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Lightbox Loves: Veganuary

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Veganism is set for an even bigger boom this month with a record number of 300,000 people already signed up to Veganuary – an 18% increase from last year.

Whether part of a “New Year, New Me” resolution or for health, ethical or environmental reasons, Veganuary began in 2014 and has significantly grown year on year, with more and more people abstaining from animal products and instead opting for a plant-based diet. For some, this carries on beyond January; 62% of Veganuary participants in 2018 intended to remain vegan

To accompany this surge in signups, there has been a string of vegan product launches by high street favourites and major supermarkets to make the journey and vegan choices readily available.

To name just a few; McDonalds has launched its first ever vegan meal called Veggie Dippers, which accompanied with their vegan friendly fries now allows customers to order a fully vegan meal. Meanwhile, Co-op has also launched what they have described as; “the largest ever product rollout of own-brand vegan products by a supermarket.” Their new vegan food range is called Gro and features 35 meat free products, including pizza, nachos and curry based options. Other supermarkets are also expanding their vegan ranges this January including Iceland, Marks and Spencer’s and Waitrose.

Veganuary – and this trend influencing eating habits throughout the year – is opening up new opportunities for more brands to invest in a prolonged approach to providing better meat free alternatives for this growing market. Brands are offering a greater range of vegan products that are no longer limited to one month each year.

The rise in signups and brand involvement is undoubtedly a reflection of the changing face of veganism in society. It will be interesting to see how much this year on year trend continues to grow and whether an even wider audience and demographic will not only start but stick with this major change of lifestyle.

Sources:

Foresight Factory, Veganuary: What we learned from social media conversations on Veganuary 2019

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/veganuary-vegan-vegetarian-red-meat-eater-data-a9267116.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/31/veganuary-record-high-participants-plant-based

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/mcdonalds-vegan-happy-meal-veggie-dippers-vegetarian-a9240351.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/dec/22/vegan-boom-veganuary-retailers-on-trend

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/co-op-vegan-food-meat-free-plant-based-gro-january-veganuary-a9267231.html

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas: Findings from the winter wave of The QT

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas: Findings from the winter wave of The QT

13 may be unlucky for some, but here at the7stars we’re thrilled to have launched our thirteenth wave of our proprietary consumer tracking study: The QT. This wave we’ve asked our usual core topics of consumer confidence, happiness, spending intentions and of course opinions on Brexit, but we’ve also branched out into holidays, climate change and eating out. All in a day’s work…

We’re less happy than we were in August

It may be no surprise, but happiness versus both last year, and August 2019, has seen a decline of 6%pts. Only 30% of Brits are happier, with the majority feeling no different. The trend in this measure is inextricably linked with comfort on disposable income, which is at the lowest it has been since tracking began.

Get ready for… an anti-climax.

In August 2019, 30% of Brits felt their biggest emotion towards Brexit was worry. This has eroded ever so slightly in the aftermath of the missed 31st October deadline, but it still remains our primary emotion, with 27% of Brits feeling worried. This is closely followed by the 25% who are simply bored of the whole debacle.

Are we, as a nation, eating our feelings?

This time round, we wanted to ask the nation their feelings towards eating out. Almost 3 in 4 (73%) said that they felt eating out should be a special occasion, not an everyday thing. This is perhaps linked to the sociable nature of a trip to a restaurant, with 64% agreeing that its more sociable than simply ordering a takeaway. Only 22% said they are dining out more than in the past, and this was most pronounced amongst 18-24s, for whom the figure rose to 42%. For this group however, there is stiff competition from the takeaway and delivery sector, as 61% agreed that takeaway food is getting better quality.

The importance of streaming earnest.

With November representing the much-heralded launch of Britbox, and Disney + also making a splash, we wanted to ask Brits their real priorities when it comes to choosing streaming services. Number one on their list? A good film selection of course! 22% of Brits cited this as the most important factor, with exclusive celebrities/actors only important for 1%.

We’ve got that festive feeling…but are we alone?

It wouldn’t be a November wave of The QT without some questions about Christmas! 1 in 3 Brits claim that Christmas doesn’t start until December, which is a significant increase versus the last time we asked in 2017. However, the likes of John Lewis and Coca-Cola needn’t fear, festive advertising still marks the start of the season for 17% of Brits.

Keep an eye on @the7stars on twitter for more nuggets from this wave of the QT.

To find out more on any of these topics, or ask for more information please email lightbox@the7stars.co.uk

 

Talkin’ about a new generation – the7stars Whitepaper

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Download our free whitepaper on the youth in the UK

 

Lightbox Loves: Looking Back to the Future

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We are a nation of nostalgists. At least, this was our hypothesis when earlier this year we partnered with YouGov to conduct a piece of research into why the UK is so keen to spend our time looking back to the past, instead of ahead to the future. More importantly, we wanted to understand the specific cues, cultural symbols and behaviours which most represent our favourite decades, and get to grips with how advertisers could use these to their advantage. We recently launched the results of this study with lively and discussion filled panel events in Manchester and London.

Our latest whitepaper, ‘Nostalgia – is it what is used to be?’, has unearthed that 55% of Brits would rather go back to the past than travel ahead to the future, with a mere 28% desiring a quick fast forward. 9 in 10 Brits reminisce, and there is a cohort of misty eyed millennials who are almost always looking back fondly. This isn’t, however, always a past they were part of.

One of our most interesting findings was around the sheer scale of Fauxstalgia – where we dream and pine after a period within which we didn’t even live. For example, 58% of those who were positive about the 1950s weren’t even born then, and as such were perhaps more shielded from the social and political realities of living during that decade.

The 1990s was unanimously our favourite decade. Recent enough to be of relevance to many, but not associated with the global economic crisis that marred the noughties, it is most closely associated with Friends being on TV, and the advances in technology such as mobile phones and the internet. Standout mentions, however, for the Spice Girls and the battle of Britpop.

This desire to escape the present is unlikely to be short-lived. Dr Kate Stone once remarked “the future will look more like the past than the present” so perhaps we should be dusting off those record players, vintage fashions and bringing brand heritage to the fore.

Gousto aims to make recipe boxes ‘the UK’s favourite way to eat dinner’

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Gousto aims to make recipe boxes ‘the UK’s favourite way to eat dinner’

 

Recipe box subscription brand has made major investments in technology to help it deliver improved choice and delivery options, brand director says.

 

Gousto, the UK-based recipe box delivery service, is kicking off a £3m brand campaign, two months after securing a £30m cash injection that brand director Anna Greene said is helping the business scale its technology and transform its offer to consumers.

The push, “Give it some Gousto”, is the second ad createed by M&C Saatchi and with media agency the7stars, both of which were appointed last year.

It features a main brand TV spot, which will run for nine weeks from Sunday evening (1 September), supported by direct response TV ads and additional video created for social media, as well as partnerships with three brand ambassadors, Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka on social), Simon Hooper (Father of Daughters), and Joe Wicks (The Body Coach), who is also an investor in Gousto.

The campaign was created by Charli Plant and Laura Saraiva, and directed by Favourite Colour Black through Park Village.

Speaking to Campaign, Greene said that while Gousto had grown sales 70% in the last year – overtaking its chief competitor, Hello Fresh, in the process – and was now delivering 2.5 million meals a month, the first priority of the campaign was growing awareness and consideration, with three quarters of UK adults not yet aware of the brand, while “around half of the UK still don’t fully understand what a recipe box is”.

While this situation means there is still work to do to educate consumers on how recipe boxes work, Greene said Gousto’s growth meant that to maximise its potential, it now needed to be able to communicate its promised emotional benefits: cutting out the pain and hassle of shopping and planning meals, and reacquainting people with the joys of cooking.

“This year we really wanted to take it up a notch,” Greene said, describing the thinking behind the campaign. “We wanted to demonstrate how we can improve everything from top to bottom. We’re on a mission to be the UK’s most loved way of eating dinner.”

The creative, which uses visual motifs related to cooking such as chopping with a knife to move between shots, was intended to be visually arresting, but also was “quite a disruptive and destructive device to contrast between old and new,” Greene said.

The booming recipe boxes sector is packed with competitors – along with Berlin-based HelloFresh, which in 2017 topped the Financial Times ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, there are several with a more targeted approach, such as the gluten and dairy-free, low carb Mindful Chef; fresh pasta specialist Pasta Evangelists; and Simply Cook, which leaves out the fresh ingredients but comes in a package that fits through a letterbox.

Gousto lacks a key identifying characteristic of this sort, but stands out because of its superior technology, Greened claimed. This had allowed it to offer 50 recipes to choose from each week, double the number offered by Hello Fresh, to bring prices down, and to offer delivery seven days a week at a wider range of timeslots.

The big challenge for Gousto, and the sector as a whole, is that most people’s usual shopping, cooking and eating habits are very well established, Greene said.

“We recognise it’s a huge behaviour change we’re trying to create here. People are so used to shopping in supermarkets or online, there’s years of entrenched behaviours.” This means Gousto needs to “give them really compelling reasons and motivating them to give it a try – that’s a more powerful way to look at the sector”.

the7stars and M&C Saatchi launch strategic consultancy M&C7

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We are very excited to announce the launch of our new venture with MC Saatchi. M&C7 is a strategic consultancy that fuses media and creative thinking from the very start to drive outcomes for clients.

For too long now, despite the many attempts at reunification, media and creative thinking have been out of sync.

We want clients to be able to buy best-in-class advice that fuses media strategy and brand idea into one seamless whole. Ours is a unique consultancy product – rooted in marketplace expertise, but free of the bias of implementation.

Bringing the two halves of the communications brain back together is only really possible in the independent sector, in which the vested interests of legacy companies don’t apply.

M&C7 enjoys the freedom that comes from independent perspectives. The coming together of disciplines offers the chance to look at the client’s problem from new angles, so that instead of a single controlling thought from a limited perspective, we can take a wide lens that allows us to produce a truly unified solution

State of the Nation: The latest findings from The QT

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State of the Nation: The latest findings from The QT

There are 12 days of Christmas, 12 eggs in a dozen, and now 12 waves of the QT! For this wave we’ve looked into the nation’s feelings on Brexit in a post-Boris-as-PM world, attitudes to sustainability after the move by Zara to shed their ‘fast fashion’ tag, and into whether Brits really *get* product placement. Read on for more…

Young people are having a whale of a time!

National happiness is a few percentage points higher than in May 2019, but it is the young who are really feeling their oats. 64% of 18-24s feel happier than they did in May 2018, and this is in stark contrast to the 65+, for whom this figure falls to a mere 22%. Youthful joy, however, doesn’t mean that we have a miserly ageing population. Instead, a higher proportion of this group feel more settled, with 51% citing no difference in their happiness versus last year.

Brexit means…WORRY.

In May 2019, we reported that for the very first time since the Referendum, boredom had become the overriding emotion felt by Brits. In the wake of Theresa stepping down, a leadership contest and the new Prime Minister’s vow to take us out of the EU come what may, this has turned to worry. 30% of Brits feel their biggest emotion towards our impending exit from Europe is worry, with only 6% saying they’re happy.

No surprises on the regional skews here, with key Remain areas of London and Scotland scoring higher for the negative emotions, but Leave strongholds such as the North East still retaining their unwavering optimism.

It can be cheap, fast or quality, but you can’t have all three.

We asked the UK to give us their real priorities when it comes to purchase decisions, asking them to trade off sustainability for other factors every time.

Convenience, quality materials, durability, fair wages for workers, not being tested on animals, and function all won out over sustainability. The only factors to be beaten by it were local production, high fashion/on trend, and brand reputation.

Interestingly, the trade-off between cost effectiveness and sustainable production was more difficult than many other criteria. 37% of Brits picked sustainability over cost, compared with 44% choosing cost. These figures skewed more in favour of cost the younger the consumer was, with 51% of 18-24s choosing this factor. It flies in the face of increasing coverage of Gen Z being the foremost campaigners when it comes to the environment, but lands us with the reality that their ethics may not yet meet their purchasing power.

How much is that product in the TV show? The one with the visible can…

If you didn’t sing the above headline to the tune of that doggy in the window, then we’re disappointed. Back on topic though, we were inspired by conversations around the recent series of Stranger Things, and Love Island, to find out exactly how Brits feel about product placement in their favourite series and movies.

The first thing we noted, was that for just under half, they’d prefer more of it, than traditional ad breaks! 48% of Brits felt this way, with a similar proportion (50%) feeling that product placements are good if relevant to show content. Indeed, that seems to be the biggest word of warning for brands. Almost 4 in 5 said that the activity mustn’t distract from the narrative of the show or movie, and its not a surprise when you consider over a quarter said that they sometimes distract them from the show itself.

Keep an eye on @the7stars on twitter for more nuggets from this wave of the QT.

To find out more on any of these topics, or ask for more information please email lightbox@the7stars.co.uk

 

Suzuki, Take That and ITV

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Suzuki have become synonymous with Saturday nights on ITV; famed for their family friendly antics, previously fronted by Ant & Dec. This long term strategy has just been taken to a new level with the introduction of Take That in 2019.  So far, the campaign has seen the UK’s favourite boyband travel across the UK in a Suzuki Vitara SUV to surprise fans with a journey they will never forget, and enjoy an in-car karaoke session with their idols along the way.

Suzuki will shine even brighter on ITV1 Saturday nights with the Take That ad spots placed in ITV’s very best entertainment programming – The Voice. Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.  A Sat night tenancy buy means that Suzuki will be present 36 weeks of the year. Whilst TV is the core channel for reach, the Take That content will be brought to life further with extensive paid social, consumer competitions, a nationwide roadshow and dealer activations.

Watch this space for even more surprises yet to come this year!

Lightbox Loves: the saviour of the high street?

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Pop-up shops are having a moment. From M&S’s September menswear outlet “Mike and Tom”, to Banksy’s permanently closed ‘Gross Domestic Product’ store, these shops have quite literally popped up all over the UK this summer, and they show no sign of disappearing as we approach the gifting season. Could short-term stores be the long-term saviour of the high street?

PwC reported that an average of sixteen high street stores closed a day at the start of the year as people shop online more. However, these temporary shops have become a fixture of the evolving retail ecosystem. Both offline and online brands are utilising them to provide engaging ways of shopping that they wouldn’t be able to offer otherwise. As a result, the pop-up industry in the UK is now worth over £2.3bn.

Whilst online provides convenience, these brick and mortar stores offer something more: an experience. Compared with traditional stores, the temporary nature of the ‘pop-up’ approach means there’s no room for a ‘slow-burn’ in this space – brands have a limited time frame within which to attract and convert consumers. Additionally, pop-ups not only allow brands to test out products and gather insights on their consumers, but they offer quirky interactive spaces in which businesses can generate organic social media buzz.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, it is frequently online brands moving offline; both Facebook and Amazon have set up pop-ups, proving the value of a physical store. This summer, fashion retailer Zalando also opened a virtual pop-up store in Madrid, which featured no actual clothes but allowed customers to try on outfits using projection technology, whilst marketplace app Depop launched a physical space in London’s Selfridges. Pop-up shop partnerships can clearly be used to drive a younger audience through the doors of more established stores.

Now that summer is over, Christmas is just around the corner! With festive markets a kind of forerunner to the phenomenon, pop-ups during this period are nothing new. However as the high street competes with online competitors for consumers’ business, pop-up shops offer the perfect way for retailers to think creatively. John Lewis for instance have recently opened a number of in-shop pop-ups with a gifting focus, including a KitKat Chocolatory and Quality Street Pick ‘n Mix bar.

We can expect to see many more pop-ups spring up over the next few months, as retailers endeavour to appeal to consumers searching for exclusive personalised gifts. Beyond revenue, when done right, these shops create social value in the form of online engagement as consumers seek to gain a ‘grammable experience!

 

https://ee.co.uk/content/dam/everything-everywhere/documents/Pop-Up%20Economy%202015.pdf[https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/store-closures-hit-record-levels.html

http://elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk/sales-marketing/item/what-s-the-sudden-obsession-with-pop-up-stores-and-can-they-save-the-high-street

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2019/08/02/clicks-to-bricks-experiences-and-pop-ups-transforming-doomed-shopping-centers-into-high-traffic-hubs/#350d4f9019e2