Here is our round up of the news stories and industry articles that caught our eye during February 2023.

OpenAI issued an unusual warning when it announced a new service called DALL-E 2

When the artificial intelligence company OpenAI unveiled a brand-new service named DALL-E 2 in April, it issued an unexpected caution. In response to a line of text or an uploaded image, the system may produce vibrant and lifelike images, paintings, and illustrations.

Read the article in Wired.

Companies are making little headway in closing the ethnicity wage gap

It would be an understatement to suggest that the marketing sector still has a long way to go to solve its lack of ethnic diversity.

According to Marketing Week’s exclusive 2023 Career and Salary Survey, full-time marketers from ethnic minorities make 10.3% less money than their white peers on average. This number represents a small improvement over the 23.7% wage disparity that was identified in the 2022 edition.

Read the full article in Marketing Week.

2023’s identity and stage design are revealed by Eurovision

The BBC broadcast branding and stage design for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 have been unveiled. These elements were motivated by the way that music and heartbeats naturally synchronise as well as by music’s capacity to foster international understanding.

The visual identity was created by Superunion and Ukrainian company Starlight Creative, while the stage design was overseen by New York-based production design specialist Yellow Studio. In May of this year, the UK will host the 2023 competition in Liverpool on behalf of Ukraine as the runner-up from the previous year’s competition.

Read the full article in Design Week.

Expedia’s loyalty focus is getting results

Expedia, an online travel agency, argues that its strategy to concentrate on retaining higher-value customers is starting to pay off.

On a conference call with investors yesterday (9 February), Chief Executive Peter Kern stated that the business would continue its approach of allocating marketing funds to platforms that “attract attractive long-term clients rather than just chasing short-term transactions.”

Read the feature in Marketing Week.

A potato-based bottle that you can eat, compost or dissolve

Together with the juice firm Eckes Granini, the Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine created the biodegradable GoneShells bottle, which is made of potato and may be consumed, composted at home, or submerged in water after use.

Although Tomorrow Machine has prior experience working with research organisations and developing novel materials for the packaging sector, this is the first project in which it has started the creation of packaging material from the ground up with the intention of producing it on a wide scale. The studio’s This Too Shall Pass project, which it completed a little over ten years ago, served as the inspiration for Goneshells.

Read the article in Design Week.

Airbnb’s earnings surge following a shift in marketing spend

Two years after drastically reducing its overall marketing budget but shifting spending from performance channels to brand building, Airbnb has announced its most profitable fourth quarter ever.

In the last three months of the fiscal year, adjusted EBITDA increased to $506 million (£417 million) from $333 million (£274 million) the year before. The increase in profits came as revenues rose by 24% to $1.9 billion (£1.6 billion) over the time period, which was Airbnb’s largest fourth-quarter revenue in history.

Read the article in Marketing Week.

Soft inflatable robots to take over Bristol this summer

The six inventive winners of the Playable City development initiative have been announced. Their works include a “sci-fi-infused digital forest” and AI-dodging video games.

The six interactive projects that have been funded to display on the streets of Bristol as the winners of the Playable City Award have been unveiled by the cultural organisation Watershed.

Read the article in Design Week.

Inside IKEA’s content factory

Throughout the course of its 80-year history, Ikea has elevated its brand far beyond home furnishings, guided by the motto “to create a better everyday living for the many people.” The Swedish giant of flat-pack furniture is currently the biggest furniture retailer in the world, with more than 420 outlets scattered over more than 50 nations. Despite its expansion, it has maintained its reputation for beautifully straightforward designs, reasonable prices, and a commitment to sustainable living.

Read the article in Creative Review.

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