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Need To Know

This week: Burger King against cyberbullying, a shame-free space for skin solidarity, a phone-fixing movement, plant-centric communities and a visual refresh for Mexican markets.

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15 October 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Post Service, Copenhagen. Interior design by Tableau


#MerciLes2010 by Burger King, France

1. Burger King fights back against French cyberbullying

France – The fast food giant is stepping in to challenge an unexplained rise in cyberbullying against French children born in 2010. Its latest campaign, created in collaboration with child protection organisation Les Papillons, acts as a counter-movement to this behaviour – centreing on the hashtag #MerciLes2010.

The initiative appears across online video games and on Twitter, with players asked to reference the year 2010 in their games and online content. Each time someone shares their reference on Twitter, along with the campaign’s hashtag, Burger King will reward them with a free Whopper burger. By doing so, the brand shows how brands can support audiences by staging a Bullying Backlash.

With this reaction to cyberbullying, Burger King furthers its anti-bullying position, acts as a guardian brand to vulnerable children and demonstrates its awareness of behavioural shifts on social media platforms.

Through this project, both The Slow Grind and Mulberry are demonstrating how brands can engage with de-growth and begin to shift their efforts to prioritise radical community-first models – a central tenet to protecting the future of creative industries.

Mass Index by Soft Services, US

2. Mass Index is a shame-free space for skin solidarity

US – Mass Index is an educational platform and online community dedicated to answering netizens’ questions about skin conditions, founded in response to the lack of available information about common dermatological disorders such as psoriasis and fungal acne.

Drawing on their experience working at brands such as Glossier, founders Annie Kreighbaum and Rebecca Zhou set up Mass Index after realising that many people use platforms such as Reddit to crowdsource basic information about common skin concerns. Mass Index is an open-access website that offers expert-vetted medical opinions and a growing visual library of user-submitted photographs. To bolster Mass Index’s offer, its founders have also developed Soft Services, a range of skincare products created with performance ingredients and bespoke formulas for conditions including keratosis pilaris and hyperpigmentation.

The launch of Mass Index is symbolic of the growing number of people congregating online in search of more personable Radical Relief platforms that fill the knowledge gap left by the skin and healthcare sectors. By creating an educational platform that doubles as a community space and digital storefront, the company can in turn forge deeper relationships with its audience.

Keep On Fallin’ by BETC for Bouygues Telecom

3. The telecoms brand starts a phone-fixing movement

France – In a bid to encourage more eco-conscious smartphone habits, telecoms service provider Bouygues Telecom is actively encouraging people to repurpose and repair their phones. The company’s playful advert, entitled Fallin’ in reference to its Alicia Keys soundtrack, shows several scenarios in which people are prone to accidentally breaking their phones.

At the end of the ad, a couple are shown getting their device repaired by Bouygues Telecom as part of a programme available to customers at a discounted rate up to twice a year. By offering this solution to a common issue, the company is demonstrating the importance of promoting longevity when it comes to technology – a sector that is moving away from planned obsolescence.

As a sector historically driven by newness, there is a need for brands to prepare for a backlash against short-term, and un-eco-friendly, behaviours. And with the Right to Repair movement gaining momentum, companies are stepping up to create devices that are made to last – resulting in more economical and sustainable product journeys.

4. A digital space for plant-centric communities

San Francisco – Recognising the crossover between plant care and positive mental wellbeing, PlantLife is an alternative social media platform that combines an interest in plants with networking and engagement with the natural world.

The app functions similarly to TikTok, with full-bleed images and videos recommended to users based on previous engagement patterns, with content aimed at plant-lovers. A response to the growing number of people who identify as ‘plant parents’, PlantLife is positioned as a space for plant-centric communities to congregate online. Creators can share videos and swap tips on how to care for their greenery, while ‘plant influencers’ from other social media platforms are being courted to join the app where they will lead digital ‘clubs’ focused on topics such as mushroom foraging and setting up e-commerce shops.

As recently reported, the rise of Flower Therapy has re-centred the importance of nature in maintaining wellbeing. As the market for such eco-therapy grows, PlantLife is well positioned to appeal to consumers who are concerned about the quality of their digital diets and are looking to improve their mental health by interacting more with nature and each other.

PlantLife app, US
Tierra Dulce, Mexico. Branding by Shift

5. A visual refresh to preserve Mexican bulk markets

Mexico – Tierra Dulce, a bulk food store in the Mexican city of Monterrey, is encouraging sustainable and local consumption among young generations with a refreshed visual identity. Created by design studio Shift, the redesign includes a simple and adaptable food labelling system that can be applied to a variety of refillable bags and containers. A vibrant colour palette, bold hand-written typefaces and repeated layouts have been applied as a nod to the familiar chants of Mexican market sellers.

Taking an eco-conscious approach throughout, signage is created using materials such as glass and recycled paper. Through this identity refresh, Tierra Dulce combines the long-standing tradition of shopping at bulk food markets with the interests of local communities. ‘Our main goal was to re-interpret the bulk market as a smaller and more modern version,’ says Shift in conversation with LS:N Global. ‘The use of coloured cardboard paper and the custom-designed hand-written typography are inspired by the hand-made signage in the bulk market’s product displays.’

To discover more about the shift to localism and celebrating traditional approaches to grocery retail and supply chains, join us for our Food and Drink Futures online event on 28 October.



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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