US & Palestine – DJ duo Simi and Haze Khadra are making high-impact make-up more accessible through their beauty line Simhaze Beauty. Its launch collection, Capsule 1, features a multi-purpose balm, tint and lip liner. This follows on from the brand’s soft-launch of its Eye Play Sticker Book – a kit featuring an assortment of designs – from holographic wings to neon liners – that can be applied instantly to the face.
By providing a user-friendly format, Simihaze brings expressive make-up to a wider audience without requiring beauty application expertise. ‘We created the line not to add colour to your life, but to add an efficient product that's high quality, high curation, that’s just going to serve humanity by making your life easier,’ comments Haze Khadra, co-founder of Simihaze. ‘It’s the story of instant make-up. And that's where the future of make-up is.’
By empowering more people to wear bolder make-up looks, the brand is echoing the ideas we explore in The Make-up Movement – whereby brands celebrate a more-is-more approach to colour cosmetics.
Ho Chi Minh City – Responding to the visually-driven mindsets of Generation Z, cinema chain Beta Cinemas is unveiling a bold and colourful design for its latest venue in Ho Chi Minh City. Its art deco aesthetic references architectural elements from the city’s historical roots as Saigon. Designed by interior studio Module K, the postmodern space features contrasting hues such as flamingo pink, sea green and bright orange.
Through this visually striking approach to placemaking, the cinema encapsulates Ho Chi Minh City’s cultural identity while reaching new, younger audiences. In turn, the space’s bold aesthetic lends itself to social media platforms. ‘Millennials and Gen Z don’t go to watch the movie,’ explains Jade Nguyen, CEO of Module K Vietnam. ‘They want to go together, talk, and hang out.’
As Nguyen suggests, the next-generation cinema is capitalising on the renewed desire for Gen Z Hangouts, with young people seeking stimulating environments to re-establish social connections in the physical realm.
US – With physical retailers facing ongoing challenges to reach audiences, CBD brand Charlotte’s Web is experimenting with offering its hemp-infused topical formulas in extreme locations. To target high-intensity outdoor athletes, the brand installed five vending machines in remote locations such as the top of a giant rock spire in Utah and on a road biking route in Arizona.
As these products are intended to soothe muscle inflammation and promote recovery, the presence of Charlotte’s Web topicals on treacherous terrain allows the brand to demonstrate the use of CBD in-situ. And while the vending machines are only likely to reach a small number of consumers, the surrounding marketing is likely to generate buzz for wider audiences.
Pop-up brand activations will be a familiar strategy for many retailers seeking to unshackle their operations from flagship-only trading. But this extreme location outreach provides new avenues for the kinds of Nomadic Brands we identify in our Eco-venience Retail macrotrend, especially as outdoor recreation continues to become a feature of travel.
Costa Rica – With Costa Rican craftspeople facing major economic losses due to a lack of tourism in the last year, fast food chain KFC is stepping in to support them with a range of limited edition branded ceramic buckets. Each clay bucket in the 45-piece collection, which come in the same shape as its classic fried chicken containers, represents a different KFC location in Costa Rica and are made by local artisans.
A campaign film by Havas Costa Rica spotlights the local craftspeople involved as well as the 5,000 year history of creating Colombian Chorotega ceramics. Through this initiative, the brand showcases the skill of local artisans while also raising funds to support their livelihoods via Facebook Live auctions. In this way, KFC provides an example of how a large brand can take civic action through unexpected approaches.
Such projects also reflect the need for resilient and agile business models to aid local craftspeople. And while this support ordinarily comes from the ethical fashion and homeware brands that heavily rely on craftsmanship, KFC recognises the opportunity to highlight regional talent and cultural identity in lieu of tourism.
Sweden – Visit Sweden has launched an experiential campaign called The Drinkable Country, as part of a post-Covid tourism push. Putting a spotlight on some of the region’s most remote locations, the initiative includes 14 open-air tables manned by prominent Swedish drinks experts. Promising an immersive experience, visitors are invited to forage for ingredients and create their own DIY cocktails together with local guides.
Visit Sweden is using its rugged natural landscape to boost tourism, promoting its unique country through the lens of regional drinks ingredients. ‘Our drink recipes, based on local ingredients, are created with a vision to reflect Sweden’s beautiful nature,’ explains a statement on the brand’s website. ‘Together with local guides you can collect, mix and enjoy the drinks yourself, out in the world’s largest open-air bar stretching all the way from Sweden’s southernmost beaches to its mountain tops in the Arctic north.’
With global travel destinations having to find creative ways to rebuild their economies after a tourism drought, the initiative shows how local ingredients that are inaccessible elsewhere can be leveraged to appeal to gourmet tourists.
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