The London office has been very busy with pop-up events this week, starting with a coffee-powered London bus near Waterloo Station, and ending with a walk-in bubble installation near Liverpool St featuring mini-golf and a Love Island finalist.

This Monday the Retail + Leisure team told the latest chapter of Shell’s Make the Future story – an initiative which supports entrepreneurs turning bright energy innovations into a positive impact for communities around the world. This project saw bio-bean –  a green energy company – turn thousands of the capital’s waste coffee grounds into enough B20 biofuel to help power a London bus for a year; delivered directly into London’s transport system. This initiative demonstrated the potential for more resilient cities through a smarter use of waste as well as showcasing that through collaboration we can together help Make the Future.

On launch day, H+K enabled Shell and bio-bean to broadcast live from an iconic bus on London’s Southbank, providing the perfect backdrop to take the capital’s innovation story to the world. Supported by simultaneous outreach in 20 markets around the world, using a carefully crafted storytelling toolkit that provided a local angle, we helped the world wake up to a brighter energy future.  Less than a week on, H+K has generated over 1,170 pieces of coverage in the world’s most influential agenda setters from BBC World News, New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, Mashable, CNN, Globo TV, Reuters and Sky – with a reach of well over 11.7 billion.

The E+I team has partnered with E.ON to help consumers to escape the winter weather this November at the ‘Shot of Summer’ pop-up in near Liverpool Street Station. Providing a space for people to recharge, the pop-up was set in a bubble – The Medusa – created by German artists Plastique Fantastique, which was set at a warm 20°C, filled with a bespoke mini golf course, table tennis, chill-out chairs, a selfie booth, and treats including Crosstown doughnuts.

The bubble hosted a forest of insulation-filled clouds, a screening of the recent Gorillaz ‘We Got The Power’ music video powered entirely by solar and battery storage technology, as well as E.ON’s latest film ‘Freedom is Electric’ which features a line-up of electric-powered Hot Rods, 210mph superbikes, prototype hyper-cars, a monster truck and a game to discover what type of energy personality you might be. The pop-up also encouraged the public to engage with energy and improve their energy efficiency as winter sets in. Love Island finalist Gabby Allen even visited the pop-up on Wednesday lunchtime to relive the summer with a selfie at.

Ruth Marshall-Johnson from the Future Laboratory came to the H+K office to discuss the global cultural trends to expect by 2020. Her predictions included the increasing problem of an unfocused and unconnected audience, and the need for brands to attract attention through a balance of physical and digital products and installations. One of the key things she touched on was ‘experience’, how the word has become an overused buzzword and that brands need to develop ‘experiences’ not purely as something to experience but as something that triggers a strong emotional response – whether it be happiness, sadness or even disgust.

Neuroscience will therefore play a larger role in understanding consumer needs and building brand experiences, recreational spaces and workplaces around them. Brands will need to focus less on physical products in this post-materialist age, and more on its corporate citizenship that aligns itself to millennials and their interest in engaging with brands that have an authentic moral purpose. Ruth’s presentation included a surprising statistic: women will be losing their jobs to automation five times more than men – what will this mean for gender equality?

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