.

For more insights on AI, head to our artificial intelligence topic.

Strategic opportunity

Consider establishing a dedicated AI division within your organisation to focus on developing AI solutions tailored to your business needs

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