Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From film premieres causing drowsiness to fast fashion vending machines, find out what’s been happening this month across the globe.

Shear Boredom, UK

A London cinema has announced it will screen the eight-hour film Baa Baa Land, which has been dubbed “the world’s dullest movie” by those who made it. The film has been shot in slow motion and features no actors, dialogue or plot. Instead, it has a cast of hundreds of sheep.

“There has been a growing trend towards slowing down in recent years as a counter to our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles. An eight-hour film only featuring sheep for the viewers to watch could help balance out the stimuli they face on a daily basis. At the same time, the makers of the film are revelling in this “boredom” tag – something we’ve seen brands do in an attempt to be seen as more truthful and transparent. Those that can show their self-awareness in the face of adversity while also helping people kick back and take a moment from their hectic schedules will appeal to consumers looking for honesty and greater value from the brands they patronise.”

Boredom

Catherine Cottney – Manager of Trends, EMEA

 The Pregnancy Pause, US

Mother New York has launched a campaign aimed at destigmatizing maternity leave for working mothers. The Pregnancy Pause has its own website and LinkedIn page and the idea is that mothers can list their job title as “Mom” at “The Pregnancy Pause” on their LinkedIn profiles or résumés, turning a résumé gap into a statement that parenting is a full-time job.

“Women around the world are working to close the gender gap in employment situations and encourage equal access to professional recognition. Brands are stepping up as well to advance working women and working mothers. Companies will do well to support women and their various needs as they make choices related to balancing their careers and raising their families.”

pregnancy

Carli Gernot – Manager of Trends, North America

Sweet Sleep, South Korea

South Korean beverage manufacturer Lotte Chilsung has launched Sweet Sleep, a relaxation drink that enhances sleep quality. The beverage targets modern consumers in their twenties and thirties who are tired and feeling the effects of daily stress.

“In the highly competitive and stressful Korean culture, sleep has become a luxury. More and more people in modern society are struggling to get the proper amount of sleep. Recently, we’ve seen brands exploring opportunities to provide relaxing products and services to consumers. This presents opportunities for brands to explore claims which target different consumer age groups.”

Sweet sleep

Delon Wang – Manager of Trends, Asia Pacific

Empty Shelves, Germany

A supermarket in Hamburg emptied its shelves of products from abroad in order to show how empty the store would be without them and celebrate diversity. Customers were left to do without food they consume regularly including tomatoes from Spain, olives from Greece or cheese from France.

“With a growing number of consumers looking to affiliate themselves with brands and companies that share their own values, this celebration of diversity can boost brand image and encourage more people to shop at the store. While brands that take these kind of stances run the risk of alienating those opposed to them, openly aligning with a certain issue can encourage increased loyalty from consumers who do share the same viewpoint.”

shelves

Adam Steel – Trends Analyst, EMEA

T-shirt vending, US

Uniqlo has installed a vending machine at Oakland Airport in California, offering customers heat-retaining shirts and lightweight down jackets on the go. The Japanese fashion brand has also announced its plans to install nine more vending machines in airports and malls in Los Angeles, Houston and New York.

“We’re increasingly seeing brands revolutionize the vending machine concept and worldwide, brands are using vending machines to dispense products like clothing and electronics. As more brands explore quick, easy, and convenient ways to shop, consumers are expecting to see innovations in this space. Brands that can make shopping easier and quicker through concepts like vending machines will likely garner attention and boost customers’ satisfaction, which can potentially influence them to come back and buy more in the future.”

uniqlo

Iliana Alvarenga – Trends Analyst, North America

It’s a Match, it’s a Discount, Brazil

Retail chain Magazine Luiza’s campaign for Lovers’ Day saw the company’s avatar, Luiza, create a Tinder account that exchanged matches – from both men and women, highlighting her bisexuality – for discounts. The campaign resulted in more than 150,000 matches with Tinder users.

“Magazine Luiza’s e-commerce presence continues to grow, and creating a digital campaign which is both interactive and playful seems a smart move to engage hyper-connected consumers. It’s not just that there’s a billboard overload anymore, digital space, where most people can be found, will only continue to become flooded, meaning brands will need to up their game if they want to stay in the game.”

match

Graciana Méndez – Trends Analyst, Latin America

Shoot with Colonel Sanders, China

KFC’s latest campaign incorporates a young Colonel Sanders character and KFC-inspired weapons being into the popular video game CrossFire (CF), was launched via a range of activities, including a livestreamed event. The game also includes a range of KFC-inspired weapons such as an ice cream dagger and French fries granite. Players can access these add-ons by collecting flashcards, which come with every “CF Burger Menu” ordered in-store at KFC or via food delivery.

“Several brands and companies have started to realize the large potential of the mobile gaming industry and have incorporated gamification into their initiatives and campaigns to make them more interactive and engaging for consumers. According to Mintel’s report Living Online China 2016 21% of respondents say that they play online games to get closer to real life friends. Hence, similar to KFC and CF’s partnership, other brands and companies may find opportunities too by cooperating with popular mobile games.”

colonel

Joyce Lam – Trends Analyst, Asia Pacific

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