Retail Industry Trends : From groceries to placemaking, retail is becoming more immersive, expressive, dramatic and hyper-personalised.

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30 : 05 : 23

Liquid Death’s spoof ad targets plastic pollution, Asahi’s CO2-sucking vending machines and 70% of Brazilians believe in God.

Liquid Death’s new ad spoofs global plastic pollution epidemic

Liquid Death

Global – Canned water brand Liquid Death has released a new, humorous advert addressing the global plastic pollution issue. Starring US actor and comedian Whitney Cummings, who plays a cosmetic surgery saleswoman, the ad suggests that rather than ending up in landfill and oceans, the best place for plastic is inside our bodies.

Created by creative agency Party Land, the ad is a no-holds-barred video in which the sound of squeezing plastic is heard over images of a man with butt implants followed by an uneasy sight of plastic bottles being surgically forced into a human body. The ad is formatted like surgical infomercials and even includes a disclaimer instructing people to ‘consult your doctor before surgically implanting plastic inside you’.

Our upcoming microtrend analysing the increasing use of subversive humour and tactics in climate-focused media examines campaigns like this one by Liquid Death, which challenge expectations around often doom-laden climate communication of the kind typified by the now iconic image of a starving polar bear floating on thin, broken ice. Breaking The Paralysis Paradox around climate regeneration has taken on an uneasy black humour directed at human inaction – as opposed to damaged nature.

Strategic opportunity

Overcoming greenwashing and eco-fatigue now requires a rethink. How can you use black humour and irony – not blame – to challenge consumers’ paralysis on climate issues?

Heimstone turns store into retro gravity-defying pool

Heimstone, France Heimstone, France
Heimstone, France Heimstone, France

France – Located in St Tropez, on the French Riviera, the Heimstone Public Pool store was imagined by creative agency The Refreshment Club as a hypersensorial shopping experience. The retro-chic merchandise (clothing, shoes, accessories) from Heimstone is spread around in the 60-square-metre space covered in blue tiles reminiscent of the kind of Americana public pools of the 1960s and 1970s.

The shop window even recreates the pool’s surface via a satisfying screen projection. A swimming pool ladder pierces through the window and extends into the store, serving as a visual centrepiece. Those who can’t visit the shop can access the St Tropez Heimstone Public Pool curated selection on the online store.

The importance of taking customers on an awe-inspiring journey was highlighted in our Hyperphysical Stores macrotrend, in which we unveil how retailers can build more engaging, sensorial and memorable bricks-and-mortar shops.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how to re-ignite the senses of consumers and passers-by with enriching, emotional, ethereal and exclusive in-store experiences – give them a reason to leave the house and the hyperconvenience of online shopping

Asahi’s vending machines suck in CO2 for sustainability

Photography by Quỳnh Lê Mạnh Photography by Quỳnh Lê Mạnh

Japan – Japanese beverage giant Asahi is using vending machines, one of Japan’s most ubiquitous devices, to help cut its carbon emissions.

The drinks firm has built vending machines containing a material that absorbs carbon dioxide as it sucks in air to cool or warm the drinks inside.

The CO2-munching machines are part of Asahi’s effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Asahi is installing up to 30 machines in densely populated areas in the Kanto and Kansai regions, and each machine is expected to absorb about 20% of the carbon emissions it produces each year, according to company spokesperson Yoshiie Horii.

The company plans a broader replacement programme for its 260,000 machines by 2024.

Asahi’s efforts align with what we reported in Offset Sellers; carbon capture innovations are becoming more creative and are an increasingly accessible way for businesses and brands to promote sustainability and provide eco-friendly options for consumers.

Strategic opportunity

As carbon capture innovations advance, consumers will increasingly expect your brand to understand its relationship with carbon and communicate its eco-friendly initiatives clearly

Stat: Belief in God or a higher power is highest in Brazil and South Africa

Alabaster, Global Alabaster, Global

Global – A new report on global belief released by Ipsos in May 2023 ranks Brazilians and South Africans as the most likely to believe in God as described in holy scriptures or, alternatively, in a higher power or spirit. Ipsos surveyed 19,731 respondents from 26 countries in January and February 2023.

Some 70% of people in Brazil said they believe in God and 19% said they believe in a higher power or spirit. In South Africa the figures were 73% and 16%, respectively. Globally, an average of 40% believe in God and 20% in a higher power. Colombia, another country in Latin America, ranked third, with 63% believing in God and 23% believing in a higher power.

Those who say they do not believe in God or any higher power or spirit make up a majority in Japan, South Korea and seven of the 10 European countries surveyed.

The report also highlights generational shifts in religious affiliations. In each of the 16 most Catholic countries surveyed, the percentage of respondents born after 1997 identifying as Catholic is lower than the percentage of Baby Boomers who do so. In Sweden and Germany, Gen Z are less likely than Boomers to say they have no religion. In contrast, in nine other countries surveyed, including South Korea and Italy, Gen Z are proudly atheist, agnostic or just ‘spiritual’.

In Alternative Spirituality, we previously uncovered how spirituality and folk religion are gaining cult online followings among Gen Z as an antidote to anxiety rather than them turning to an organised religion.

Strategic opportunity

Brands targeting consumers in Brazil and South Africa should look into how to channel local holidays and religion-adjacent activities to tap into those communities who are as engaged online as they are in real life

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