17 : 12 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: The Orient Express repositions itself in the sustainable sphere, Dior’s literature inspiration, Peloton’s hyper-reactive ad, a XR mental health experience and teaching girls to code.

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17 December 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: N°XIII by LOUIS XIII, France


The Orient Express La Dolce Vita, Italy

1. Orient Express repositions itself as sustainable luxury

Italy – In a bid to reinvent its traditional roots, the rail company is making a comeback as a design-led and environmentally-friendly service. Introducing a train called La Dolce Vita, which will take passengers around Italy, its interiors pay tribute to the artistic 1960s period that it takes its name from.

The revamped interiors by Dimorestudio also complement a promotional campaign from the trains owner Accor Group, which centres on the notion of Made in Italy. ‘The spaces are thoughtfully designed and well-curated without being ostentatious and always well-curated,’ explain Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, co-founders of Dimorestudio.

As well as celebrating Italian design and local tourism, Orient Express is also positioning itself as part of the burgeoning slow travel movement. In fact, the company notes that technologies such as hydrogen power will be explored for its future trains. Such an approach reflects growing demand for elevated rail operations that promote the ease and romanticism of train travel.

Dior Men Fall 2022 by Kim Jones in collaboration with the Jack Kerouac Estate, UK

2. A Dior collection that borrows from classic literature

London - Aligning itself with popular online aesthetics like Dark Academia, Dior’s latest menswear collection is a celebration of modern literature. Created in collaboration with the Jack Kerouac estate, the collection takes the American novelist’s work as its starting point.

Known for his beatnik style and influence on modern fashion, Jack Kerouac was a contemporary of Christian Dior in the 1950s. Now, 70 years later, creative director Kim Jones is drawing on Kerouac's storytelling to attract Generation Z and older consumers alike. Bridging the fields of literature and fashion, the catwalk has been styled to look like an extended scroll in reference to Kerouac’s most famous novel, On the Road. Elsewhere in the collection, leather jackets have been hand painted with the cover art of Kerouac’s earlier novels.

Although the fashion industry has often collaborated with visual artists, partnerships with literary figures and estates have been less common. With growing literary fandoms on Book Tok and other social media platforms, however, there is scope for fashion houses to experiment with Longevity Marketing and the revival of print media.

He's Alive by Peloton, US

3. Peloton spins bad press in its hyper-reactive ad

US – Following Peloton’s surprise role in the first episode of HBO series And Just Like That..., quick-witted ad agency Maximum Effort took on the challenge of crafting a viral response in just 48 hours.

When the much-anticipated follow-up to Sex and the City debuted last week, cult fitness brand Peloton found itself the subject of a social media frenzy, resulting in its stock plummeting. However, just two days later the brand re-emerged with its response – an ad called Unspoiler Alert, which showcased a happier ending for Mr Big, the character who abruptly dies at the end of the episode.

The bold marketing stunt represents a collaboration between Peloton and Maximum Effort, an ad agency run by actor Ryan Reynolds that's renowned for tongue-in-cheek campaigns that are ideated, shot and produced in record time. Ironically, Peloton was satirised by Maximum Effort back in 2019, but the recent ad shows their newfound power as co-conspirators.

Whirlwind marketing campaigns are becoming ever-more relevant in today’s fast-moving culture. To find out how brands can speed up their advertising in order to survive, read our Q&A with ad agency disruptor 10 Days.

4. Yellow Trip Road is a XR mental health experience

Global – Free-to-access platform Yellow Trip Road aims to provoke and promote conversations around mental wellbeing by uniting the mediums of music, fashion design, NFTs and virtual art.

Hosted online, people visiting the cross reality (XR) virtual sanctuary navigate woodland, desert, space and ocean settings as a way of exploring and supporting mental health initiatives. Accompanied by a black dog – symbolic of depression – users’ experience is described as a sensory metaphor of life through which people can seek to heal or lose themselves.

Collective Enjoy Being in Transition (EBIT), which includes creatives Glen Luchford, Soo Joo Park, DJ John Digweed and Wilson Oryema are behind the platform, together with virtual fashion pioneers The Dematerialised and NFT provider AnamXR. Yellow Brick Road emphasises its mental health mission through the provision of limited-edition virtual streetwear NFTs that can purchased through the platform, from which 10% of sales go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Building on digital-first and drug-free mental healthcare experiences, such as those provided by the Trip app, Yellow Trip Road demonstrates how numerous sectors and creatives can align to create decentralised forms of wellness support.

Yellow Trip Road by EBIT™ and AnamXR, in collaboration with THE DEMATERIALISED, Global
Girls Who Code Presents Doja Cat Woman

5. Doja Cat’s latest music video teaches girls to code

US – The musician has partnered with non-profit organisation Girls Who Code to launch a codable music video, Planet Her. Trainee coders are given Doja Cat’s music video for Woman to work with, using either CSS, Javascript or Python. It plays as the original music video would, but viewers are able to make decisions throughout using the various coding programs.

By bringing coding to the mass market in an accessible and interactive way, the initiative shows how popular cultural voices can support Women's Futures. ‘Learning to code enables you to change the world around you, and we’re thrilled to partner with global superstar Doja Cat, beloved by young people everywhere, as we invite girls to experience Planet Her, a place where they get to be in control,’ says Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code.

Such projects also provide insight into the future-facing evolution of education, and the ways that learning methods will need to adapt in line with the needs of society in 2030 and beyond.



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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