Global – The Mars House is a virtual home offering a sense of calm and escapism within the metaverse.
Launched as a non-fungible token (NFT), the dwelling represents the most expensive item offered to-date as a digital asset – retailing at £363,578 ($500,000, €425,812). Created by digital artist Krista Kim, the virtual house is sold with a soothing soundtrack made in collaboration with Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins. It intends to show how digital-first spaces can offer positive virtual experiences for people through the provision of a healing atmosphere.
‘Mars House will live forever as an NFT, so let it represent an art movement for humanity through the power of digital technology,’ comments Krista Kim. As NFTs gain momentum, particularly within the art and fashion sectors, this project provides an example of how digital mediums can be enduring, experiential and immersive alternatives to physical products.
As we explore in Alternet Economies, a new wave of decentralised capitalism is emerging and powering new value frontiers for creators, consumers and brands.
Philippines – Creative agency BBDO Guerrero is rethinking the design of shampoo bars, with its Dissolving Bottle project.
Taking inspiration from the silhouette of plastic bottles used for liquid shampoo, it has re-worked the shape of shampoo bars to make them more intuitive to use. This zero-plastic design offers a sustainable alternative to packaged hair products, while the new, familiar shape aims to attract more people to give shampoo bars a try.
To inspire other personal care brands to make eco-conscious products, the creative agency is offering The Dissolving Bottle idea to brand partners, who can then customise the design to reflect their own identities. Meanwhile, BBDO is also offering to supply moulds for the shampoo bars at cost to artisanal producers in the Philippines, helping to support community livelihood projects.
Through this project, The Dissolving Bottle is taking a philanthropic approach to its environmental efforts – aiming to promote a wider mindset shift towards sustainability for brands and consumers. In a similar vein, we have previously seen how a simple soap re-design can promote positive hygiene habits.
Latvia – The Zuzeum Art Centre is taking an unconventional approach to presenting its latest exhibition, which is being hosted within food delivery app Wolt.
Structured as a restaurant menu, the Zuzeum Art Preview invites visitors to view works of art that will later be on show when lockdown restrictions are lifted. Featuring as a selection of Appetisers, Entrées and Desserts, these ‘dishes’ represent various artworks that will be featured at the Zuzeum Art Centre. Each visitor can add their favourite artists and artwork to their basket, before adding ‘cutlery’ – or an open date exhibition ticket – to their order.
Wolt’s couriers then deliver these tickets, along with personalised guides and additional recommendations, to future exhibition visitors. Grisha Sorokin, creative director at Little Good Agency, the company which conceptualised the project, said: ‘Sometimes, during these difficult times, Wolt becomes a source of procrastination, and using it as an educational and inspirational channel is an exciting opportunity.’
This creative initiative provides an example of the ways that brands from different sectors can collaborate to benefit each other during the inter-Covid period.
UK – For its latest campaign, small business accelerator Huckletree commemorates the perseverance of start-ups during the pandemic.
Created by design agency Otherway, the To Be Continued… campaign showcases the milestones achieved by its community of start-ups. This includes accomplishments from companies such as Hylo, which launched a sustainable running shoe; edtech firm MEL Science, which secured a round of investment from Huckletree’s investor introductions; and disruptor bank Starling, which extended its services to offer bounce-bank loans during the inter-Covid period.
By highlighting these triumphs, Huckletree demonstrates how the pandemic has fostered a new wave of innovation for its members. ‘After a year dominated by bad news, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the incredible stories of success that have come out of the Huckletree community during the last 12 months,’ says Stuart Finlayson, partner at Otherway.
With the pandemic galvanising companies into thinking, reacting and changing at a moment’s notice, brands’ ability to adapt is now an indicator of success. Uncover more on these flexible business models in our new macrotrend Elastic Brands.
Sweden – Fragrance brand Uniform is entering the home fragrance market with a line of mood-enhancing products.
The range of fine perfume products includes incense, bar soap, a candle, and two new perfume oils. While the brand’s original offer focused on portable roll-on perfumes, this new collection caters to the growth of homebody lifestyles that have accelerated as a result of the pandemic.
It will offer scent profiles designed to evoke sensations of comfort and homeliness – such as chai, cassis and cinnamon – while others will emulate the sense of escapism that many consumers are craving. Tuning into the rise of emotive scents, the brand’s creative director Haisam Mohammed describes its new soap as evocative of ‘the first-millisecond of scent you experience when disembarking a plane at a new destination, preferably in the south of France.’
In our Fragrance Futures Market, we identify the ways that perfume brands are innovating their product ranges to reflect homebody lifestyles, while also helping to evoke particular moods or feelings.
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