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21 : 12 : 18 : Weekly Debrief

Need to Know

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21 December 2018

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: SPKTRM, New York


This week: Senja celebrates Nordic beauty, Ceylon champions inclusivity, Disney and Google create interactive books, Bose launches sunglasses with sound and home painting gets a refresh.

Senja Cosmetics, Finland, branding by Werklig

1. Senja creates beauty products from Finnish forests

Finland – The cosmetics company has launched an all-natural skincare line, with ingredients harvested from the cleanest country in the world.

The range of vegan products, which includes a cleansing oil and day and night cream, have been created with local Finnish ingredients. During the Nordic summer months when the sun never sets, plants store up additional nutrients in order to survive during the long winter. As a result, native berries and herbs are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, something Senja is embracing with its skincare products.

‘The treasures of Finnish forests have not been used in cosmetics enough,' says Senja Parkkinen, the brand's CEO and founder. ‘I wanted to develop the most natural yet highly effective skincare products, and Finnish wild berries and herbs proved to be the perfect ingredients.’

 Locally sourced ingredients are allowing beauty brands to celebrate both local cultures and historical beauty practices, something also seen in Japan, with the emergence of J-Beauty brands that contain seaweed, sake and yuzu.

Ceylon, US. Photography by Megan Rogers

2. A skincare range for men of colour

Los Angeles – Ceylon is creating products that address the nuances of the underserved men’s beauty market – with a focus on men of colour.

According to the brand, there is a distinct lack of products designed for the treatment and protection of non-Caucasian skin, with men using these products reporting skin irritation, hyper-pigmentation, acne scarring, razor bumps and eczema.

To counter this, Ceylon consulted dermatologists to offer a collection that is gentle on the skin of men who are Asian, Hispanic, African, Native American, Middle Eastern or from Asia-Pacific. The basic range is made up of a moisturiser, facial wash and toner. ‘Ceylon is important… it's going to help break down stereotypes in communities of colour, especially with men and their relationship to grooming, which we feel is a gateway to better health and wellness,’ says co-founder Blake Rascoe.

Although beauty brands are waking up to the importance of inclusivity and the opportunities in men’s skincare, Ceylon is the first brand to address both markets.

Google Home and Disney, 2018

3. Google Home makes children's stories interactive

US – Disney and Google are bringing children's stories to life with a range of physical books that can be enhanced with the use of a Google Home device.

Featuring recognisable characters from the Disney franchise, parents sitting down to read with their children simply say: ‘Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney’ before reading the book out loud. Google Home will recognise the story and play relevant sound effects and music to enhance the storytelling experience.

Google Home will also recognise when parts of the book are skipped or when a child asks a question. In these moments, the device will play background music until the reading continues. The partnership with Disney is part of Google’s plan to make its home assistants more family-friendly.

In a bid to re-invent the traditional book format for the next generation, brands are using technology to augment reading. For more, read our microtrend Young Bibliophiles.

4. Sunglasses that enhance the aural experience

US – Bose is promising consumers an immersive audio experience with its Frames – a new range of sunglasses featuring in-built personal speakers.

Its Rondo and Alto frames take cues from classic sunglasses shapes, but each black nylon and metal frame has in-built mini-speakers and Bose AR technology that enable the wearer to play music, connect to their phone and make and receive calls.

Priced at £158 ($199.95, €175), the glasses and their supporting marketing campaign are being aimed at younger consumers who want to combine style with superior sound that doesn’t disturb others. Unlike Google Glass and Snapchat Spectacles, however, Bose AR will not interrupt the wearer’s vision – instead it’s described as ‘the world’s first audio-only augmented reality platform, where applications will utilise contextual audio to deliver first-of-a-kind experiences’.

Such aural enhancements are helping to elevate consumers’ social interactions and immersive experiences, something explored in our recent interview with John Connell, researcher in residence at 4DSOUND’s Spatial Sound Institute.

Bose Frames
Backdrop, US

5. Backdrop is rebranding the paint industry

New York – The company is reinventing the $11bn (£8bn, €10bn) home painting category for the Millennial generation.

With advisors from Glossier, Everlane and Warby Parker, Backdrop is a new paint brand that is applying the direct-to-consumer formula to the interior paint industry. The brand challenges the overwhelming nature of paint shopping by offering a curated selection of colours, a range of essential supplies and an inspiring shopping experience.

The branding, created by design agency Aruliden, differentiates Backdrop from most paint brands on the market, which tend to focus on images of interiors. Backdrop instead positions itself as a lifestyle brand, filling its e-commerce site with playful campaign imagery of young people and families.

Inspired by the success of start-ups like Warby Parker, brands like Backdrop and Clare are taking on an antiquated industry by going direct to the consumer and simplifying the shopping experience.


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