News 09.07.2024

Need to Know

Liquid Death promotes electrolyte drink mix with Ozzy Osbourne, cybercriminals are targeting airline miles and hotel points and why beauty retail sales break records in China.

Liquid Death promotes electrolyte drink mix with Ozzy Osbourne ad

Death Dust by Liquid Death, US

Global – In a bold new advert, rock legend Ozzy Osbourne cautions fans against misusing canned water company Liquid Death’s latest product, Death Dust, an electrolyte drink mix available in three flavours. The commercial features two teenagers on the street, about to mix the drink when Osbourne arrives in a black SUV, warning them with his signature flair: ‘Hey kids. Death Dust? Take it from me, don’t snort that stuff.’

One teenager assures the rock icon that they intend to ‘mix it and hydrate’, prompting Osbourne to continue his humorous cautionary advice: ‘Whatever you do, don’t try freebasing it and never ever inject it.’ The ad then cuts to a proper use demonstration, concluding with Osbourne’s vehicle speeding away.

Osbourne’s collaboration with Liquid Death highlights his endorsement of its playful approach to promoting healthy hydration. In a press release, he expressed his appreciation for the brand: ‘I love how Liquid Death makes a healthy thing like hydration more fun.’

This campaign cleverly combines Osbourne’s notorious persona with a serious message, ensuring the brand’s quirky yet responsible image resonates with consumers. Liquid Death’s advertising strategy aligns with insights from our Functional Feasting macrotrend report in which we reveal how water is undergoing a rebranding. 

Strategic opportunity

Consider developing innovative hydration products that cater for the evolving consumer preferences for functional water that does more for them. This could include new flavours, formats or packaging that resonate with health-conscious consumers

Glastonbury exhibits pavilion made from seaweed-derived bioplastic

Hayes Pavilion at Glastonbury 2024. Design by Re:Right, UK Hayes Pavilion at Glastonbury 2024. Design by Re:Right, UK
Hayes Pavilion at Glastonbury 2024. Design by Re:Right, UK Hayes Pavilion at Glastonbury 2024. Design by Re:Right, UK

UK – Each year Glastonbury Festival’s demountable Hayes Pavilion is constructed from waste materials. In 2024, Biodesign start-up Re:Right Design returned to the festival to create a pavilion clad in jelly-like sheets of seaweed-derived bioplastic, manipulated to resemble seaweed foaming waves and the general fauna and flora of the ocean.

Co-founded by biodesigner Leksi Kostur and set designer Simon Carroll, Re:Right Design aims to shift material science from the lab to real-world applications, demonstrating that compostable materials can rival traditional plastics in set design and pushing for more sustainable practices in the creative industries.

Re:Right also partnered with Magical Mushroom Company to grow and construct bespoke geometric cladding for the structure out of mushroom mycelium.

In our new Biofabricated Futures design direction we explored how the progressive regeneration, scalability and commercial viability of biofabricated materials offer a promising opportunity for businesses in the material field. Meanwhile, Adaptable Algae was one of the stand-out trends in our Innovation Debrief 2024–2025 report, with the versatile eukaryotic organism becoming increasingly valuable in the food, fashion and product design sectors.

Strategic opportunity

Eco-conscious brands must think about sustainability in all business operations not just products and packaging. How could you incorporate bioplastics or waste materials into your retail space or next pop-up infrastructure?

Surge in cyberattacks targeting airline miles and hotel points

Global – According to security experts, hackers are increasingly targeting airline and hotel loyalty accounts, seizing millions of dollars in rewards. Airlines, unprepared for this shift, lack the necessary tools to combat these attacks. ‘Better protections against credit card fraud mean criminals are looking for easier targets,’ Christopher Staab, co-founder of the Loyalty Security Alliance, told Forbes

Loyalty programmes are vulnerable due to common security mistakes, such as using the same password across multiple sites. Cybercriminals use bots to exploit these weaknesses, selling compromised accounts on platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp.

While buyers would redeem points for gift cards or cheap airline tickets, airline miles thieves are jumping on the opportunity to commit more serious crimes, including money laundering and ransomware. Some airlines are now beginning to implement multi-factor authentication and other security measures, but overall, the industry is playing catch-up. 

In Modern Burglary, we analyse how loyalty programmes, gift cards and more are the targets of cybercriminals. 

Photography by Cottonbro Studio, Russia

Strategic opportunity

Consider adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometric verification, advanced encryption and anomaly detection systems to enhance the security of loyalty accounts and identify and block suspicious activities in real time

Stat: Beauty retail sales hit record high in China

Photography by Sunny Ng, China Photography by Sunny Ng, China

China – China’s beauty market is booming, with the National Bureau of Statistics reporting that retail sales of cosmetics from January to May 2024 totalled £18.9bn (Rmb176.3bn, $24.2bn, €22.4bn), a 5.4% increase year on year.  

In May 2024, retail sales of cosmetics reached a record-breaking high of £4.4bn (Rmb40.6bn, $5.6bn, €5.1bn), up 18.7% from the year before. This growth is the highest since April 2023 when sales surged by 24.3% year on year. 

According to Jing Daily, local beauty brands are capturing significant market share through premium yet affordable offerings. Meanwhile, domestic C-beauty brands are beginning to eye global expansion. 

For a more nuanced understanding of the Chinese cosmetics market, LS:N Global and Hot Pot China’s Chinese Beauty Consumer Myths report looks in depth at common Chinese beauty myths, dispelling untruths and providing decision-makers with the knowledge and confidence to build better connections with this audience.   

Strategic opportunity

Global beauty brands looking to break into the C-beauty market should partner on limited-edition collections with local brands to gain insight into consumer preferences and buying behaviours while establishing brand recognition

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