News 19.06.2024

Need to Know

A daily recap from Cannes Lions 2024, AI’s potential to revolutionise user interface design and luxury spending trends in the UK.

Cannes Lions 2024 daily recap: Re-evaluating the power of brands

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2024, France Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2024, France

France – At the 2023 edition of Cannes Lions, marketing professor Scott Galloway proclaimed: ‘The era of brand is over.’ This sweeping statement became the focus of the second day of Cannes Lions 2024, with chief marketing officers, brand specialists and authors offering their perspectives. But, as professor and author Marcus Collins argued: ‘The brand era isn’t over; it has simply evolved.’ He suggested that brands could learn from pop-cultural sensations like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Barbie, noting that consumers are now more passionate and discerning than ever.

Kori Marchisotto, the chief marketing officer at Elf Beauty, went even further, saying a brand is nothing but the people behind it. ‘Ultimately, people power performance,’ she said. ‘Who is on your board of directors? Who makes up your C-suite? Answer this and you’ll know your brand.’

In the afternoon, Chris Chen, chief creative officer at Dentsu, provided the audience with much-anticipated insights into the trends shaping and informing Gen Z consumer behaviour in China. As explored in our Emerging Youth: China report, he highlighted how niche interests are becoming mainstream, how Gen Z’s nostalgia for the past is dictating branding, and how businesses becoming more civic is increasingly important for Chinese young adults and teens.

One of the festival’s highlights was Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, who emphasised the importance of incorporating emotions into everyday routines. ‘Toothpaste, diapers and shampoo aren’t products typically associated with creativity, but that’s our opportunity to problem-solve and delight our audiences,’ he stated. Incorporating standout campaigns into his presentation, he urged advertisers to get out from behind the screen and meet key audiences in their homes, offices or on their way to school.

For more insights on branding strategies, delve into our analysis of SXSW 2024: Designing Superbrands. 

Strategic opportunity

Embrace the idea that a brand is defined by the people behind it. Consider building a diverse and dynamic leadership team, and ensure their values and stories are transparent and relatable to consumers

Universal Favourite revitalises The Dinner Ladies with a bold identity

The Dinner Ladies by Universal Favourite, Australia The Dinner Ladies by Universal Favourite, Australia
The Dinner Ladies by Universal Favourite, Australia The Dinner Ladies by Universal Favourite, Australia

Australia – The Dinner Ladies wants to be Australia’s hottest frozen meal service. The company has partnered with Universal Favourite for a refresh reflecting the brand’s friendly, ‘anti-mumsy’ and playful personality.

Led by Universal Favourite, the rebranding puts an emphasis on what makes The Dinner Ladies stand out in the frozen ready meals aisle – homely meals, cheeky yet comforting tone and rebellious attitude. Universal Favourite also commissioned bespoke illustrations, dynamic brand elements to complement the ‘Heat up, feet up and eat up’ tagline.

The Dinner Ladies’ revamp comes across as a unique proposition in the pre-prepared meal market, blending the comforting and homely image with tongue-in-cheek copy and exciting flavours. ‘In a category saturated with over-sincerity and fake friendliness, the tone offers a refreshing sprinkle of irreverence with a straightforward, bull-free reflection of the audience and their needs,’ Universal Favourite said in a statement. This approach aligns with findings from our Functional Feasting macrotrend, in which we explored how traditional food brands are rekindling interest through the New Novelty-Nostalgia Equation.

Strategic opportunity

The Dinner Ladies is a good example of a brand refresh done right. Businesses operating in markets that are not known to be the most exciting could take notes on how to inject fun and differentiate without alienating their brand identity 

Modem believes AI-driven interfaces will transform user experience

My First AI by Modem and Wang & Söderström, The Netherlands My First AI by Modem and Wang & Söderström, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – Design and innovation agency Modem teamed up with Mouthwash Studio for a research paper exploring user interface (UI) design in the digital age and the transformative potential of AI-driven General Purpose Interfaces (GPIs). 

These innovative interfaces promise to replace multiple apps with a single, seamless system powered by large language models (LLMs). ‘A good tool is an invisible tool,’ said Mark Weiser, computer scientist at Xerox PARC. ‘By invisible, I mean that the tool does not intrude on your consciousness; you focus on the task, not the tool.’

At present, text-based interfaces like ChatGPT are leading the charge, but advances like OpenAI’s GPT4-o and Google’s Project Astra are integrating vision and audio, making these systems more intuitive. 

Drew Austin of Modem suggests that if Apple integrated an LLM into the iPhone to monitor user activity such as browsing history, locations and messaging, it could offer new features ranging from reminder notifications to substantial assistance in health and finance. This AI enhancement would transform the iPhone into a digital twin, an ever-present companion aiming to optimise user support by learning from daily interactions.

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

Strategic opportunity

Consider incorporating natural language processing, vision and audio recognition to enhance product functionality and create more seamless and intuitive user experiences

Stat: Report reveals what motivates luxury spending in the UK

Fendi AW24, Italy Fendi AW24, Italy

UK – How is the luxury sector faring in the UK? A YouGov poll has revealed how the economic landscape in Britain is affecting consumers’ luxury buying behaviours, looking at year-on-year purchase intent, what motivates luxury spending, and the types of luxury goods and services that Britons are buying.

When it comes to the motivation for purchases in the past year, nearly half of luxury spenders (45%) bought luxury goods as a present for someone else, 35% to reward themselves, 31% to feel good and 24% because the quality is higher.

The survey also explored the attitudes of consumers who plan to invest in luxury items in the near future. It found that future luxury spenders are drawn to quality and durability, but they still confess to being influenced by current trends (40%) and consider themselves more fashionable than most people (39%). We track shifts in consumer behaviour among high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in our luxury section.

Strategic opportunity

Luxury businesses can tap into these shifting consumer mindsets. Can you ramp up seasonal and limited access experiences? Can you use hospitality activations to stay on top of trends without pushing consumerism? 

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