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Edition #1 | Your weekly inspiration fix • 31 May 2023
Tech-loving APAC consumers are being introduced to a new generation of AI that’s rapidly making its way to the region. Likened to the mobile phone revolution, this generative AI can develop basically anything with simple prompts. The ability to quickly move from initial idea to final draft has amplified self-expression and democratized creativity across the region. With several countries in Asia having made it their core priority to build AI-driven societies, it’s not a surprise that advancements into generative AI have accelerated... see more
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🇲🇽 Nestlé Mexico launches Terapia de Cocina to turn cooking into arthritis therapy
The pain, stiffness and weakness caused by arthritis can make everyday tasks a struggle. And that includes cooking. Which is why Nestlé Mexico has blended physiotherapy and cooking to create Terapia de Cocina, or Kitchen Therapy, on Recetas Nestlé... see more
🇳🇱 Challenging the need to succeed, Utrecht's Faal Festival embraces failure
In a world consumed by the pursuit of perfection and success, a Dutch festival is offering a playful antidote. On 2 June 2023, Faal Festival (Failure Festival) will celebrate imperfection and failure as ordinary parts of human life... see more
🇧🇷 Encouraging friends to finally meet up for dinner, Stella Artois splits the bill
People bump into friends and vow to get together. All the time. But life and schedules get in the way, and those good intentions don't make it into hard-and-fast plans. To get the ball rolling, Stella Artois offers to pay for half of a meal... see more
SUBVERSION TACTICS: Embracing the power of disruption in dupe culture

Dupe culture has gained traction amid the cost-of-living crisis, with consumers seeking (and flaunting!) more affordable knockoffs. The practice was popularized on TikTok, racking up billions of views. Recognizing the demand for dupes of their popular Align leggings, cult athleisure brand Lululemon hosted a two-day event in May where customers could trade their Align dupes for the authentic product, free of charge.

This subversion tactic allowed Lululemon to insert itself into an ongoing cultural conversation while betting big on the power of its brand. Risky, but it worked — thousands turned up to get their hands on the real thing, some camping out overnight. Per one report, half of the guests that came through the activation were new to the brand

Is your brand able to identify the cultural currents shaping your industry, and dive into them in a playful way? You've gotta be in it to win it 😉

Financial inclusion for women in Morocco
In mid-May, Al Barid Bank signed an agreement with Visa to promote financial inclusion of women, artisans, young entrepreneurs and cooperatives in Morocco. As part of the agreement, the bank will offer training for traditional VSEs, young entrepreneurs and the self-employed, with a focus on women. This is much needed: the Global Findex found that just 33% of Moroccan women hold a bank account, compared to 56% of men.

How will you push for fempowerment in the regions where it’s most needed? MullenLowe MENA created an image database that puts female professionals front and center, while UK-based adventure travel specialists Untamed Borders launched a new virtual tour that takes would-be travelers to Herat in Afghanistan under the guidance of its only female tour guide.
AI takes over the airwaves
As the number of daily podcast episodes dedicated to AI continues to soar, consider partnerships with existing podcasts, create your own AI-focused content or turn your AI journey into a new content stream.
PLEASURE PARADOX: Consumers seek joy with limitations
Contrary to analysts’ predictions of a Roaring Twenties revival, the consumer landscape is currently dominated by brands that offer pared-back indulgence. 

Economic inflation and political uncertainty might have 1920s undertones but people — reeling from the aftershocks of COVID-19 — are prioritizing their mental and physical health, and taking stock of life after lockdowns. Consumers across the globe want support: 83% expect the healthcare industry to play a significant role in making sure they’re as healthy as possible, closely followed by food & beverage (77%), tech (74%), retail (64%) and finance (60%) industries (Edelman, March 2023).

From the continued growth of nolo-alcohol, to vegetable-enriched ice cream, modest club nights and mindful party vacations, we’re seeing brands meet consumers at their level by delivering treats with fewer (or no) physical health drawbacks. Amid the current economic downturn, can you provide hedonism with a guard rail?
As loneliness spreads, the search for friendship is off the charts

The US Surgeon General released a report last month declaring that loneliness is at epidemic levels. This problem isn't limited to the US: in April 2023, the South Korean government announced it would pay up to USD 500 per month to combat loneliness among its youth.

Consumers are taking matters into their own hands, too. Google Trends revealed that searches for "how to make friends," "where to make friends," and "where to meet people" reached a record peak in May 2023.

Against this backdrop, brands are stepping into the role of social guides and guardians. Can you transform part of your brick-and-mortar locations into communal meeting spaceslure loners out through gamification or join forces with institutions that are already fighting the good fight?

🇲🇽 Condom brand Prudence opens OnlyFans account to bring sex ed to a wider audience
After reaching millions on traditional social media, condom brand Prudence turned to OnlyFans. Within that uncensored space, it's providing a sex-positive take on reproductive health education... see more
🇳🇱 Scoring a goal for the planet, FC Dordrecht organizes first climate-neutral soccer match
After six months of preparation, Dutch soccer club FC Dordrecht hosted the Netherlands' first climate-neutral soccer match, setting a new precedent for integrating sustainability and sports... see more