WEEK. 13.01.20

Museum of Ice Cream launches New York flagship

The Museum of Ice Cream has unveiled a new flagship space, complete with a fresh brand identity designed to encourage real-life connections.

Although famed for creating some of the world’s most Instagram-friendly backdrops, the museum actually wants to combat loneliness and superficiality through experiential design, according to co-founder Maryellis Bunn.

Launched in 2016 as a series of pop-ups, the self-described ‘experium’ now has a permanent location in New York that boasts a three-storey slide, a hall of giant ice-cream scoops and a huge sprinkle pool.

Bunn said she wants to create “emotional and transformative moments and spaces for people to reconnect with themselves and those around them”.

Image Source: Creative Boom
Image Source: Creative Boom

Full of retro details, warm pinks and reds, and of course plenty of Insta-fodder, the New York space is sure to extend the Museum’s cult following. It’s already attracting A-list visitors, with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively stopping by for a date just before Christmas.

Brands sign up for Veganuary

Only consumers enjoying a deep midwinter hibernation could miss the explosion in vegan-related marketing from brands and retailers this month.

Burger King, KFC, Wagamama and Heinz are just some of the big names lining up to tout their vegan credentials, aware that an estimated 350,000 people will take part in ‘Veganuary’ as the moderating-meat movement continues to gather pace.

It’s a juicy opportunity, but not without pitfalls for corporate giants still coming to terms with the demands of the vegan world. KFC found that serving chicken burgers in a box labelled ‘Fingerlickin’ Vegan’ didn’t go down well, while Burger King’s plant-based burger is not suitable for vegans because it’s cooked on a meat grill (the ‘Rebel Whopper’ is apparently aimed at flexitarians).

The big challenge for every business courting the vegan crowd is sustaining the momentum beyond January. Mintel has reported that about half the UK population are either not eating meat or actively reducing their intake, but statistics show last year’s ‘Veganuary’ did not appear to significantly affect meat sales.

Burger King has been keeping a Whopper secret

Burger King has scored points against its biggest rival by claiming to hide a Big Mac in all of its Whopper ads.

The fast food giant, engaged in an intermittently entertaining battle with fellow burger merchants McDonald’s, wanted to prove how its flagship sandwich outsizes its counterpart from the ‘Golden Arches’.

To do so, it secretly placed a Big Mac behind the Whopper whenever it photographed the latter for a piece of advertising in 2019. Of course, the McDonald’s product was obscured by the bigger burger each time.

Campaign was not afraid to point out that the stunt doesn’t strictly prove the Whopper is larger, “because of the way perspective works”. But as a modern twist on the tried-and-tested product comparison tactic, #WhopperSecret suggests there’s plenty of life left in this long-running rivalry.

Ski slope/waste facility opens in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s new waste-to-energy facility is also a ski slope, hiking centre and the world’s tallest climbing wall.

Known as CopenHill, the artificial mountain is arguably the biggest and best example of a growing trend being dubbed “hedonistic sustainability”. It’s the cleanest power plant of its kind in the world and a unique leisure/tourism destination.

Designed by architects BIG Group, the plant serves 680,000 people in and around the Danish capital. As you ski, hike or simply take in the stunning views, rubbish from 300 lorries is being converted into energy below your feet.

“The most dramatic and exciting park in the city is now sitting on the bedrock of a power plant,” Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, told Wired. (It’s also just a 15-minute walk away from the Michelin two-star NOMA, as Architects’ Journal pointed out.)

Image Source: Dezeen
Image Source: Dezeen

This kind of sexed-up sustainability could be fertile ground for more cities – and brands – to explore in 2020. BIG is currently working on the futuristic Google campus in California, where a giant tent-style canopy encloses a series of pavilions wrapping around a public ‘green loop’.


WEEK has been compiled by Alex Theaker, Matt Duxbury and Fabi Burnett.

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