The Tomato Soupening
Futurists, we have an announcement!
This December we are headed to Art Basel Miami to celebrate the launch of our newest publication, Archetypes: An Exploration in Brands and the Stories They Tell.
The Archetypes Journal is the inaugural printed collection of writings from Future Commerce. The 200-page, perfect-bound Archetypes Journal features 12 Archetypes, 4 in-depth exclusive interviews, stunning original art and photography, and deep, insightful essays on the state of modern brands, the people behind them, and the roles they play.
To live in this world we have to engage in the exchange of goods. To thrive we must take on the roles — The Archetypes — that weave our stories together. Brands fulfill purpose, meaning, and belonging for weary travelers along the way.
Jump into the story with us on December 1st for an evening of curated art, modern dance, and original music.
The Soupening. On Friday, anti-fossil fuel protesters threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh's famous 1888 painting "Sunflowers" at London's National Gallery. Just Stop Oil, the group responsible for the act, said they did it to draw attention to the role of fossil fuels in climate change. The painting is unharmed, but the frame sustained some minor damage.
- Our Take: This protest has layers. From their gluing their hands to the wall, to the use of tomato soup. If you’ll recall, Tomato Soup was the subject of the 1962 Warhol series featuring the brand Campbells. No word yet on the brand of the glue. Cambpells x Gorilla Glue wen?
This is a romantic act. The staging of protest is, at its core, performance art. Artists make statements, attract awareness, and use their platforms to create something memorable.
Pony Power. The My Little Pony crew can now be found trotting around outside of Equestria. Their newest hangout is in the metaverse — in a Roblox game called Visit Maretime Bay. We originally called the Madonna NFT as the “bottom” for the web3 movement. We were wrong. Web3questria is a newer, deeper, low.
Connection Point. Google has unveiled its 3D booth, Project Starline is meant to make virtual calls feel, well — not virtual. Described as “a magic window” it is a technological solve for feeling disconnected from other humans. So instead of working together in person, we're going to create expensive and elaborate setups like this.
The Cheesiest? Kraft is asking McDonald’s to add some mac to their Mac. Is this social engineering or a build up campaign for Kraft + McD's. Is this brand bullying? Or a clever build-up to a forthcoming collaboration with The D?
Toffee Makers Feel the Heat. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has become ubiquitous in India, allowing for mobile bank-to-bank instant payments via QR code with mobile devices. This financial revolution has led to a decline in sales for candy brands such as Mondelez, Mars, and Nestle since 2020. Abhishek Patil attributes this decline to the fact that shopkeepers no longer have to give change in the form of candy when customers pay with UP—instead, they can pay the exact amount due.
Mega Mart. Kroger and Albertsons are in talks of a merger, which could create a U.S. grocery giant. To ease concerns about antitrust scrutiny, the companies said they plan to divest some stores and that Albertsons is ready to spin off a standalone unit to its shareholders immediately before the deal's close, expected in early 2024.
According to retail analyst Neil Saunders, there’s plenty of room for contraction left in grocery, as the merger would consolidate the U.S. market into a 35% market share for the newly formed company. By comparison, in the U.K., the top two competitive grocers account for over 50% of the market.
Say it With a Bouquet. Flowers — as a communication vehicle — are on the rise again, after falling out of fashion for a few decades. And during the Victorian Era, each individual variety of flower carried enough meaning to communicate they way emojis do today.