Over the past few decades, the term
‘sustainability’ has developed into an increasingly holistic concept, as
we come to realise that people, profit and the planet are intrinsically
linked. The term ‘sustainability’ now incorporates buzzwords such as
‘ethical’, and ‘organic’ and connects to wider themes of responsibility and
transparency within business. This is becoming an increasingly important
strand for brand communications which are using a greater amount of content to
Wonderbag is a heat retention cooker which requires no energy and was invented to help poverty affected communities save on the cost of fuel. One Wonderbag saves up to 76% of cooking energy and has saved 50,000 carbon tonnes in the past five years.
If you're struggling to beat the summer heat, (clearly you don't live in London!) Japan has developed a curious new product that apparently instantly drops body temperature. Taking it one step further from traditional existing cooling sprays, this fascinating innovation actually releases a chilling foam that hardens and can be wrapped around the user’s wrist.
Del Monte has announced plans to offer bananas in plastic wrappers to slow down the ripening process. To be frank, this is ludicrous, particularly when you look at where they plan to offer the newly packaged products. Consumers buying fruit from petrol stations, convenience stores, and, particularly, gyms are likely to do so because they want to consume the product there and then, not a couple of days later.
Excess packaging has been a huge issue for the industry and with items like this cropping up it seems it will be here to stay. However, there is another way.
By applying the principles of radicality (which ultimately entails us getting back to our roots) to buying and consumption habits, consumers can significantly decrease the amount of waste produced and brands can help this process. Indeed, if brands such as Del Monte acknowledge and act on the trends emerging around using fresh ingredients, recycling at home and re-using items, this return to our roots will be much more effective. Offering consumers longer-shelf life on a product is not, and should not be the focus for brands. Now is the time to be natural, now is the time to apply the notion of radicality.
One of my new favourite blogs is Japan Trends, which has provided this blog with many fascinating products and curios from the Land of the Rising Sun. (check out Love & Horses in your lunch break)
Business cards are very important in Japan. Used by professionals and businessmen as status symbols, this is a country where you can order business cards covered in gold. Business cards (or meishi) are at the centre of a complete sub-culture that is a far cry from the UK, where you can get cards printed by a machine in a motorway service station.
And it isn't all "Hello Kitty" cards either, although they do of course exist. This enterprising model firm, Tamiya - kind of like the Japanese version of Airfix - has developed a series of meishi model kits, where the letters and numbers on the card can be detached and and turned into miniature racing cars and things.
My own business cards look particularly naff in comparison, especially when AR cards are starting to appear on the scene.
Says [insert name of anyone who has tried Pespi]. That's right, Pepsi has arrived. Coke was the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90's, even 10's, but it's Pepsi that is the drink of a new generation, the future. I like to think of myself as immune to advertising but the Pepsi Refresh Project has genuinely changed my perception of the brand and, on trying Pepsi and realising it does tastes better than Coke, I changed my purchasing habits. It's the perfect advertising case study.
The industry was shocked when Pepsi pulled it's regular spot on the Super Bowl, and spent $1.3 million dollars per month on a CSR project. CSR is a trend brands are becoming increasingly engaged with, but need guidance on exactly how to do it.
Could this social media experiment become Pepsi's first successful advertising campaign? They've just announced the launch of the project in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as continuing to fund the flagship project in Canada and the US. Bloggers predict this could even rival Coke's "refreshment" gene.
"I'd like to buy the world a Coke" ... and doesn't.
Pepsi says: "We would like to refresh the planet" ... and does.
Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.