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What is awe? The feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world, leading to a combination of fear and wonder. The most famous example is Neil Armstrong looking back at Earth for […]
Why do we fear clowns?
Lots of people think clowns are creepy, but some folks have a genuine fear of clowns – what’s known as coulrophobia. Researchers wanted to explore what’s behind this fear and surveyed nearly a thousand adults around the world to analyze their fear […]
Rise of a new artisan economy
Every year, companies spend billions of euros on advertising, bombarding us with thousands of stimuli per day. They share information with us, hoping to „help“ us choose the right product. This constant stimulation has lead us into a consumerist society […]
Surreal uses fake celebrity names
Surreal is the favorite cereal of Dwayne Johnson. But it’s also the official cereal of Ronaldo, and Serena Williams called it “ace”. These are however not the people you probably expect them to be. The brand found ‘ordinary’ people with […]
“Are you a feminist?”
The answer to that question likely differs a lot depending on where you’re from. A recent survey by YouGov found some pretty big differences, even within Western Europe. For example, if you’re from Spain, odds are about 50/50 whether you would answer […]
De-influencing; the why behind TikTok’s latest hype
Instead of recommending to viewers what to buy, TikTok influencers are increasingly telling their viewers what not to spend their money on. What’s behind this trend? Looking at Generation Z, they are increasingly fed up with influencers and brands that portray a picture perfect image. […]
The Rise of Edgy Packaging
Recently there have been some interesting cases of what we can only call ‘edgy’ packaging. Fun, healthy and nostalgic products are wrapped in packaging traditionally designed for ‘vices’ like beer and cigarettes. The biggest recent example is the surging popularity […]
CTA: confess something
unflattering and gain trust
Companies become more trustworthy when being honest and open, nothing new here. However new research shows that this is especially the case if they confess an unflattering truth. The study showed that companies received a higher rating for social responsibility when their statements […]
Learnings on the relationship between money & happiness
“Why doesn’t a whole lot more money make us a whole lot happier? One answer to this question is that the things that bring happiness simply aren’t for sale. This sentiment is lovely, popular, and almost certainly wrong.” Read about […]
Brutally honest website feedback
Do you ever feel the need to have the ever-living shit roasted out of your work? To improve your work of course. If so, you will find that friends and colleagues might not be so well-suited. Either they are too […]
Classical study concerts to attract students
How to Get Youth Interested in Classical Music? Classical concert venues have been struggling to attract young generations for a long time. However, Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam has come up with a smart initiative to engage young people by using the Vivaldi effect to […]
When the traditional male values in fatherhood disappear…
With the invention of steam engines and internal combustion engines, physical male strength has become obsolete. Additionally, with the invention of the birth control pill, women have been freed from the inevitability of motherhood. Fathers, in turn, have become less […]
Does being greedy pay off?
The answer to the above is yes. Partly. Recent research looked at income level and other life outcomes to see whether greedy people were richer or happier. Unsurprisingly, greedier individuals did generate more personal and household income. However… they also were less […]
What does Gen Alpha do on social media?
Despite being too young to have their own accounts on social media, 79% of Millennial parents say their children are social media users of one platform or another. An American survey shows that Gen Alpha’s prominence on social media is mainly because […]
Moralized language causes more hateful responses
A new study looked into the phenomenon of moralized language on social media. Broadly defined, content is moralized if it references ideas, objects, or events construed in terms of the good of a unit larger than the individual (e.g., society). […]
Remember to write it down — write it down to remember
Handwriting is a skill that is slowly becoming a lost art in the digital age. However, writing by hand offers several benefits that typing just can’t match. Think about notes you jotted down during a lecture or meeting. Even if […]
The rise of anti-capitalism
With the seemingly ever-rising urgency to tackle the climate crisis and the slow pace at which structural changes are made, patience is running out. Especially younger generations are getting increasingly frustrated, or even fatalistic about the fate of our planet. […]
Edelman publishes Trust Barometer 2023
Last week Edelman published its 2023 trust barometer. This yearly global survey polled over 32.000 people across 28 countries, examining how much trust people have in several institutions or others. The theme this year was ‘navigating in a polarized world’ […]
How Heinz recruited brand ambassadors through tips
Ketchup brand Heinz prefers to be the golden standard in every cafeteria, restaurant, eatery or wherever food is served. This is not surprising for any condiment brand out there. But paying your customers to make it happen is. Heinz decided […]
Always get sick at the start of your vacation?
After a long stretch of working you finally take some weeks off for the holidays and set your mind to relaxing and enjoying yourself. However, some people can’t seem to enjoy this time at all. What is dubbed in Dutch […]
The surge of auto-generated everything and the case for authenticity
2022 was the year when creative, auto-generating AI tools seemed to spring up like mushrooms. And unlike their predecessors, these latest versions are actually breaking into the mainstream because of their practical usability. For example, Cosmopolitan created an AI-generated magazine cover in […]
Perceived polarization is growing in the Netherlands
A recent survey by the Dutch governmental research organization SCP set out to test the perception of polarization in the country. 73% of respondents said they felt the differences between people’s opinions are growing (up from 63% in April 2020 and similar […]
How meaningful work shields you from burnouts
Mental well-being in the workforce has long been an issue and is amplified due to corona. A 2021 study of 15.000 professionals worldwide found that 52% of those surveyed were struggling with mental health at work, with 62% experiencing more stress and […]
Social media denies us the rewards of boredom
Nowadays over half of the people worldwide have a social media account. The moment we are bored, taking a break, eating lunch, or doing any activity that doesn’t require much attention, we grab our phone and check our socials. Some sources even […]
The appeal of social media: toxic content
Social media algorithms amplify outrageous content online as this is what keeps users engaged, and therefore leads to higher revenue from advertising. Recent research proves that people are indeed interested in the toxic nature of social media. One study used a browser […]
Gen Z is mocking the fakeness of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is littered with inspirational gurus sharing a range of (*surely*) made-up stories to humble brag about the leadership lessons they have learned or how their unconventional and open-minded decisions ended up paying off in the end. And this doesn’t bode […]
More than half of ‘dark green’ investment funds invest in fossil fuels
Sustainable investing has never been more popular. In Europe alone, investors are currently investing 4.2 trillion euros in funds that promise a sustainable world in one way or another. Out of this, 619 billion euros are spent in dark green […]
Concert ticket enables people to burst their musical bubble
When was the last time you did something for the first time? With so much of what we plan to do or buy happening online in our personalized algorithm bubble, we are likely to end up with experiences and products that […]
How Valentines celebrations are changing
You couldn’t miss out on it; Valentine’s Day. As a tradition many brands tapped into the commercial day, celebrating love. However, the definition of what kind of love we celebrate has been broadened. Instead of focusing on the traditional romantic […]
What Pornhub’s report
can teach us about society
Pornhub delved into the data from billions of visits to see what content defined 2022. And with Porn sites attracting more visitors each month than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined, Pornhubs yearly report is definitely worth taking a look at. […]
Our response to the corona crisis
The world is in chaos right now. People, governments and organizations are in downright survival mode. Everybody is looking at today and tomorrow.
Non-profits are in trouble, will Generation Z show them the way?
Recently, we inspired the Dutch non-profit sector at a meeting organised by PWC. The future of non-profit organisations is at stake. Most of them are losing donors rapidly. What does this mean for their future?
Why brands need thick data to capitalize on big data
The essence of marketing was and always will be to identify, understand and serve human needs. In todays world we call that customer-centricity, because many organizations have seem to have lost touch with their customers.
Does Gen Z see fashion as an asset?
Fashion brand SAMSOE & SAMSOE taps into the popularity of marketplaces like Vinted. The brand enables customers to resell their products by giving you all the info needed through a QR code, such as measurements and the original price. This might […]
How Hornbach responds to their employees’ need for radical flexibility
The pandemic led to a reset for workers, with many rethinking the role that employment plays in their lives. Resisting work’s dominance, employees are increasingly demanding greater flexibility from current and future employers. According to a survey by Deloitte, already in […]
Monopoly causes the type of fights we need
8 out of 10 people fight during a game of Monopoly. And even though this sounds counter-intuitive, it might actually be good news. Not so much the fight in itself of course, but the conversations afterwards are valuable as it often […]
The danger of closed minds
For any constructive debate to take place, it is essential for participants to keep somewhat of an open mind – to be receptive to other viewpoints and to accept that our own convictions might not form an infallible truth. This […]
Looking for a healthy dose of nostalgia? Check out the mobile phone museum. The website is dedicated to physically and digitally preserving the entirety of mobile phone history and has over 2200 unique mobile phones. Can you find your first […]
Climate change is already threatening our sleep
Recently more and more articles explore the implications of the rising temperatures on less obvious aspects of our lives. Recently we wrote a signal about how the rising heat affects our mood, stress, aggression and its impact on crime statistics. […]
If the world were 100 people
As human species, we’re aiming to make sense of the world around us. And as our world has become increasingly complex we fail short in doing so. That’s why we cherish projects that aim to help us understand the world […]
58% of corporate leaders admit to being guilty of greenwashing
Which is one of the surprising results of an anonymous survey among 1,491 executives worldwide. It was even, with 68% among American leaders. But even though the stat is surprising, it seems most people were already assuming so. A different survey among 395.000 consumers […]
Are young Europeans becoming more conservative?
Recently, the Atlas of European values was published. This extensive survey has set out to uncover the attitudes of Europeans on a range of different topics by asking 1.500 citizens of every country about their views (since 1981). One of the most surprising […]
Male caregivers are incompetent (according to tv shows)
With Father’s Day just behind us, it seems fitting to write a little bit about the representation of men and fathers on television. An analysis of 225 popular scripted broadcast and streaming television shows from 2013 to 2020 set out […]
Study finds big part of climate denial tweets come from bots
A study by researchers at Brown University has analyzed 6.5 million tweets from the period surrounding President Donald Trump’s June 2017 announcement that he was removing the United States from the Paris climate accord. The conclusion is quite worrying: Tweets about „fake […]
The pandemic disrupted maturity among young adults
Now that the pandemic is increasingly taking a back seat in our everyday lives, it is interesting to assess the degree to which people have been (lastingly) affected by such a disrupting event. Even though environmental events are conventionally found […]
Why ASICS changed the traditional ‚before and after‘ workout format
“A recent study by ASICS found that nearly three-quarters of people believe that society’s obsession with the perfect body is damaging our mental health. 80% are demotivated by exercise transformation images and nearly half (48%) feel insecure about their bodies […]
The undervaluation of leisure time
Nowadays, time is seen as a strict unit of measurement that has to be optimized at all times. “Time is money”. Now think back about the days when you were a kid. When you had the space to wander around […]
What philosophers think about philosophy’s biggest questions (survey)
Sometimes we stumble onto some inspiration that we don’t necessarily have something to add to, but we want to share it with our newsletter readers anyway. This week that is just the case. This month the 2020 PhilPapers Survey results […]
Why Gen Z wants to go back to the office (partly)
Are we returning to the office full-time? Or do we want to keep working from home most of the time? Research on this topic shows contradictory results. However, most of the research suggests there’s probably more excitement among younger people to head back to […]
The biggest lie on the web fixed
How many times have you ticked a box stating you have read and agreed to certain terms and conditions? And how many times have you actually read these terms? We bet the answers to these questions differ heavily. But you’re […]
A more realistic image of the future
People have always been fascinated by what the future might look like and many have written about it. However, often that what is predicted by futurists tends to look a lot like sci-fi novels, but without the plot. At least that […]
Is science moving beyond the ‘why’?
A really interesting article was recently published in the Guardian by Laura Spinney. She discusses the evolution of science into an entity that moves beyond theory, spurred on by the advances in machine learning. For example, Facebook’s algorithm predicts your preferences […]
What do people actually want from the metaverse?
The metaverse. It has been one of the most hyped (and mocked) technological developments of the last year(s). But even though it has taken such a front seat in tech discourse worldwide, no one has actually managed to create a metaverse […]
Are you real enough?
Authenticity is important for brands. A 2019 survey among 1,590 consumers and 150 B2C marketers from the U.S., UK and Australia found that 90% of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support – […]
The paradox of Gen Z tolerance
A recent survey among (over 1.500) British Gen Z’ers has unearthed an interesting finding. Generation Z is widely regarded as a tolerant and liberal cohort, paving the way on issues such as gender and multiculturalism. For example, only 48% of Gen Z […]
Optimism in Cop27 drops to a low
The famous climate summit Cop27, where world leaders meet to discuss solutions to combat climate change, is currently taking place. Technically speaking, putting most of the powerful people from around the world in a room could lead to significant action, […]
The hidden potential of talking to strangers
As you go about your day, you interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel connected and cared for, allowing you to experience meaning in life. But what if there’s a whole category of people in your […]
Burger King uses raw realism to make a point
Burger King Mexico has launched an intriguing campaign to signal its commitment to preservative-free fast food. Instead of polished images of burgers and/or models eating said burgers, they instead opted for the gritty, often less glamorous reality of everyday Mexicans […]
Are money worries as stressful as going through a divorce?
A study has ranked the most stressful situations for the human brain, revealing that financial strain is comparable to a major life event like a difficult breakup. Neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis took 1000 participants in Europe and the US through an Implicit […]
Why you want to prevent yourself from “Phubbing”
Phubbing, a.k.a. phone snubbing, is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention. Although the act is super common, you might catch yourself by phubbing from time to time. And […]
Deliveroo publishes a one-star review cookbook
A delivery meal is only as good as how it is delivered. That’s why meal delivery service Deliveroo published a tongue-in-cheek cookbook to bring some notorious one-star reviews to life. The book contains innovative fusion recipes like ‘Stairway dropped Birthday […]
A fashion collection designed by interns
UK fashion brand Hush has launched a fashion collection solely designed by in-house interns. Every piece is sustainably sourced and perfectly represents the brands “laid back style”. Instead of tasking interns with meaningless chores, hush shows to understand how to […]
Why we love stuff
We are in the midst of the festive season where we set out to buy our loved ones a lot of presents. And even though we often say we “don’t need anything”, some studies show why we sometimes do need it. One study for […]
Mindfulness (toys) for kids
Mindfulness and meditation are popular modern tools to handle busy days, and stress, to relax or regulate emotions. As traditional religion fades and the need for alternative forms of spirituality is rising (especially among young people), demand for new stuff arises. […]
Why are brands afraid to speak about social issues?
Nowadays many people expect brands to speak up about social and environmental issues. A 2019 survey showed that 70% of consumers believe it’s important for brands to take a public stand on social and political issues. However, a recent research from communication and marketing […]
Why you want to eat breakfast with a stranger
How often do you interact with strangers? Just for fun, without expecting something in return. No coffee, groceries, romantic affection or job opportunity? Just a real, genuine interaction with someone unknown. With that idea in mind, the social app ‘The […]
Time well spent: visit an art museum
We tend to think of art as a luxury. However, with so many benefits to our mental health, art might be more essential than we think. Further research proves art can reduce stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure, and fire up the […]
Last year, more adults than ever participated in “Dry January”; 35% of legal-age adults in the U.S. had decided to cut alcohol for that month (compared to 21% in 2019). A similar trend can be found in the U.K. Grocery chain Tesco […]
Why do we all deserve a Christmas packed with traditions?
Decorating a Christmas tree, watching Home Alone, and having dinner with friends and family… Christmas is packed with traditions, which might be more beneficial to you than you think. Anthropologist and cognitive scientist Dimitri explains the psychological power behind the sacred and […]
Critical ignorance; the most important skill of the 21st century?
The average twelve-year-old has access to 200 million more books than Shakespeare had. And the surge of information over the last centuries has made it impossible to absorb all the information that currently exists. The last person who could theoretically […]
The antidote for polarization
We are living in spectacularly polarizing times. Even though some sources (1,2) claim that we are not as polarized as it seems, people still perceive more division in society than before. The global Edelman trust barometer pointed out that 64 […]
The price of being single
“The number of singles in society is rising. In the US, 38% of adults between 25 and 54 are single, compared to 29% in 1990. A similar trend is found in the UK, South Korea and Japan. More people prioritize […]
How Gen Z changes what’s in fashion
Instead of big fashion powerhouses that inspire people what to wear, trends are increasingly found in the streets. This so-called „bottom-up-fashion“ was first described in the late 1970s, but is especially alive and kicking right now. Gen Z has inverted […]
Salt brand becomes rival’s biggest supporter
In South-American countries, salt is broadly associated with bad luck. So when Cris-sal, an Ecuadorian salt brand, inquired to sponsor the national team in the upcoming world cup, the football association declined. However, the brand still wanted to help and […]
The danger of pluralistic ignorance
Scroll through social media, and it’s easy to believe people are extremely divided. However, often we’re more united than we think. Americans, for example, greatly underestimate how many other people support climate policy according to recent research. The vast majority of […]
A very annoying museum, you’ve been warned
Digitalisation made it crucial to develop new customer service experiences, especially during the pandemic. According to McKinsey, 43% of consumers have switched to digital channels due to convenience and availability. Even though every big company nowadays has marketing, UX and communication […]
Adidas‘ Gen Z proof birthday party
For the 50th birthday of the brand, Adidas Originals hosted a pop-up party „A sartorial city„ in Berlin, which was dedicated to defining the new age of originality. Instead of the usual polished and overly-curated brand event, Adidas had some fun […]
Bottle design provokes creative play?
Between 1975 and 2008, the number of products in the average supermarket swelled from an average of 8,948 to almost 47,000. The result? Brands do not only compete for sales but also just to be noticed among the ocean of different products […]
Decathlon → ‘Nolhtaced’
Decathlon shops in three Belgian cities have temporarily been renamed as ‘Nolhtaced’ (apparently pronounced Nol-ta-ked). This name reversal is meant to draw attention to the store’s new buy-back service (a.k.a. reverse-shopping) where customers can sell their old sports goods to […]
Public spaces designed for people – not consumers
This month the Design in Motion Festival (founded by Studio Dumbar/DEPT® and Global) took place in the Netherlands. For one-day digital artists took over 5000 screens at train stations, metros, shopping centres, airports, or on billboards along major highways and streets across […]
Glassdoor adds employer value filters
Glassdoor, the online platform where people can find honest reviews about employers by (former) employees, is adding a new function to its website. Users can now filter employers by a large range of new value filters: “workplace factor ratings such […]
The best of on- and offline shopping in one app
Although online webshops have made the experience of shopping very convenient, it does somewhat take the fun out of the experience. It wasn’t so long ago that shopping meant you physically needed to go somewhere, often accompanied by friends, partners […]
This passive cooking guide saves you money and CO2
Pasta brand Barilla has shared a useful guide to enable people to use ‘passive cooking’ to prepare their pasta dishes. This guide explains how preparing pasta only needs about 2 minutes of cooking time, after which you turn the heat off and […]
The role of curiosity in creating more inclusive work environments
36% of U.S. employees aged 18-44 say diversity & inclusion policies/practices are an important factor when searching for a new job, according to new research by Glassdoor. But at the same time the research shows 43% of employees have still witnessed or experienced discrimination […]
Retailer recommends you the unrecommended
Over 80% of our content is recommended by algorithms nowadays. In protest, French books, music and electrical equipment retailer Fnac recommends what doesn‘t fit our taste. The idea of their “unrecommended campaign“ is to let humans – instead of algorithms – recommend products. The aim is […]
Combining big and thick data to find new growth opportunities
Marketers and insights professionals are often the windows to the world for their organizations. They are typically the ones who bring the outside in and the future forward. As multiple crises are unfolding, complexity and uncertainty abound. Right now is […]
The rise of machine-made culture
If we follow Ted Striphas, culture is “sorting, classifying and hierarchizing people, places, objects and ideas.” But the rise of social media has made a fundamental impact on the inner mechanisms of our culture. The sorting of algorithmic culture is […]
The beauty ideal in the age of algorithms
Whether you are on Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat, “The Instagram Face“ is likely to fill up your social feed. Social media creates filters that allow us to rearrange our faces according to whatever increases engagement and likes. This leads to […]
The rise of carbon footprint labels
Many of our everyday products nowaday are ‘eco labeled’. Even though brands still run into controversy and criticism due to their attempts at ‘objective’ eco labeling, the outcry only goes to show the demand among consumers for a real objective […]
Which of your friends do you pretend to like?￼
…this is just one of the many questions featured in the card set “I Am On Edge” where players ask each other questions to unlock their uncomfortable side. The creator of the game, Plotkin, believes that humans bond with fellow […]
How advertisements decrease our life satisfaction
A recent essay by Gustaaf Haan in the Volkskrant (in Dutch) discussed the role of advertising in the world around us and the ease with which we’ve come to accept living in a world filled with ads, despite their negative […]
The steady rise of experience stores
We regularly write about the increasing importance of ‘experiential’ stores to compensate and compete with online convenience (here, here, or here). Over the last years we only keep seeing more and more manifestations of this trend and while we can’t share all […]
‘Fockups’ shows the hilarious reality of mockups
Everybody that has ever worked in (or close to) design knows about mockups: template pictures of serene waving flags, perfectly shaped beer cans in front of a modern minimalistic background, or trendy billboards in an inviting and hip urban area. […]
With the rising need of conscious consuming comes a new wave of brands that put all their cards on the table. One of them is the beauty product brand ‘Isla’. On every product page the brand offers an extensive breakdown […]
Time-Based currency: Care in exchange for care
With a shrinking workforce and the number of people aged 80+ expected to triple between 2020 and 2050, longevity will be one of the most impactful drivers of change in society. But how do you make people aware of the importance of […]
Although we’re witnessing a rapidly secularizing society, the need for spirituality remains vivid. For younger generations, spirituality takes on a more individual approach in the form of yoga, meditation, tarot card reading and more recently… sacred drinking??? SnaxShot, a newsletter […]
The flaws of fairness in media debates
One of the most important pillars of the media in a free country is objectivity. Journalists are urged to report in a nonpartisan, balanced and unbiased manner. This has led to the practice wherein journalists often invite a representative from […]
Buy authentic travel experiences with „green“ behavior
In a bid to mitigate the environmental impact of tourists on the fragile ecosystem of Palau, the Islanders came up with an interesting program: the ‘good traveller’ incentive. Typically money would buy you special tourist experiences on the island. Instead […]
You deserve a real break:
OutHorse Your Email
Nothing ruins a vacation like an email from your boss. With this insight in mind, Visit Iceland came to the idea to let Icelandic horses (for real) answer your emails when you’re out of the office. They created huge keyboards […]
Function over purpose:
What people want during inflation
Consumers now attach greater importance to the functional benefits of brands according to research by Havas. Aspects like quality, price and services are increasingly important to consumers now they experience skyrocketing inflation. Selling sustainability might even backfire right now, as it’s […]
Big boys do cry:
reaching men around mental health
Talking about feelings is the domain of nagging women, not of macho men. Although this might seem to be an outdated assumption, many men still don’t speak up about their feelings. So how do you reach men around mental health […]
How fonts affect our feelings
Even though designers are often convinced that certain decisions make a difference, yet in many cases they have no hard data to back it up. That is why font platform Monotype partnered up with applied neuroscience company Neurons to explore […]
The first AI-generated magazine cover
You have probably seen the surge in people tinkering with auto-generated AI images. With the right tools and a little bit of determination, you can get some very beautiful/artsy/eerie/terrifying images, depending on the text input and settings you feed the […]
Goodwill malware forces you to do good
Recently a new type of ransomware has been discovered. Instead of traditional ransomware that asks for…well ransom, the hackers ask you for good deeds instead. The software, called Goodwill, encrypts your data, only to be unlocked after three good deeds. […]
The sound of healthy food
Even the most subtle sensory cues have a big impact on how people spend money. Recently, a team of researchers found that consumers associate higher frequency sounds with healthy food products. The respondents were asked to choose the food that […]
Lego helps children express their feelings
The Danish toy giant recently launched a campaign to help children express negative emotions in healthy ways. With ‘Build Big Feelings’ children are stimulated to build a creation that corresponds to the way they feel on a certain day, put […]
McDonald’s celebrates new masculinity
To celebrate Father’s Day Mcdonald’s Philippines launched a campaign wherein they portray fathers in a role that is normally reserved for mothers: the role of the caring, invested parent. Fathers are still often portrayed as „the less competent and supportive parents“, as we […]
The future is now: pay by implant
It might feel like some science fiction futurism, but microchip payment implants have recently been introduced for mass consumption. You can now buy a chip for €199,- from Tech firm Walletmor after which you only need to link it to […]
Experience the mental health benefits of nature through VR
Experiencing nature has a positive impact on our mental health. Researchers found that being surrounded by nature is an important reason why people that live in rural areas are significantly happier than city residents. Yet with more research showing this link also works […]
Ingredients for a perfect cocktail: A jar and a phone
Ever found yourself finicking around with a multitude of ingredients and confusing measurements? Liquor store chain BWS created an app that visualizes the recipe in the easiest way possible. Get a jar, hold your phone next to it, and see the amount […]
Why Gen Z increasingly seeks anonymity online
Smaller internet spaces, secret-sharing apps, popular anonymous IG accounts, as well as social platforms where users rarely use their full names (like Tumblr) and Discord have gained attraction among the younger generations. Why do we see a spur in online anonymity among Gen […]
What happens when we outsource out thinking to an external device?
…then our brains will shrink. This is one out of five outcomes of extended research by Anthropologists of the University of Wisconsin-Madison that looked into how human bodies have evolved over the years and how it’s likely to develop in […]
Adding meaning to your life never looked so easy
Much research is done into what exactly makes for a meaningful life. A meaningful life essentially means linking the biological reality of life to a symbolic interpretation or meaning. Previous studies have identified several key aspects that add to a […]
Designed for likes, instead of people
If there’s one thing that catches your eyes when scrolling through networks where creators share their work, like Dribble and Behance, then it’s this: it all looks pretty much the same. And that’s exactly the problem. According to designer Sahadeva Hammari, good […]
Personalization & the loss of ‘watercooler discourse’ (Youtube trend report)
One of the most interesting insights of Youtube’s ‘Culture & Trends Report 2022’ is the effect of hyper-individualization on popular culture. When people increasingly watch algorithm-driven, personal recommendations we lose common cultural ground with the people around us. Simply put, the odds of us […]
How the pandemic affected our perception of time
Did you feel like time just came to a crawl during the pandemic? Well, you’re probably not alone. A study among 900 people found that 65% of people experienced time expansion, where they felt like time significantly slowed down. At […]
Thirsty? Dopper guides you to your water refill
The problem with refillable bottles? People don’t know where to go for a refill. That’s why the reusable water bottle brand Dopper partnered with the most used navigation platform: Google Maps. The idea is very simple: Dopper added all the […]
How to sell your purpose to people who don’t (wanna) buy it￼
Over the last decade, it has become the standard that brands make a positive impact on society and the planet. This impact is then translated into some sort of green sticker on the packaging, or used as purpose ammunition by […]
Hoe ziet jouw merk de real man?
De marketeer weer terug in het strategische zadel brengen. Daarvoor is verdieping in de belangrijkste sociaal-culturele trends nodig. Aflevering 3 in een serie van 6 trend-duidende beschouwingen: hoe laten we ons merk aansluiten op de man van tegenwoordig?
Why even people with strong egalitarian beliefs may still block equality
According to a new paper, people (even those with strong egalitarian beliefs) block policies that reduce disparities as they often think that the gain of one group must lead to a loss for another. This “zero-sum view of equality” is a roadblock […]
The job board centered around Sustainable Development Goals
Younger generations are increasingly incorporating the values of brands and employers into their decision making. A 2018 Deloitte survey found that 77% of Gen Z respondents said it was important to work at organizations whose values aligned with theirs. Sdg.careers is a job platform […]
Ad giant helps employees transition to their ’second lives‘
With the growing life expectancy in Japan, new solutions are required to facilitate and stimulate an ageing workforce. That is why Dentsu launched a new program last year that helped older employees transition from their career at the company to […]
Burger King captures the confusing times in their new campaign
In a continuation of an earlier campaign about these confusing times, Burger King has designed another set of posters to promote their meat-free chicken. The posters illustrate our confused everyday inner monologues, finally ending with confusion about how this chicken […]
A one-sided perspective in the media, but what does society think?
Many people (especially in the Netherlands) will have heard about the recent controversy surrounding Vandaag Inside guest and tv personality Johan Derksen. In short, Derksen told a story on television about how he penetrated an unconscious woman with a candle […]
Familiarity breeds liking
in Lacoste’s latest campaign
Although everyone is unique, there is always something we have in common. That’s the message of Lacoste’s latest campaign. The campaign reveals that moment when two very different people meet by chance and discover they have something in common: a […]
Might going back to the office support you in living longer?
Job advertisements that specify ‘remote’ are now receiving three times the applications of those that do not, other research tells us that 64% of workers would consider quitting if asked to return to the office full-time, and some people, like […]
Retail shows: silence is the new luxury
With the steep increase in convenient delivery options for almost any product, retail stores will have to evolve to draw people to their brick and mortar locations. After two years of on-off lockdowns, we have collectively rediscovered the benefits of […]
You’ll get it when
you see it…
To promote the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), design agency One Twenty Three west has created some smart advertising for the murals. Instead of actually showing the murals, it reads a cryptic, intriguing text, accompanied by a location. “You’ll get it […]
What you want to know about conspiracy theorists
Jigsaw, a research unit within Google, is regularly publishing research articles that explore the inner workings of conspiracy theories, and maybe even more importantly; conspiracy theorists. Because you can’t understand social phenomena, without understanding what drives the people involved. At […]
Are young generations fed up with capitalism?
More and more signs are emerging of younger generations, namely Generation Z, being very averse of capitalism and the current economic system. The reason why is not very surprising. Whereas older generations saw the rise of capitalism result in stronger […]
Theory of Value: Why do people pay millions of dollars for NFT’s?
NFT “non-fungible token” is a term used to describe a unique digital asset whose ownership is tracked on a blockchain. It often gets acquired for thousands, or in some cases, millions of dollars. Why would someone pay millions for a […]
Hulu lets artists play around with its logo
Most brands are very careful with their brand image. Their visual communication is strictly dictated by a brand book with meticulous rules in how–and often how not–to display official brand communication. In this regard, the most unholy thing to do […]
BeReal: the antidote to social media perfection
Social media channels are usually filled with enviable experiences. Content showcasing amazing travels, fancy clothes, and that one picture where your smile comes out just right. Not very surprising, after all; who would be interested in the mundane? Well, it […]
Futurephobic Gen Z’s urge for nostalgia explained
For the last couple of years, nostalgic content is booming. Spotify reported a 54% increase in nostalgia-themed playlists being created, while old Sitcoms like Friends and Roseanne saw a huge surge in viewership from 2019 on. With so much stress in the […]
How visual news from Ukraine affects our psyche
Ever found yourself spending an excessive amount of screen time devoted to the absorption of negative news? You’re not the only one doom scrolling. The unfolding pandemic, climate change and more recently the war in Ukraine have made it easy […]
Building our lives around work vs building work around our lives?
To many, the flexibility to decide on where and when to work has become increasingly important since the pandemic. 54% would even consider leaving their job post-COVID-19 pandemic if they are not afforded some form of flexibility in where and when […]
Who needs romantic love if you can have material well-being?
What keeps you going and what provides meaning in your life? Pew research asked 19,000 adults in 17 countries for their answers. To no surprise, family is a top source of meaning in all countries, except Spain, South Korea and Taiwan. […]
Open up with van Gogh
The Van Gogh Museum recently launched a new concept; a mix between art and mindfulness, focused specifically on young people. The program called ‘Open up with Vincent’ was developed with the help of care facilities and professionals specializing in mental […]
Hybrid work creates unequal opportunities
Even though hybrid working improves financial, mental, social and physical wellbeing, not everyone has the option to work (partially) remotely, according to a report published by the Economist in collaboration with Google Workplace. For example, the lowest educated jobs often require physical […]
FvD adopts ‘American’ talking points in their election campaign
In the recent municipal elections in the Netherlands, we saw some interesting talking points on posters for the Forum voor Democratie (FvD) campaign. The text on this poster translates to “How many genders do you have today”, seemingly mocking people […]
Why Millennials and Gen Z speak another visual language
‘Hyper-curated perfectionism’ underpins Millennial visual language, whereas Generation Z embraces real self-expression through imperfection, according to a new report by Kantar. What drives these differences between the two generations regarding their visual language? Over the years we’ve seen our on- and […]
New emojis reflect the mindest of Gen Z
People have the tendency to clean up language according to their beliefs and ideals. No wonder emojis, which represents language, change as well over time. Recently iOS launched a new set of emojis in IOS 15.4, which clearly aligns with the pluralistic […]
Zeeman embraces its ‘budget’ image with a sustainable twist
‘Zuinig’ is the name of the new line of everyday products launched by budget clothing store Zeeman. In English, it roughly translates to ‘frugal’ and conveys a sense of caution to spend or waste (money). In Dutch, the word generally carries a […]
What makes the most successful, creative employees?
A new study finds that the combination of two key factors—friendship between colleagues at work and compassionate love at home—make for the most successful, creative employees. Surprisingly, the friendship between co-workers—more than the influence of managers, or a company’s formal policies on […]
Brand debate: Facebook makes an exception with the allowance of death wishes during the war in Ukraine
People in several countries are allowed to wish death upon Vladimir Putin and/or Russian soldiers in the context of the recent invasion, according to internal emails by Facebook. Interestingly there are (at least) two ways to interpret this, and we had some […]
How climate change primes people to act more aggressively
In a recent book called ‘climate change and human behavior’ researchers use climate science and psychology to explain some of the effects of climate change beyond the ecological and immigration effects. Using decades of previous research, they show how a […]
The age of meme warfare
The image above was posted in December by the official Twitter account from the country of Ukraine. In a world that is more connected, informed, and reachable than ever before, it is no surprise that modern conflicts are fought for […]
Mental health pitstop, burden or blessing?
Just like a barbershop, people can just pop in to talk about whatever is on their minds. Options include one-on-one therapy, couples therapy, student sessions and executive coaching. Or just a good conversation with a qualified person. The goal of […]
How Google’s repairing program fits the current zeitgeist
On a mission to become the go-to laptop for students, Google decides to emphasize the repairability of Chromebooks. Online manufacturer guides are provided to schools that show how to repair the devices, find tools to safely fix them, get replacement […]
Working 40 hours in 4 days, what are the benefits for brands?
Belgium’s government now offers working people the chance to condense their full-time workweek into 4-days. But what are the benefits? Different countries have been experimenting with this model. Like Iceland between 2015 and 2019. Workers of the four-day workweek reported feeling less […]
The expanding definition of trauma: why everyone seems to have one nowadays
The definition of trauma is widening into something different and milder. To illustrate, in the first version of the DSM (the psychiatric manual), originating from 1952, trauma was described as a major serious physical injury (that could potentially cause brain damage). […]
Picture this: Drive
post engagement with
19% with these two factors
Researchers found that brands can improve the number of likes of any given image by about 3% just by applying the appropriate filter to address the issue. Moreover, by optimizing both, feature and design complexity, brands could increase the engagement with […]
Long Live the Bean
Nowadays is the first time in history that there will be more elderly people than people younger than 5 years and globally the number of people aged 80+ is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050. Bush’s Beans smartly taps into the shift […]
It’s about time to quit the city
Europe’s level of urbanisation is expected to increase to approximately 83.7% in 2050. Despite the long-standing migration trend of more and more people moving to cities, researchers have found that in developed countries, people who live in rural areas tend to […]
Can you really fall in love with anyone?
More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. The experiment seemed quite simple, he conducted a list of 36 questions that participants had to ask each other. The questions begin […]
Spicing up mortgages
Ahead of Valentine’s Day in 2021, mortgage lender Habito launched their first erotic novel The road to completion, as part of their campaign. The novel is packed with sexual euphemisms as you follow a couple that works their way through the mortgage process […]
Emotions drive brand preference
In 1997, the ratio between rational and emotional considerations in driving brand preference was about 60%-40% in favour of the rational. Today it’s the other way around. With 80%-20% in favour of emotional over rational appeals, according to Brand Keys who generated […]
Insurer introduces: the Ramp Rater
Following the insight that launching and retrieving your boat from the water is one of the most stressful moments for boat owners, the Australian (boat) insurer decided to lend a helping hand. It decided to inform people about the location […]
How online lies impact
“Dare to be Grey is many things; an organization, a campaign, a platform, a movement. Regardless of what we call ourselves, there’s one key element that binds all of these identities together: our mission to elevate the Grey Middle Ground to […]
Life is suffering, here’s why brands should embrace it
Let’s face it. Life can be pretty harsh. It’s full of disappointments, frustrations, losses, hurt, setbacks, and sadness. It can seem enticing to downplay this adversity in our lives and instead focus on all the positive and joyous facets of […]
Losing my religion
In times of crisis and uncertainty people often turn to religion. It can offer comfort and consolation, as well as support from the community. Additionally, it can help people make sense of traumatic events that can seem meaningless at first by giving […]
How does your brand respond to one of the most impactful drivers of change in our global society?
Globally the number of people aged 80+ is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050. And by 2050, people aged 65 and over will make up 28,5% of the total population in the EU compared to 19,7% in 2018. It’s […]
The key to happiness might be to make others feel good, rather than yourself
Ever felt like giving presents exceeds the experience of receiving them? A recently published study might just tell you why. It found that people feel happier when they make others feel good, instead of trying to make themselves happy. Ironically. […]
Cancel culture is barely felt by brands
Recently Forrester dove into the effects of cancel culture on brands. Forrester defines cancelling a brand as: “A widespread public campaign (often via social media) to hold a company accountable for the consequences of perceived wrongdoing. This may include (…) calls for boycotts, terminations, […]
Why Tony’s Chocolonely speaks in favour of a sugar tax
Tony’s Chocolonely kicks off the year in a somewhat unusual fashion; directly speaking up against one of its (inevitable) main ingredients. The company mentions the importance of health during corona times and the role of sugar in the worldwide obesity problem. That’s why […]
Combat the Monday blues with this newspaper
It is almost that day of the year again: Blue Monday. Although there is no scientific evidence for the idea that this is the most depressing day of the year, it surely isn’t the most thrilling day for us either. From increased anxiety about the climate crisis, […]
The benefits and opportunities of volunteering
Volunteers are being invited to help out at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow with their entire family. The museum is offering families the chance to help out. The aim is to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in […]
Feeling subjectively older makes you more kind to strangers
The mind is a strange thing. That’s why we still run into surprising new findings from time to time. A recent study looked into the effects of subjective age on actions of the greater good. Turns out, when people feel subjectively older, […]
Social medium that let you think twice before posting
On a daily basis, we are flooded with an overwhelming amount of impulses, a significant part of which are from companies, brands and social media platforms competing to grab a hold of our attention. Unable to digest all this information, […]
All I want for christmas… is an experience
December is all about giving and receiving presents, this has been the case for ages. However, what we want for Christmas has changed throughout the years according to Dimitri Mortelmans, a sociology professor at the University of Antwerp. According to […]
Out of sight, out of mind: mind the proximity gap
With remote working no longer seen as a temporary solution to pandemic lockdowns, companies will need to rethink their long term employers engagement strategies. One specific, longer-term concern with remote working is that those in the office benefit while those […]
Wendy’s customer engagement: blending instead of branding
“People don’t read ads. They read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”, according to the marketing legend from the Mad Men era Howard Gossage. One way to become more relevant to people is by focussing on community building instead of mass targeting mentioned […]
Is Generation Z becoming the most conscious generation ever?
Last week New Zealand announced it will outlaw smoking for the next generation. The legal smoking age will increase every year so that those aged 14 and under will never be able to buy tobacco legally anymore. This policy fits […]
4 human needs that will be amplified in 2022
We’re heading towards the end of the year which means it’s about time to share our predictions for 2022. These are the four changes in needs that are likely to be amplified in 2022: The importance of mental well-being will […]
How ASR is helping farmers go sustainable
Dutch Insurer ASR, the biggest private farmland owner in the Netherlands, announced last week they will lower prices up to 10% for farmers that can show they meet certain criteria regarding sustainability. The company stated that it realised the transition to […]
Surviving Progress: the downside of AI
Artificial intelligence has become a pervasive technology, impacting businesses across different industries throughout the world. In recent decades, AI research has gone from being relatively obscure to extremely influential. Research objectives of AI, however, are influenced by several factors such […]
Summer of spontaneity: the Utrecht-made social adventure app
As we’re moving towards the final generations in the vaccination cycle, more and more restrictions are being removed. Young people are getting out into bars and parks to make up for lost time. And something interesting was created to facilitate […]
The highlights of Adobe’s 2021 global emoji trend report
The report, which was released in the middle of July, surveyed 7,000 people in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Some of the discoveries emphasise the significant role emojis have captured in our everyday (digital) communication. […]
The ‘Brief’ news app: tackling information overload and polarisation
Today, people have access to a near-infinite number of news sources. As a result, problems have arisen within today’s news cycle; including information overload, media bias and algorithms concentrating on engagement over accuracy. That is where ‘Brief’ comes in. Brief is a […]
Purchase what you preach: how consumers often purchase with the bigger societal issues in mind
The debate is fierce: should brands be more involved in the conversation surrounding societal issues, yes or no? Take brands like Patagonia or Nike for example; they don’t shy away from stating their point of view on different issues. Do […]
A new era of cinema has arrived
Imagine a cinema in which you are directing the temperature, lights, volume, film being played, the time it’s being played, the people that are in the cinema, and if you want to have a break in between… Welcome to The(Any)Thing, the […]
Waste not, want not: Ikea’s buy-back and refurbishment scheme
Global furniture retailer, Ikea, has created a new campaign to raise awareness of its buy-back and refurbishment scheme. In its latest sustainability effort, the brand’s campaign features old Ikea furniture found in various trash piles around Norway. The campaign highlights where each […]
Dead start-up toys: keeping iconic failed startups alive
You can now own a toy Juicero, which, just like the real product, doesn’t actually work. Although the tech world is filled with big successes it has a staggering number of big failures and there is now a website keeping […]
Need to escape a zoom call? Sound the Excuse has your back
Sorry my cat is vomiting, flatmate is stuck in the toilet, kids are fighting, food is getting delivered…Whatever excuse you need to escape a zoom call, Sound the Excuse has your back. TBWA\London has partnered with men’s media platform The Book of […]
Spirituality beyond religion and how brands can stimulate meaningful experiences
Spirituality is often firmly assigned to the domain of religion. However, recent neuroscientific research shows that the same state can be achieved by secular practices too. Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan, a neuroscientist has written a great article on her research on […]
Why emphasising the ‘ethical’ aspects of your product might prove counterproductive
A recent article in MarketingWeek looked into the implications of health-based messages on food products and came to an interesting conclusion: when brands make health-based claims before people taste their product, people actually rate the product as less tasty when they try […]
Scientists define a new dimension of a good life: beyond the dichotomy of hedonic versus eudaimonic well-being.
At TrendsActive we are very invested in the debate of what exactly makes for a good life. Since we advise brands on how to impact people, it only makes sense for us to closely follow what it is that defines […]
How women want to be represented in ads
There’s still very limited progress in advertisements aimed at women according to the authors of the book Brandsplaying. The researchers (25.3%) conducted 4,000 hours’ worth of interviews and discussion groups with women about their needs, their desires and where brands were failing. […]
The disadvantage of being single at the work floor
The number of singles in society is rising. In the US, 40% of adults between 25 and 54 are single, compared to 29% in 1990. A similar trend is found in the UK, South Korea and Japan. More people prioritize […]
Should we be wary of the Metaverse?
Nobody seems to be able to shut up about the metaverse recently. Admittedly, that has included us. With Facebook rebranding to Meta and its outspoken ambitions to bet on the metaverse, the race to rule the digital domain has been more […]
KFC draws on gamer nostalgia to enable easy ordering
KFC Middle East has introduced a mechanic on their website that might sound familiar to gamers that lived through the early rise of gaming: cheat codes. By pressing a secret combination of keys on the KFC website, registered users can […]
Remind elderly of their years left, instead of years lived
“As people age, they tend to care more about people and activities that allow them to make the most of the time they have left, to appreciate life, and to savor time,” reports the American Psychological Association. The research suggests that […]
Bring your own… refill bottle
Bring your own… refill bottle. Unilever Hindustan gives customers the option to buy a refill bottle, for 20% less than the shelf version, which can be filled with washing detergent, fabric softener or dishwashing soap. Major FMCG brands are experimenting […]
Hatred provides meaning to your life unless it’s personal
While finding meaning in life is often linked to positive experiences and feelings like valuable social connections, raising a child or appreciation of nature, new research shows that also more negative feelings can contribute to this. Hatred towards collective entities can bolster […]
Lush’ Global Anti-Social Media policy
“Social media was not designed to look after people’s health, but our products are,” explains Lush chief digital officer Jack Constantine. “It is counter-intuitive for us to use platforms that keep you hyper-tense, engaged and anxious.” With this in mind, the […]
Is kindness the key to battle polarization?
A recently published book called The Power of Us shares some really interesting insights about polarization, how it differs in modern times and what could be a possible solution. The authors describe traditional intergroup attitudes as: “They’re fine, but we’re […]
Vattenfall’s Engineerapy helps you cope with eco-anxiety
Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall addresses climate anxiety sufferers by offering one on one sessions to talk about this. During a 20-minute call, one of their engineers will elaborate on what is happening to the climate and what solutions are currently […]
Not perks, but respect. What young workers really want on the work floor
New research points to an important switch in values among young workers. The research shows what employees (between 21 and 34 years old) find important on the work floor. And no, this has nothing to do with weekly bootcamps, drinks […]
Gen Z is entering the world of investing
As the oldest members of gen Z are currently growing into independent adults, their engagement in ‘adult’ activities – like investing – becomes increasingly visible. A survey by GOBankingRates shows that two thirds of American Gen Z’ers aged 18 through […]
4 ways to cultivate awe in order to increase your mental well-being
Curious how to renew your (employees’) energy to make plans for a more hopeful future? Rigorous research on what makes us feel inspired and energized states that cultivating experiences of awe is the key to do so. The power of […]
Taco Bell taps into the appeal of changing spirituality
Coming in as seemingly the most random collection of ingredients for a brand promotion: Taco Bell, ex-reality star Spencer Pratt, Uber eats and astrology crystals. The result is a purple crystal with golden ‘cheese’ dripping down onto it. The reason […]
The impact of the meritocracy on our mental well-being
For the last decades our western society believed the individual’s position in society should depend on his or her combination of ability and effort. We believed that this so-called meritocracy would democratise society. Instead a growing body of critics point […]
Less perfection, more real life. Gen Z’s driving a new area of influencers
During the pandemic our lives got a bit sloppier; people didn’t wear makeup (or pants), houses were a mess, and children were at home and misbehaved. Some of that made it to our social feeds and went viral (remember this […]
What religion can teach social scientists about quality of life
More and more research is focusing on the positive sides of human lives, for example what makes for a good life, gives people meaning, or the importance of social ties on our wellbeing. In a recent book, How God Works: […]
What other types of rest everyone needs besides sleeping
In a time where the concern for mental wellbeing at the workplace is climbing the ladder of urgency, employers and employees could benefit by learning a thing or two about rest. Rest and sleep are often confused as being the […]
Gen Z’s mental health is taking the biggest hit, this is how organizations react.
While older generations are being hit hard physically, younger generations are being hit hard mentally during the pandemic. A recent study found that 63% of 18 to 24 year olds in the US experienced anxiety and depression, with 25% of young adults […]
Out and Proud: How Generation Z is embracing diversity
Gen Z continue to be the frontrunners for change and strive towards a more progressive and inclusive world. These progressive views extend towards individual sexuality, as was recently demonstrated by a study, published by the American Psychological Association. The study showed […]
How the pandemic has triggered young people’s impatience regarding climate change.
German chancellor Angela Merkel was invited to hold a speech on May the 5th, remembrance day of the Dutch liberation in 1945. For this special occasion a group of young people were invited to ask Angela Merkel questions about freedom. […]
How Gen Z forces the world to go big on green
From Australia to Germany. Younger generations are becoming more impactful in their fight against big polluters. A few weeks ago we showcased how the pandemic has increased young generations’ impatience for governments and brands to take drastic measures against global […]
What the withdrawals of big athletes tell us about the current state of mind of Gen Z
Two successful athletes, Simone Biles (24) and Naomi Osaka (23) recently withdrew from the Olympic competition to preserve their mental health. Prioritizing mental health on the biggest stage in sport marks a new era of mental health awareness among not […]
From princess to vaccinologist: How Barbie creates new role models
Mattel Inc. wants to shine light on six women that play a prominent role in the fight against COVID-19. Resulting in six look-a-like dolls. By doing so the company wants to share these women’s stories in the hope to inspire […]
What The Dolly Parton Challenge tells us about a shift in generations
Last year Dolly shared a four-panel image to her Instagram, and the Dolly Parton Challenge was born. People went crazy with their own pictures, showing their different identities across the different social platforms. This challenge signals how older generations, Millennials, […]
Are smartphones ruining teens after all?
It has been the knee-jerk reaction from many a tech-illiterate uncle or grandparent; ‘maybe kids wouldn’t be so lonely or depressed if only they put their damn phones away and went about socializing the old-school way’. Good old face-to-face social […]
Generation Z’s sustainable career orientation
More and more members of Gen Z have the feeling that they have to contribute to the solution of the climate crisis and are therefore shifting towards professions in this area. A significant amount of students are pursuing environmental-related degrees […]
The on-demand society: how our drive for efficiency is hurting our happiness
With the introduction of on-demand grocery delivery services the ecosystem of ‘I want this today without leaving my couch’-services is getting pretty saturated. As a matter of fact, it is getting increasingly hard to think of things you cannot receive […]
AR you can hear
Thinking of AR most of us are reminded of a visual digital layer that you can place on top of the real physical world. PairPlay is about to change this. The audio company is experimenting with what sound AR sounds […]
Volkswagen turned ad breaks into an immersive gaming experience
To promote the new golf GTI, Volkswagen launched an immersive advertising experience called the ‘Golf Adbreak Championship’. Television viewers could compete with each other live during the ad break for the opportunity to win a free car. If viewers scanned […]
War Paint for Men: make-up and masculinity
War Paint for Men, claims to be the world’s first make-up store for men. It has just opened its doors in London and stocks products from concealer and foundation to beard and brow gel. War Paint prides itself in being made […]
A Dummies Guide to The Metaverse
Ready Player One, a 2018 science fiction film set in 2045, features a virtual world, i.e. a metaverse, known as OASIS. This was an enhanced, paradise version of Earth and offered people an escape from the struggles of real life. […]
Tech is booming, also among boomers
Throughout the pandemic Boomers have started purchasing new tech at much faster rates than their younger counterparts. Last year they finally joined other age groups in saying their mobile phone is their most important device. Stereotyping this generation as technophobic seems to […]
Why Covid urges organizations to reshape marketing to (wo)men.
With the onset of the Covid, 31% of fathers are taking more care of their kids than before Covid. This is up from 21%, and not as much as women take care, but it is a clear shift shown by […]
How gender stereotypes block our way to useful innovations
It’s a man’s world. Most of the statues, street names, and bank notes represent men. It’s also no secret that anthropology and history have focused on studying men, and when developing medicine the male body is often used as a starting point. The […]
Language-Policing: What if AI controls language?
The internet can be a toxic place. It provides a sense of anonymity and a platform in which people can express themselves freely. With much of society now communicating online, problems of online abuse and hate speech have significantly increased. […]
Spelling errors and conspiracy theorists: The importance of human context
With the rise of technology and the rapid development of algorithm and AI capabilities, we are susceptible to a dangerous form of tunnel vision, according to Gillian Tett. In her recently published book (Anthro-Vision, a New Way to See in […]
Headspace’s bedtime stories, for kids and their parents
What’s more nostalgic than getting tucked into bed as a kid and having a story read to you by a parent? Unfortunately, with today’s hectic schedules, a tranquil bedtime routine often seems out of reach. Mindfulness app Headspace guides parents and kids […]
Google’s first store: the definition of experiential
Google is a household name that exists mainly in the online universe… until now! Google recently launched its first brick-and-mortar store. The Google store will primarily feature Google’s hardware products; however, it is so much more than that. It defines the […]
The power of nature on our mental wellbeing
Experiencing nature and green spaces has a range of positive effects on us (reduced stress, depression, and anxiety). Yet the specific implications are still being discovered. There’s a growing body of research on the benefits of nature on mental wellbeing, offering brands […]
Ever heard of rainbow-washing?
Rainbow-washing, as defined by the Urban Dictionary is: “The act of using or adding rainbow colorsand/or imagery to advertising, apparel, accessories, landmarks, etc, in order to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ equality—but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result.” […]
Brands: To be different or not to be?
It shouldn’t actually be a question. It’s a no brainer that brands should be different in order to stand out from competing brands. It seems, however, that many brands are riding the wave of sameness in a sea of clones. […]
Dead Happy’s disruptive approach to life insurance
UK life insurer Dead Happy has a creative approach to a service traditionally cloaked in conservative soberness. Instead of the anticipated formal process of filling in form after form, you get a streamlined, lighthearted process. As a matter of fact, they claim it […]
How the USA shapes the global agenda through cultural influence
From Black Lives Matter to QAnon conspiracy. The USA plays a big role in shaping political debates through cultural influence. A recent article in The Economist discusses the cultural influence of America through the use of ‘soft power’. Soft power is defined […]
Welcome in the age of cynicism
Green-washing, CSR-washing, pink-washing and now rainbow-washing, people have been bombarded by empty promises from brands. Now, we are starting to see the impact of this mistrust of brands, shown by new research from Havas Group. Havas Group surveyed over 395,000 people worldwide […]
A drink to help you de-stress
There’s a new drink on the market which claims to help reduce stress. And no, we’re not talking about a gin and tonic! ‘Moment’ aims to promote wellness and generate the same feeling as meditation. According to founder, Aisha Chottani, the […]
You are the language you speak
The language we speak is closely linked to our beliefs and values. Because different groups of people have different beliefs and values, you often see that people clash over words. Humans have a tendency to “clean up” language, this process is […]
Centraal Beheer revives their classic commercials
The famous series of commercials, that started back in 1985, have since become a cherished staple in Dutch advertising history. It would be fair to characterise the ‘even Apeldoorn bellen’ series as one of the few ads people generally do […]
Algorithms: the good, the bad and the ugly
Algorithms are a funny thing. People love to hate them. They cause so many problems and are blamed for much of the chaos in today’s complex society, from conspiracy theories to racial and gender biases. Yet, society cannot seem to […]
The increased representation of all women in the media starts to pay off!
For many years, the marketing industry has been criticized for portraying an unrealistic image of women. Recent research among women in the UK states that women think their representation in advertising has gotten better over the last five years. With 41% saying […]
New Belgium brewery makes a climate statement with a beer that tastes bad by design
For earth day this year the American brewery gave us a sneak peak into the future of beer if we don’t take action now. “This beer uses the kind of ingredients that would be available in a climate-ravaged future including: […]
This is what 20 years does to a boy vs a plastic straw
Recently Nescau, Nestlé’s leading brand in the chocolate powdered beverage industry in Brazil, made the switch to paper straws. To bring attention to their efforts, Nescau launched a campaign titled ‘Teodoro’. The campaign compares in a split screen the 20 year […]
How going back to ‘business as usual’ might feel strange at first.
During the course of 2021 more and more of the world will be opening up again. Some experts predict a ‘summer of love’. All the behaviour that has been repressed during the pandemic will be overcompensated when the restriction are lifted. In […]
How ‚parasocial‘ relationships influence what people buy
If isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is how much we rely on our relationships with other people. Locked down with only Facetime and TV for entertainment, the line between real-life connections and imagined ones are […]
Is marketing becoming truly human centric?
This compelling article of strategist Tom Roach. offers a critical but essential read on “human centricity”. In particular, it describes the gap between marketers good intention to be human centric whilst actually ignoring the human context. “By obsessing over data marketeers automatically […]
This is how BurgerKing relates to customers in confusing times
Burger King launched a campaign to promote their Impossible Whopper. A vegan burger made without beef that tastes exactly like a Whopper. The campaign pokes fun at the new, confusing, everyday problems the pandemic has created. Ranging from not being […]
The big ban: fossil fuelled ads are banned at Amsterdam Metro stations
“A round trip to Barcelona for €25,-”, or “The New Seat Ibiza, temporary €250,- cashback”, do you travel by metro in Amsterdam? If so, you won’t come across these ads anymore. As of the 1st of May, the city banned […]
This is how brick and mortar retailers can survive the disruptive wave of on-demand supermarket start-ups.
With the introduction of near instant grocery delivery in big cities in Europe, traditional supermarkets face another threat to their business model. Innovative German start-ups like Gorillas and Flink conquer big cities in the Netherlands with the promise to deliver […]
Why LinkedIn is adding a new feature to their platform for stay-at-home parents
LinkedIn now provides a feature that allows parents to add ‘stay at home dad’ or ‘stay at home mom’ as a job title. The reason behind this new feature is to cover gaps in employment timelines on the platform. While […]
It’s not just the young looking for fun: boomers are vaccinated and down to party!
Lockdown is easing…gradually! Across Europe, different countries are at different stages of easing lockdown. Most recently, England celebrated the reopening of their much-beloved pubs and some brands joined in the celebration. Tesco encouraged people to visit and support their local pub after a […]
Experience “Singapore by stream” on Twitch
With travel restrictions implemented worldwide, tourism has come to a halt. However Singapore is opening up its borders, albeit virtually. ‘Singapore by Stream’, launched by the Singapore Tourism Board, makes use of the live streaming platform Twitch. The experience offers […]
Oreo Academy: a recipe for success
Tiktok and Instagram have become awash with videos of people sharing new ways to use Oreo cookies and a plethora of creative recipes have emerged as a result. As it turns out, Oreo cookies can be added to just about […]
Going green with Google Maps: a nudge towards more eco-friendly behavior
Always aspiring to push the boundaries of modern technology, Google is redefining what a map can be. An array of new AI-powered features will be coming to Google Maps in the near future, one of which allows drivers to find the most […]
Why brands should pay attention to ‘cancel culture’
The year 2020, one which many of us wished had been cancelled, has become synonymous, with ‘cancel culture’. Although cancel culture appeared to peak in 2020, it continues to thrive in 2021 and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. […]
Want to make people trust your purpose? Start collaborating!
With 70% of women feeling under-represented in media and advertising it’s time to step up the beauty game. Dove sent an open invitation to any brand advertiser, offering to pay for the presence of real beauty in advertisements by using […]
Great case on how to adapt to todays visual culture
With several major ongoing infrastructure projects, the Ecuadorian city of Chode tries to make the inconvenient moments more bearable for the citizens. To inject a bit of light heartedness, the city incorporates different ‘memes’ on their road signs around the […]
‚Stocktok‘ and the rise of young investors
Times are changing. With the great strides made in accessibility and user-friendly broker platforms like De Giro, Robinhood, and Bux Zero, more and more young people are joining the world of stock trading. A combination of factors seem to drive young […]
Not everyone is equally connected, now what?
This article is about how the pandemic has thrown the digital divide into the spotlight, and how brands can become more relevant by bridging this gap. Due to the pandemic, many of our activities have moved online. People spend four hours […]
How disruptive events shape people and societies
Getty Images launched a campaign that showed that “history repeats itself” is not just a saying. Showing photographs from past disruptive events and major historical moments and putting them in parallel to contextually similar images from the present day. At […]
Why we should all waste more time
Instead of increasing recreational time, technological and economic progress, has done just the opposite. The pace of life has increased dramatically, both personally and in terms of business. Research into 483 professionals and executives found that 60% of those who […]
Study: When a little good is good enough
Last month an interesting study was published about something called the ‘indulgence effect’ in consumption. The Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) conducted a study where they examined consumer behaviour in regards to the ethical compliance of products. The research shows […]
Gucci Goes Digital
Luxury brand Gucci now offers sneakers for just $12. The catch? They are digital sneakers. Gucci teamed up with augmented reality fashion platform, Wanna, to create the ‘Virtual 25’ sneakers. Factoring in the growing interest for digital collectibles, the sneakers’ […]
Good times are ahead, life starts after 65
Stop rushing to reach all your goals before your forties, and take a moment to listen to the seniors at the “Grandma is an influencer” panel at SXSW. From teaching yoga twice a week through Zoom, to building a startup […]
Tackling societal issues the Gen-Z way
The coronavirus is bringing another pandemic along with it. The shadow pandemic – an increase in domestic violence cases as a result of being in quarantine. Krystyna Paszko, a Polish high school student who took matters into her own hands. […]
Why every brand should want to be nr 1.
Our friends from the brand consultancy BrandTrust always challenge their clients with the following question. What’s the name of the first man on the moon? And the second? Exactly, most people only remember Neill Armstrong. It is a great metaphor for the […]
Do you have an audio strategy yet?
Barilla, Italian pasta producer, has turned to Spotify to create the playlist timer. A playlist that runs the same length of time as it takes for the pasta to be perfectly cooked. From boom bap fusilli to moody day linguine […]
Welcome to the world of Digital Sustainability
When talking about climate change and sustainability, the conversation is usually focussed on the physical aspects such as waste, resource use, emissions growth etcetera. As a result, the words digital and sustainability are rarely seen side by side. Digital was […]
The masculinity shift
What do these things have in common: outcry about the gender of a potato toy, incel terrorism, guys who like to sew, and something called the ‘brotox boom’? At the surface, perhaps not so much. But they are all the […]
Trend: using nostalgia to seduce consumers
Every brand is competing for the attention of the consumer. Standing out and getting noticed is one thing. To be appreciated is another. Nostalgic visuals are an effective way to elicit positive emotions from potential customers. Research shows us that nostalgic images […]
Why Gen Z hate everyone
‘Ok boomer!’ The popular rebuttal adopted by Generation Z in 2019 in response to the continuous conversation surrounding the concern of younger generations. This phrase encompasses the collective exhaustion Gen Z feel towards babyboomer’s misrepresentation and condescension of Gen Z’s political and cultural beliefs. Gen Z is dismissing these concerns […]
COA: the kind of innovative idea the world needs.
Several lockdowns later and the daily walk has turned into a joyless trudge. No matter how many takeaway coffees and cakes you consume in an attempt to give the daily outing a purpose, life has become a bit mundane. We can […]
How to tackle growing mental health care concerns among Generation Z
Aardman studios, the creators of Wallace & Gromit have launched a campaign exploring mental health challenges. Together with leading researchers and mental health charities, they encourage young people to become more aware of the factors that may be having a […]
The rise of co-living
Co-living in itself is certainly nothing new. Many people that leave to go to college experience living in a shared student house. Old people often live in retirement homes with communal dining halls. It’s just the periods of your life […]
Hyper-personalized AI-Driven cosmetics
With the increase in artificial intelligence technology, more and more practical implementations are found every day. An interesting use of the tech is hyper-personalized cosmetics. Picture an AI picking and creating a scent or a lip stick, personally tailored to you. Algorithmic […]
How fear affects people’s bullshit radar
“The Coronavirus disease is the first pandemic in history in which technology and social media are being used on a massive scale to keep people safe, informed, productive and connected.” This quote from a joined statement by WHO, UN and others, shows that […]
The rise of virtual beings – Deepak Chopra in AI
Even according to wired, “Virtual beings are a concept and industry so new and nebulous that no one quite agrees what they are or what they’re for.” The best way to describe what’s going on would be to introduce you […]
Why organizations should give people something to look forward to.
We have all experienced it in 2020. You were looking forward to something but then it got canceled because of corona rules. Research informs us that rejoicing is unique for people. Unlike animals, people can imagine things that are not […]
The significant role of masculinity in men’s everyday behaviour
Late last year a study was published that found a link between experienced masculinity and voting behaviour. Three different experiments found that men’s concern about failing to meet masculine standards lead them to embrace more aggressive policies and politicians. In the study […]
LEGO going mindful on parents
While many people seek out green spaces to destress and relax, adults can now bring a touch of nature into their home and unwind as they create and customise their botanical builds… and the great news is that LEGO plants […]
Are you preparing for the ‘shecession’?
Over the last year we have seen the word ‘shecession’ used more and more. The reason for this word is the fact that women are affected disproportionally by the pandemic. Obviously not only women and not every woman, but the […]
How to turn a city into a transcendent experience.
During the winter months many museums and other sources of entertainment were closed due to the ongoing pandemic. This is why AR app Acute Art and Dazed Media turned the entire city of London into a digital art gallery called […]
What can brands learn from the riots?
All around the world people protest against governmental regulations. Among them are not just wacko’s but hippies, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, mums, dads – just people. The protests are the most visible manifestation of widespread feelings of anger, fear and uncertainty. At […]
Is it okay if CMO’s ‘shrink their world’?
During crises, people’s worlds shrink. Sociologists refer to this ‘shrinking world’ as a phenomenon that occurs in times of crisis. The definition: a renewed focus and appreciation for the known and local. It means that in times of crisis, people turn inwards. […]
Millennial’s optimism deteriorates – now what?
Here is an interesting stat from Deloitte’s global research: „Positive economic sentiment among Millennials is at its lowest in the six years we have been recording it. Only 26 percent of respondents said they expect the economic situations in their […]
Finally a brand that understands Boomers‘ ‘third age’.
We’ve been part of hundreds of innovation challenges creating new business models for Millennials, inventing new products or services for Generation Z, communicating in the right way to younger generations. But the amount of ‘boomer-projects’ is limited. One explanation – […]
The redefinition of social connections
The need for social connections will for sure never loose its relevance, simply because it is a fundamental human need. What will change over time, however, is how people will fulfill that need. That is why we discuss the manifestations of the need for connection that we can expect in the coming time and what that means for brands.
The growing desire for a magical moment
The Louvre in Paris has recently auctioned several special visits. Think of a tour at night, a tour over the roofs of the museum or a guided tour by the director of the Louvre. The most special visit that was […]
All you need to stay relevant
More than ever, corporate and brand strategies must be chosen wisely. But defining a strategy in the midst of economic turbulence, governmental stimulus and changes in consumer demand is hard. We’ve seen many organizations adapting their business models to the […]
Australian insurance company NRMA uses board game to engage customers.
Engaging with consumers is a tough cookie for insurance companies. Insurance products are a mandatory commodity that most people don’t want; making the acquisition of a policy a low interest moment with hardly any joy and engagement. On top of […]
How brands can connect with the ‘real man’ of today?
The debate about gender and identity is alive and kicking. The man is in crisis and his masculinity is toxic, according to the media. Brands that focus on men are participants in this debate, whether they like it or not. […]
Consumer insight: Why asking people for their opinion might prove deceiving.
Not a single person in the world has been missing out on the American elections over the last couple of weeks. Now the time of frantically refreshing the interactive electoral college maps and checking the live-blogs for every little update […]
Gen Z will force brands to show their colors. Will you move inward or move forward?
Open the newspapers and you’ll notice rising levels of fear and anger amongst citizens. Polarization and hardening of manners are having its impact on society. With a strong impact on the mindset of the youngest generation, Gen Z. A mindset […]
Two things brands can learn to reach younger generations from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Billie Eilish leading up to the American elections.
With the American elections racing to a conclusion, and the stakes seemingly higher than ever, several high-profile celebrities try to reach the younger generations. Young people are historically a notoriously absent demographic at the voting booths. Fewer than half of […]
The performance society brings along new obligations for brands
You might wonder, why do some generations struggle more with mental wellbeing than others? We take a birds eye view on the changing human context to answer this question and discuss what this means for brands.
Do you play a relevant role in the busy lives of Generation X parents?
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance was already stressful for Generation X, but the corona crisis has put even more pressure on finding this balance. We discuss the role of brands in this struggle and share inspiring cases.
How Babyboomers experience staying inside and how you can help.
How are Babyboomers experiencing today’s times? Although they might be more willing to self-isolate, we explain why this specific generation hates is as well.
Complex challenges can only be solved by understanding the human context.
Vattenfall, one of our clients from the energy sector has the ambition to realize fossil free life within one generation. This means Vattenfall constantly has to adjust its marketing activities to changing needs and behavior of their customers.
Offering a human perspective on the CSR ambitions of VodafoneZiggo
This week we inspired VodafoneZiggo with human insights that provide opportunities to build a relevant and responsible brand towards 2025.
Which purposeful actions work, and which don’t?
For some time now, we have observed a growing consumer demand for brands that contribute to solutions for social issues.
How to stay relevant as a brand?
Our clients have been asking us – what’s next? Well, to stay relevant as a brand, to find the right guidance to respond to this crisis, brands need to start with understanding human needs.
How to rebuild trust as a pension fund?
Pension funds tend to react by explaining their efficiency, emphasizing the interest rates they make, and other compelling arguments to show their competence. But is showing off your competence the best way to rebuild trust?
Four generations in the workplace
Many Babyboomers are still working while Generation Z enters the labour market. This means that Babyboomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z are working together and they all have their own attitudes to work. This presents both chances and challenges for companies and its employees.
The missed opportunity (and duty) of the financial industry: mental wellbeing.
We believe the human context provides the necessary strategic guidance to navigate these extraordinary times. Let’s add some human context for the financial industry. You’ve all seen it. The corona crisis is putting a pressure on people’s wellbeing.
E-commerce is on the rise, but what do people buy?
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the rise of e-commerce. But we’ve not seen just a shift in HOW people buy, but also WHAT they buy and that is; authentic and local brands and products.
Vodafone X TrendsActive: Making big data valuable with thick data
The marketing field is often seduced by beautiful stories on new technologies: artificial intelligence, big data, you know the drill. But what should we be really talking about? Right. About the customer.
How understanding Gen Z’s struggle can ensure brand relevance
A recent large scale Dutch survey (June 2020), commissioned by Unicef, underlines what we’ve observed for a while already; teenagers experience a lot of stress these days.
Corona accelerates people’s search for meaning
A year after we started writing our latest trend report ‘The Search for Meaning’, we live in a world that has drastically changed..
How many avocado toasts should a millennial give up in order to afford a home in amsterdam?
People love to make fun of Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1997 who are obsessed with taking selfies. More recently, Millennials have been the target of ridicule for spending too much money on overpriced avocado toasts instead of saving to […]
Are European Millennials all the same?
There are 100 million of these Millennials living in Europe. The Eurapco partners now have the insights to become Millennial-proof. Are you?
What do Instagram and KLM have in common?
A couple of months ago Instagram began a test in Canada that hides the total number of likes on photos and videos. So likes won’t be visible on the main feed and profiles, only the owner of the account will be able to see the likes. Last week the company announced that the test will be expanded to more countries.
Does your brand contribute to a ‚happy life‘ or a ‚meaningful life‘?
This year we dive into the human quest for a meaningful life. In anticipation of the full report, we will share some findings and considerations regarding the subject that we encountered during the writing process.
In the near future, you are going to need a Generation Z strategy
Generation Z are mobile natives. Yes they have a different outlook on health and beauty. But what drives them in their decision making? And how is that different compared to Millennials?
A true brand evangelist.
At TrendsActive we are blessed with having multiple clients with whom we have a long relationship. Proximus (a large Belgium telco operator) is one of them.
On the power of perspective
So, how are you holding up when it comes to those new year’s resolutions? Apparently, this is the week in which most people fail to meet the expectations they set for themselves. It is no easy task to change behavior, especially not when they are habits that are deeply engrained in our system.