03 : 06 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: The Return of Trend Briefing, a mezcal sparkling water combination, a new style of memes through audio expression, a monumental journal using augmented reality and a luxurious gaming academy by Gucci. 

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3 June 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Despierta, US


The Future Laboratory Trend Briefing 2018

1. The Return of The Future Laboratory's Trend Briefing

London – This year, we’re pleased to announce that Trend Briefing returns as a physical event, bringing together industry professionals in an engaging and inspiring setting. We’ll be unpacking how, post-Covid, markets are in flux, the realities of Brexit, the war on Ukraine and ongoing global unease are now affecting consumer behaviour.

Taking place at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, on 6 October 2022, our new Trend Briefing 2023 embraces a more interactive and discursive format to set the tone for the year ahead. From 2:00pm to 6:00pm BST, our analysts will explore and dissect the key trends and strategic challenges for 2023, as well as outlining how these will impact multiple sectors for brands and businesses.

Purchasing a ticket to this event grants you access to:

: An introduction to our new macro trend

: Interactive and discursive opportunities with our experts

: A preview of our updated Trend Tracker for 2023

: Strategic Implications for 2023

: Futures 100 Innovator Awards Ceremony

: Champagne and networking

You can now book tickets to our Trend Briefing 2023 physical event on 6 October 2022. Members of LS:N Global get access to the event at a discounted rate. If you're a member, please click here to access your discount code.

Madre Desert Water by Madre Mezcal, Mexico

2. An artisanal mezcal disrupting the RTD space


Mexico – Heritage drinks brand Madre Mezcal is diversifying its offering to create a functional, seltzer-style ready-to-drink line. Called Madre Desert Water, the beverage line combines mezcal with sparkling water, real fruit, plants and herbs. Many of the ingredients also feature functional properties, such as adaptogenic mushrooms, anti-inflammatory herbs, and anti-fungal cacti.

By positioning mezcal in this format, the cans provide an accessible introduction to the spirit, while also offering added functionality for existing mezcal drinkers. Commenting on the inspiration for the drink, the brand says in a press release: ‘Madre Desert Water was inspired by the tradition of West Texas ranch waters (a local favorite drink made simply with tequila and sparkling water).’

With interest in mezcal continuing to swell, such ready-to-drink offerings further establish the spirit as a mainstream drinks choice, while still retaining its rich and ancestral heritage.


JR Reality by artist JR and Superblue, Global

3. JR and Superblue transform the city into a 3D journal

New York – French artist JR and experiential arts company Superblue are teaming up to transform the built environment into a monumental journal. Their new platform JR Reality allows people to post interactive recollections and recommendations about the city using augmented reality (AR) technology.

To use the app, members of the public simply aim their phone at any location that strikes their eye, uncovering other people people’s notes, images, and voice messages left digitally at the same spot. To build this collective art project, the two companies enlisted the help of AR leader Niantic, the creator of successful interactive game Pokémon Go.

The project, which is launching in New York, empowers urbanites to build more personal relationships with their surroundings, something which we have previously explored in Equilibrium Cities. ‘Everyone is invited to leave portraits and voice messages attached to special places. It’s time to go outside and explore, and reconnect with one another and show the world your face again,’ explains JR, artist.

4. Voicy augments digital socialising with audio memes

The Netherlands – With social audio formats growing in popularity, online content platform Voicy is offering tools to create user-generated audio snippets. Drawing on sounds from popular media and entertainment outlets, users can create their own audio using viral noises including Borat clips and Squid Game sounds. They can also choose from internet memes that have been captured in audio formats.

Through the platform, Voicy enables audiences to express themselves creatively, beyond conventional methods. As co-founders Xander Kanon, Joey de Kruis and Milan Kokir explain: ‘In areas such as gaming, where communicating with images or text doesn’t work as well – there’s a huge gap for audio to really enhance the experience.’

As Generation Z leads the shift away from traditional social networking platforms, such initiatives demonstrate the ongoing influence of Connective Audio – a movement that remains relevant even as many have returned to in-person socialising.

Voice, The Netherlands
Gucci Equilibrium and Farfetch, Global

5. Gucci’s gaming academy nurtures new eSport stars

Global – The luxury brand is expanding its efforts in the eSports sector with the launch of a global gaming academy. Working with leading eSports platform FACEIT, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Gucci Gaming Academy will support the development of up-and-coming gamers, helping them move from amateur to professional status. Alongside full-time gaming mentorship and access to world-class hardware, gamers will also receive ongoing mental health guidance and wellbeing resources.

Gucci will select candidates based on both in-game and interview performance. Players then remain members of the academy for 12 months, unless they are officially signed to a team sooner. By creating this programme, Gucci recognises the ongoing relationship between luxury and gaming, and the potential to support to a new generation beyond one-off products or collaborations.

Nicolas Oudinot, executive vice-president of new business and chief executive of Gucci Vault says: ‘Understanding the issues that are relevant to them [eSports players] and learning about these from the people they affect are at the core of this collaboration.’ As more brands create strategies based around the gaming sector, there is ongoing opportunity to guide professional gamers to thrive in their field.



To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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