Youth

From Gen Z and beyond, explore emerging markets and micro shifts in youth consumer behaviour

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Integrated Field creates a child-friendly hospital, The Barbican challenges what it means to be a man and Millennials admit to reckless online shopping.

A pastel-hued, child-friendly hospital

EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand
EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand
EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand EKH Children Hospital designed by Integrated Field, Thailand

Thailand – While hospitals have traditionally been places with sterile, clinical aesthetics, EKH Children’s Hospital is rethinking medical institutions with its playful design.

Created by Integrated Field after extensive research into hospital design, the organisation noticed a growing trend towards luxury institutions – but decided that a children’s hospital should prioritise fun over high-end features. Incorporating many components of playground design, the space welcomes children with a giant slide in the entrance hall, along with waiting areas that double up as playgrounds.

Also challenging the traditional signifiers of a medical space, EKH features soft pastel interiors and wayfinding that veers away from prosaic room names to give spaces animal titles such as whale, turtle, lion and rabbit, which each have their namesake animal emblazoned on the ceiling. The in-between spaces are also designed in a user-sensitive way, with details such as seating and doorways made in child-friendly proportions.

As we explore in our Soft Aid Design Direction, healthcare brands and medical services are increasingly taking inspiration from lifestyle brands to rebrand the sector as more human and emotional.

The Barbican questions modern masculinity

David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II) by Peter Hujar, Masculinities at Barbican, London David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II) by Peter Hujar, Masculinities at Barbican, London
Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Masculinities at Barbican, London Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Masculinities at Barbican, London

London – The Barbican Centre’s latest exhibition considers how masculinity has been socially constructed over time, through the medium of film and photography.

Featuring examples from the 1960s to the present day, the Masculinities exhibition zooms in on the idea of toxic masculinity, particularly in the wake of #MeToo. Drawing attention to the often complex representations of the modern man, the exhibition considers how the idea of masculinity has evolved, touching on themes including power, patriarchy, queer identity and female perceptions of men, among other ideas. With a primary focus on the medium of photography in relation to masculinity, the exhibition brings together the work of more than 50 international artists, photographers and film-makers including Laurie Anderson, Sunil Gupta and Catherine Opie.

As we uncover in our vertical on New Masculinity, brands are increasingly evolving to adopt new mindsets around what it means to be a modern man – and how the future is becoming increasingly genderless.

Unilever rethinks kids messaging

Global – Unilever is rethinking the way it markets food and drink to children, as part of a bid to help parents, carers and kids make better choices.

In response to The World Health Organization’s recognition of childhood obesity as one of the 21st century’s most serious health issues, the brand has made a commitment to altering its principles around marketing and advertising to children. Beginning with messaging around ice cream, the Wall’s portfolio – including brands such as Max, Paddle Pop and Twister – is becoming the first global ice cream brand with a Responsibly Made for Kids promise. With plans to stop marketing to children below the age of 12 by the end of 2020, the company will also be putting regulations in place around their use of celebrities and influencers that appeal to this demographic, as well as limiting the use of cartoon characters.

As we uncover in our Young Eaters market, the eating habits of young people are increasingly shaped by a greater appreciation of food. For more on ethically dubious industries – and how brands can account for their wrongdoings – read our microtrend on Brand Redemption.

Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US Culinary Kids by Omni Hotels & Resorts, US

Eco-conscious Millennials still regularly shop online

With high street retail continuing to decline, the percentage of people shopping online is on the rise, according to a new report by retail marketing expert Gekko. The research shows that, despite young people displaying an interest in eco-consciousness they're continuing to shop online – such purchases accounted for 19% of all retail sales in December 2019.

Meanwhile, more than half (53%) of 18–24-year-olds and 46% of 25–34-year-olds admit to being tempted to buy things they don’t need online. In stark contrast with older generations, more than five times as many 18–24-year-olds admit to regularly making online purchases they regret, compared to the over-55s.

For more on how companies are mitigating the environmental impact of e-commerce, explore our Eco-logistics microtrend.

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