Digital technology is increasingly being perceived as toxic, with the potential to corrupt the purity of our minds and souls. According to recent OFCOM research, 15m of us undertook a ‘digital detox’ last year, owing weight to a growing anti-digital movement. Recently we’ve seen a novel manifestation of this ‘digital detox’ movement: a romanticising of the time of Genesis. A time encapsulated by naïve innocence, raw foods, and tools without push notifications. Here are three of the favourite examples we’ve seen:
Eden on Channel 4
Directly referencing the Biblical utopia, Eden sees twenty young people stranded in a remote corner of Scotland. Tasked with building a society from scratch, Eden’s inhabitants all talk of wanting to forgo their high pressure jobs and always-connected lives in pursuit of a more primal existence. They build their shelters and grow (or kill) their food. Despite the physical hardship, the Adams and Eves constantly remind the audience about how the experience is distilling the human condition down to its purest form.
When London’s first nudist restaurant opened at the start of summer, it was tempting to damn it with faint praise as a Time Out enthusiast’s latest novelty haunt. Diners leave everything in lockers: servers wear tactically placed fig leaves. People are encouraged not to feel abashed: embarrassment is a modern day affliction. A feeling of liberation certainly follows the initial shock. Once modern clothes and gadgets are removed, we are reduced to a state no different from God’s garden.
London Foraging Courses
These courses have proved highly popular over the last couple of years, with people coming from far and wide to learn what it takes to forage successfully. The course covers over 20 wild food plants and provides tips on how to identify, cook and prepare them.
Why is this interesting?
At the same time as many brands race to become further integrated with our digital lives, more people are jumping on to the digital detox movement. We think some brands can build meaningful relationships with people based on anti-digital positions as a growing desire for ‘purer’ non-digital experiences begins to become an aspiration.
Izzy Pugh, Head of Cultural Insight & Marilyn Dutlow from Added Value in South Africa have recently unpacked from an international and local perspective how Starbucks are creating a place and a mind-set that feels like the heart of a community.
Read the full article at The Media Online! on how Starbucks are successfully creating cultural value. (http://themediaonline.co.za/2016/05/the-starbucks-way-of-forming-communities-be-creating-cultural-value/)
In the pursuit of creating something genuinely useful for people’s lives, brands sometimes need to put their label’s name aside if its presence would have an obtrusive impact. L’Oréal and LVMH have both taken note of this fact and launched online initiatives that remain uncredited:
FAB by L’Oréal
L’Oréal has launched FAB (flair, artistry, beauty), an unbranded beauty hub which showcases industry professionals creating trends all over the world 24/7. The website targets the general public as well as beauty industry professionals and the multi-media content puts a spotlight on the expertise of all these ‘artisans of beauty’.
NOWNESS by LVMH:
Nowness is an established global video channel showcasing the best in culture reaching from art, design, fashion and beauty to music, food and travel. Both established and emerging filmmakers create content that conveys storytelling designed to provoke inspiration and debate.
Why is this interesting?
It’s not L’Oréal or Louis Vuitton that people care about, it’s the lifestyle they create that’s important. With the initiatives listed above, both brands have created something beyond just their products and stepped into the real world they want to be a part of. By doing this they are not just existing in culture but helping to create it themselves, which is the perfect way for a brand to fully embed themselves in the lives of its followers.
Just like the myriad personas we find on stage and screen, character can also be applied to brands and in fact often holds the key to breathing truly new and differentiated life into them – as well as making them totally recognizable across all touch points. In the spirit of sharing, we decided to get down our top 5 tips for winning with brand character.
Read the full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-tarbox/get-in-character-using-ar_b_9585696.html
Replicating reality seems to be the latest priority for toymakers, with several brands releasing new ranges that try to reproduce an accurate representation of the real world.
Here are three brands making shifts to be more in tune with reality:
- Lego’s Stay At Home Dad
The Lego City range will soon be gaining some new arrivals in the form of a stay at home Dad and a career driven Mum. The Lego figurine Dad will be dressed in a lumberjack shirt with a hipster beard, and the Mum will have slicked back hairstyle and will come equipped with a briefcase. Lego has said the new figures are an attempt to better represent the world we live in today.
These toys come from a collaboration between an illustrator, a child psychologist, an educational specialist and a product designer. MyFamilyBuilder’s main priority is to represent all adults and children. Using magnetic connecting devices these characters can be combined in multiple ways to become representative of people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.
- Curvy Barbie
This new line gained a lot of media attention when it was released earlier this year. The range encompasses 4 body shapes, 7 skin tones, 24 hairstyles and 22 eye colours , making her representative of a wide range of people.
Why is this interesting?
Toys have always acted as a gateway for children to let their imaginations run wild, and they are increasingly being allowed to imagine a world of rich diversity and nuance. Brands seem to be taking incredibly seriously their responsibility to represent the world accurately to children – we hope it enhances their powers to help kids build imaginative worlds that don’t adhere to any rules, rather than become something merely tokenistic.