Trends Predictions Report, by Ben Hourahine, Futures Editor at Leo Burnett (London).
The key dynamics in culture, communication, advertising and marketing:
Mass is back (Say hello to the Swell Society)
At the turn of this year online downloads were included as part of the UK Christmas pop chart for the first time ever. This trend of online popularity being institutionalized shows that mass appeal will once again define marketing attitudes. The goal is the same; reach a mass audience, the difference is how to achieve it. Say hello to the Swell Society.
Community connections will become more central to business practice. Retailers will seek to bring the community further inside the store, with more coffee shops, banking services and pharmacies within supermarkets. On the other side, community connections are being used to create new businesses for established brands.
Moving forward we will see the explosion of screen-based media, with screens on the side of buses, in petrol stations, supermarkets, the home and the pocket. While the medium may remain the same, the reach, context, audience and role of the media will be tweaked. There will be more broadcast screens than ever in 2010 and things are only going to get bigger: According to Sharp, the electronics manufacturer, the average television screen size will be 60″ by 2015.
More women in work and the increasing role played by men within the family will see marketers change their focus. Men’s interest and investment in the family will continue to rise as well, morphing the gender balance
and changing the advertising context. Expect to see more and more campaigns aimed at women at work and men in the home.
The role of brands is evolving and will enter a new phase. With growing concerns over how to be healthy, safe and environmentally friendly, mixed with a real confusion about how to achieve this, we will see brands increasingly attempting to take on a guardian role.
Artists are grabbing control of their creative product. Intellectual Property (creative works — ideas, songs, movies, TV shows) used to be owned and licensed by studios, record labels and other commercial institutions, but we will see artists back in the driving seat.
The Data Awareness Era
The public will be more aware of their data exposure than ever before and privacy concerns will be a defining issue in the future. Expect this trend to accelerate with the introduction of GPS location based information, the explosion in online information storage and social networking increasingly reflecting real life…
Social Networks Get Real
Social networks like Facebook — once just virtual playgrounds – will now start to plug directly back into the real world. Increasingly we will see these networks beginning to dictate everyday life, influencing who people do business with, which parties, movies and gigs they go to, where they meet and with whom. Accelerating this shift is the advent and take up of mobile social networking: 14m people did it in 2007, and forecasts suggest it could hit 600m by the time the Olympics hits London in 2012.