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The Sound's Fringestream Guidebook 2017

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Over the past year we’ve been taking notes on some fringe trends that have recently emerged or resurfaced. They relate to everything we do: what we eat, how we live, the technology we use and the culture we embrace.

Some have huge implications. Others are just incredibly weird. But all have some potential to disrupt the brandscape and make an impact on our lives.

Veröffentlicht in: Marketing
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The Sound's Fringestream Guidebook 2017

  1. 1. FRINGESTREAM GUIDEBOOK 2017
  2. 2. FRINGESTREAM… In the pre-digital and pre-globalized world, mass culture dominated and fringe culture was limited to whatever was in direct opposition to mainstream values and behaviors. The boundaries between fringe and mass were strictly defined and the mainstream was a homogenous collective, largely controlled by established institutions. …my how things have changed. 2 THESOUND
  3. 3. ..IS THE NEW MAINSTREAM Now, the poles have reversed and mass culture is shaped by fringe behaviors and alternative ways of being. At The Sound, we call this Fringestream. It describes how fragmentation becomes the new normal, and it has emerged as a result of people having both the means and the motivation to live differently. Over the past year we’ve been taking notes on some fringe trends that have recently emerged or resurfaced. They relate to everything we do: what we eat, how we live, the technology we use and the culture we embrace. Some have huge implications. Others are just incredibly weird. But all have some potential to disrupt the brandscape and make an impact on our lives. 3 THESOUND
  4. 4. FOOD & DRINK The year of the unicorn frappucino gave us a curious mix of absurdity and innovation when it comes to things we eat and drink. While instagramming your lunch has long been deemed passé, the increasingly visual nature of food has turned the once despised trend into marketing magic. What is food, really? Is it just an extension of our social avatar? Or will some coming backlash drive us towards a renewed nutritional purity? Will lab-to-table prove to be more sustainable and aspirational than organic and fair trade? Or is an insect- based diet inevitable? This year proved that the very meaning of food itself is still completely up for grabs. THESOUND
  5. 5. Gone are the days when you had to bake your own hash brownies just to get double- baked. CBD and THC-infused recipes are being elevated to the status of haute cuisine and nowhere is this more prevalent than California, home of the cinnamon-basil keef tart. Carefully crafted and curated, these meals are delicious and have been perfectly dosed so that those subtle hints of cannabis don’t knock you off your feet too quickly. CANNACUISINE Get the munchies from your munchies 5 THESOUND
  6. 6. City Social, a Michelin-starred restaurant in London, has recently started serving cocktails with an augmented reality garnish. Simply download the restaurant’s app, scan the glow in the dark coaster and voila – suddenly you’re sipping your Moscow Mule alongside Marilyn Monroe or getting tipsy topside inside van Gogh’s Starry Night. It’s all the hallucinatory fun of absinthe without the two-day hangover. AUGMENTED COCKTAILS Pokemon a go-go 6 THESOUND
  7. 7. Drinking levels in the UK have fallen to their lowest in decades – particularly among young people. New alcohol-free or low alcohol alternatives are popping up across the country to fill the vacuum and are no longer limited to watery near beer. You can now imbibe on elaborate virgin cocktails, 0.5% rosé and there’s even an elderflower-based gin substitute for those looking for something stiffer. It’s been dubbed the “most exciting new drinks category” by teetotallers everywhere. NEAR SPIRITS Guilt (and headache) free indulgence 7 THESOUND
  8. 8. Entire communities have sprung up dedicated to the buying and selling of sweet, fatty and nutritious human breast milk. Go ahead and google Only the Breast or Breastfeeding Moms Unite – and soak it up for yourself. While non-profit milk banks exist to help feed infants in need, the milk can cost up to $5 US per ounce, versus $1-2 on these community sites – and it’s not just babies who need milk. Recently, body builders have gotten on the milk train to help bulk up. But buyer beware; given the lack of government regulations, quality may vary. BLACK MARKET BREAST MILK Why buy the cow when you can shop online? 8 THESOUND
  9. 9. A new trend in South Korea has sprung up on afreecaTV, a popular peer-to-peer online video network. It’s called Mukbang and it involves a person eating in front of a live Internet audience for hours at a time. Similar to cam girl platforms, live-streamers of the genre can receive a virtual currency called Star Balloons from their appreciative fans. Why Koreans have started to make small- time celebrities out of these streamers is anyone’s guess, but it gives new meaning to the term binge watching. FOOD PORN No sex…just lots and lots and lots of food 9 THESOUND
  10. 10. Charcoal has traditionally been used for medicine, beauty, and barbecuing. Now it’s gaining ground as a detox ingredient and has taken the world of performative dieting by storm. Used in freak shakes, ice-cream cones, cheeseburgers, pizza … basically anything that’s fun to eat, activated charcoal is being marketed as a digestive cure-all. While the health benefits are debatable, the vantablack shade it adds to dishes and drinks makes people curious to try them and helps generate those coveted social media kudos. GOING GOTH Black is the new black 10 THESOUND
  11. 11. Entomophagy – the eating of insects – isn’t new when you take a global perspective; billions of people in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America have been eating bugs for centuries. Now the West is starting to catch up: Cricket flour is being mixed into more products – from actual bug bread to energy bars – and restaurants are pushing the envelope with grasshopper tacos and silkworm soup. ENTOMOPHAGY Grub is taking on a whole new meaning 11 THESOUND
  12. 12. CULTURE Fringe cultures (and brands) used to be niche because of limited awareness. If more people knew about them, they’d be considerably more popular. (Obviously.) But people had a hard time discovering things that weren’t obvious. They had to dig for the new, the novel, the amazing. With the ubiquity of social connection and mobility, fringe trends can now reach and influence mass audiences almost instantly. But what happens when the cultural arms race gets too exhausting? Beyond the din of conflict that dominated so much of 2017, there were more than a few subtle shifts towards kindness, slowness and wellness. THESOUND
  13. 13. As we become equally obsessed with both wellness and all things Scandinavian, it’s only natural that the world would begin to embrace the protracted phenomenon of Slow TV. A mainstay of Norwegian television for decades, Slow TV is beginning to attract global audiences. Think: a live broadcast of a 134-hour ferry ride. Or 168 hours of uninterrupted reindeer migration. Or a real- time knitting marathon. What better antidote to the tyranny of the 24 hour news cycle than an entire day spent watching absolutely nothing happen? SLOW TELEVISION Netfjords & chill 13 THESOUND
  14. 14. Following a year of political upheaval and tragedy, marked by Brexit, the Grenfell fire and terrorism, a new literary trend is on the rise in Britain. ‘Up Lit’, or uplifting literature, focuses on stories that are optimistic and empathetic – stories of everyday heroism, human connection and love. A stark departure from the dystopian turn that has gripped so much of literature over the last decade, much of Up Lit is aimed at showing and inspiring the best in humanity. UP LIT A beam of light in dark times 14 THESOUND
  15. 15. A Chinese invention, the facekini got its name because it is literally a bikini for your face. This peculiar swimwear accessory offers extreme protection from UV rays and even jellyfish stings. While seemingly absurd, yet strangely alluring, there’s a deeper social reason for the facekini’s existence: across East Asia, a pale complexion is a beauty ideal and for the Chinese in particular it can be associated with higher social class. FACEKINI Because why not 15 THESOUND
  16. 16. People are placing rocks painted with inspirational quotes, sayings or drawings in beaches, forests and other random locations across the world. Rock painting is not only meant to be an exercise in creativity, it’s also an attempt to brighten up a lucky passer-by’s day. There’s only one rule: once the rock is found, the lucky stranger must place it somewhere else to be found by the next person. KINDNESS ROCKS Making the world happier one rock at a time 16 THESOUND
  17. 17. The Netherlands is home to the seemingly painful new trend of cosmetic eye implants. You can now get an procedure involving a tiny piece of decorative jewelry, which is implanted within the superficial interpalpebral conjunctiva of the eyeball. The process is completely legit as long as it is carried out under specified conditions by a licensed ophthalmologist. So now you know where you should be heading to get that hypnotizing eye glitter! DISCO EYES Glam up with extra-ocular implants 17 THESOUND
  18. 18. Male makeup is no longer the taboo it once was, and is set to be a defining cosmetic trend of 2018. This year, L’Oreal used a male model for the first time in their ads, and reality TV stars such as the cast of Geordie Shore have started endorsing makeup brands. More importantly, men everywhere are grabbing their brushes and discovering the wonders of mascara. MALE MAKEUP Breaking down cosmetic taboos 18 THESOUND
  19. 19. Barbers in India and Pakistan are known for using innovative techniques to cut people’s hair, but who would expect that using a literal blowtorch would ever be on trend. The barber begins by pouring a flammable powder and liquid on the customer’s head before setting it on fire.Then he swiftly does a little tango with his combs to set and style the hair while it is still ablaze. Amazingly, no one has been hurt so far. That we know of. HOT CUTS Set your hair on fire … literally 19 THESOUND
  20. 20. TECHNOLOGY Tech brands were on the defensive all year due to the myriad ways in which technology and social media have been associated with negative trends like a rise in hate groups, privacy issues, net neutrality, the suppression of free speech and the general hacky-ness of the last few years. While this failed to make a real dent in how people perceive most tech brands, there is an undeniable groundswell of emotion related to a desire for technology to serve a more positive social role in our lives. THESOUND
  21. 21. Nonny Du la Pena, CEO of Emblematic Group, is the pioneer of a new type of journalism – one that uses virtual reality to immerse the viewer in the story, rather than limit them to the role of third party spectator. A former correspondent for Newsweek and the New York Times, Du La Pena believes that the future of news will be found in experiencing stories with your entire body, and not just your mind. VR JOURNALISM All the news that’s fit to squint 21 THESOUND
  22. 22. Fighting isolation with headsets Social isolation in old age is a reality for many people around the world. New startups are aiming to approach this challenge by harnessing the power of VR to enable the elderly to live a more fulfilling and engaged life. Being able to attend family events or travel to new places will not only help older people take their minds off of the stresses of daily life and feel less lonely, but it’s also been shown to stimulate the brain and reactivate some neuropathways. VIRTUAL ELDERLY 22 THESOUND
  23. 23. Cryptokitties are virtual pets you can buy, care for and breed on the Ethereum blockchain. If you do not understand that sentence, it’s ok! These things are currently selling for upwards of 100K US, so you probably won’t be willing to shell out for one anyways. Dubbed Ethereum’s first killer dapp (decentralized application) Cryptokitties became so popular that it was blamed for slowing down and potentially endangering the entire Ethereum network, which is rapidly approaching a billion dollar valuation. CRYPTOKITTIES The future is meow 23 THESOUND
  24. 24. Every year, cities across the world become a little bit ‘smarter’. Soon to be fully completed is the smartest of all: Songdo, South Korea. A smart city built from scratch, every inch of Songdo has been painstakingly designed and purpose built, right down to the sensor-laden pneumatic waste disposal system. Supremely sustainable and hyper-futuristic, Songdo has gone from marshland to skyscrapers in just over a decade, but it’s also been called a “ghetto for the affluent’, raising questions of how ‘smart’ can clash with liveability. SMART CITIES Navigating the digital grid 24 THESOUND
  25. 25. The obscenely wealthy and militantly NIMBYist are looking to the sea as the next frontier. A pilot project in French Polynesia funded my The Seasteading Institute dreams of becoming the first “floating community” for 300 residents by 2020. Using the benefits of a “special economic seazone,” the seavangelists are taking advantage of a deal with the South Pacific territory to create a government from the ground-up. SEASTEADING A libertarian fantasy edges towards reality 25 THESOUND
  26. 26. Originally reserved for the super wealthy or terminally bizarre, cryonics is beginning to make its way into the mainstream. Several companies in the US offer cryonics services at a relatively affordable price (the cost of monthly payments to a life insurance policy). And support groups have popped up all over North America to educate the public about cryonics and provide support services. Cryonics appeals to people who want to experience the distant future and provides palliative comfort to those who fear death. CRYONICS Not just for Walt Disney anymore 26 THESOUND
  27. 27. LIFE What used to be niche is now normal, and tipping points are reached ever more quickly. Everyone can browse fringe behaviors and cultures online from a distance without leaving the sofa – which has led to plenty of hamfisted appropriation as well as an explosion in genuine polycultural collaboration. People are seeking more community, more time with people they love, and greater and more profound connections. THESOUND
  28. 28. New and innovative homesharing schemes are popping up across Europe which offer cheap accommodation in care homes to young people in exchange for a few hours of their week spent socializing with their elder neighbours. The schemes are a response to both the pricing out of younger people from cities and the increasing social isolation experienced by their elders. Councils hope that these initiatives also help bridge the widening gap between generations. HOMESHARING Bridging the gap between young and old 28 THESOUND
  29. 29. Pop culture icons like Darth Vader and She-Ra are increasingly a fixture at funerals across the UK. This unusual trend is the result of a changing view on the role of funerals from solemn occasions for mourning to celebrations of the deceased’s life - their triumphs, passions, and relationships, as well as the culture that they loved and surrounded themselves with. COSPLAY FUNERALS A celebration of awesomeness 29 THESOUND
  30. 30. Entrepreneurs Awakening is a professional retreat program that takes you through a month of pre and post ayahuasca excursion coaching to prepare you for a week-long psychedelic trip to Peru. All for the reasonable cost of $11,000 US. Designed to “help innovators,” the program seeks to translate the cosmically profound insights gained from tripping on ayahuasca and apply them to individual problems faced by startup founders. AYAHUASCA …the latest thing to be ruined by techbros 30 THESOUND
  31. 31. Universal Basic Income is a form of social security in which all citizens receive a regular check from the government - not to just scratch by in lieu of unemployment, but to live off completely. Pilot programs currently being run in Oakland, California and Ontario, Canada seek to understand the longitudinal effects of such systems, often proposed as a solution to the increased elimination of jobs by technological development. UNIVERSAL INCOME At least it’s an ethos 31 THESOUND
  32. 32. Transracial individuals’ racial identity differs from that of their birth race. Finding analogues in transgenderism, transracialism represents a new era in modern identity construction and performance, exploring what leaps we are allowing ourselves to take in defining who we are. However, strong opposition to the legitimacy of transracialism has been dominating the conversation so far, with critics pointing to the negative effects of cultural appropriation, and how it veers into the territory of racial fraud. TRANSRACIALISM Identity formation in the modern age 32 THESOUND
  33. 33. After the immense popularity of mindfulness, a new self-development practice and philosophy is on the rise: Sophrology. A blend of Eastern meditation and Western relaxation techniques designed to help achieve harmony between the mind and body, the practice has been popular in France and Switzerland for decades, but is only now reaching the rest of Europe. SOPHROLOGY Re-learning how to live 33 THESOUND
  34. 34. V A N C O U V E R | N E W Y O R K | L O N D O N | T O R O N T O | C H I C A G O | M U M B A I W W W . T H E S O U N D H Q . C O M V A N C O U V E R | N E W Y O R K | L O N D O N | T O R O N T O | C H I C A G O | M U M B A I W W W . T H E S O U N D H Q . C O M
  35. 35. SLIDE SITE 2 https://www.booooooom.com/2015/11/04/revealing-doubled-portraits-by-photographer-alan-powdrill/ 3 https://www.booooooom.com/2015/11/04/revealing-doubled-portraits-by-photographer-alan-powdrill/ 6 https://www.booooooom.com/2015/11/04/revealing-doubled-portraits-by-photographer-alan-powdrill/ 10 http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/06/charcoal-ice-cream-toronto/ 11 http://www.canadianbusiness.com/innovation/eat-bugs/ 14 http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/08/face-kini-the-terrifying-new-chinese-trend.html 19 http://www.businessinsider.com/indian-barber-fire-cut-hair-lighter-haircut-hairstyle-india-popular-trend- flames-2017-5 24 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4510896/VR-help-people-dementia-recall-memories.html 33 http://karlstraub.com/retreats/yoga-retreat-switzerland/attachment/woman-meditating-in-mountains/ IMAGE REFERENCES

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