US – The Swedish retailer has demonstrated the power of augmented reality (AR) through a creative activation with Magic Leap.
Utilised for the launch of its new collaborative collection, H&M x Moschino, guests at the collection's debut show were invited to enter a room designed to imitate the multi-coloured stripes of an old-fashioned television. Once inside, they donned a Magic Leap headset, virtually venturing into the the world of Moschino, where they were able to explore pieces from the collection in vibrant detail.
‘This was an immersive fashion experience where you could step into the world of Moschino,’ says Emma Ridderstad, co-founder of Warpin Media, which worked with Magic Leap on the project. ‘Inside you could explore the collection, but also [experience] fun and interactive digital content connected to the campaign.’ As explored in our Augmented Retail microtrend, brands are experimenting with new ways to incorporate augmented reality and mixed reality technology into the buying experience in way that feels authentic rather than gimmicky.
Finland – Muji’s Gacha will be the first autonomous vehicle in the world capable of functioning in extreme weather conditions.
Currently, self-driving vehicles cannot operate in weather such as heavy rain, fog and snow, as many prototypes are being tested in warm climates such as California. However, Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4 is testing the technology in Arctic conditions to ensure the bus operates safely in environments that are often lacking in transportation.
The bus will hold a maximum of 16 passengers, and incorporates Muji’s minimalist design, which has previously been limited to homeware, fashion and accessories products. Gacha will make its public debut in Helsinki in March 2019, before launching in three Finnish cities by 2020.
While self-driving cars must iron out kinks in how they deal with traffic and parking in cities, extreme weather is another obstacle brands must overcome in order to bring these vehicles to market in colder climates.
US – The soft drink company imagines a near future in which creatives find respite with CBD-infused beverages.
Recess’ sparkling waters are infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive element found in cannabis, as well as adaptogens, which are herbs that help the drinker adapt to stress. The drink comes in fruity flavours that are designed to mask the taste of CBD, including pomegranate hibiscus and blackberry chai.
According to founder Benjamin Witte, Recess was created as an antidote for stress and anxiety that affects the creative community. ‘We are using a CBD beverage to establish a use case for taking a recess,’ he told AdWeek. With pastel-coloured branding, and slogans such as ‘ever drink a LaCroix and wish it did something?’ the drinks are designed to be displayed proudly at the workplace and at home.
For more on the booming market for cannabis-infused beverages, read our microtrend Alternative Intoxication.
US – In addition to the closing all of its stores on Black Friday, the outdoor retailer will fund a study that aims to show the link between nature and health.
For the fourth year in a row, REI will take a Righteous Retail approach to Black Friday by refusing to operate during the retail event. To back up its #OptOutside campaign, which encourages its employees and customers to spend more time with nature, the retailer is partnering with the University of Washington and investing $1m (£760,000, €870,000) to fund an inititative called Nature for Health.
A new center for academic excellence within the university will study how time spent outdoors affects our health, including whether nature could be prescribed for those suffering from anxiety and depression.
By working to close the knowledge gap, REI is showing how brands can move beyond media campaigns to take real stands on societal issues.
Canada – Non-profit organisation ParticipAction has launched a national campaign that highlights the myriad lifestyle benefits of getting active.
The ad series are part of a long-term movement that aims to shift perceptions beyond the traditional benefits of getting fit, such as weight loss. The short, playful videos demonstrate how physical activity can make people sleep, age and focus better.
ParticipAction’s website has also been redesigned to reflect the campaign, featuring the slogan ‘staying active isn’t just about looking better. It’s about living better’. It also backs up each of its claims with scientific facts, as well as providing tips on motivation and general healthy living.
As body positivity continues to gain prominence, health and wellness brands are shifting their marketing campaigns away from weight loss and towards a healthier lifestyle. In September, Weight Watchers overhauled its brand identity to focus on wellness over dieting.
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