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Trends for 2010

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When Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and industry-renowned trendspotter, released her annual list of trends this year, she noted that social media would be a key …

When Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and industry-renowned trendspotter, released her annual list of trends this year, she noted that social media would be a key driver in all of them in 2010. “Companies have begun paying attention to, and actively engaging in, social media,” she said. “As this continues, what began as a campaign strategy for Barack Obama might prove to define next year’s version of total convergence, and a further blending of business roles and responsibilities.” Click on the button below to read her in-depth forecast of these trends and others.

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  • 1. LINES THAT ZIG BUT DON’T ZAG
  • 2. 1. LINES THAT ZIG BUT DON’T ZAGLocal empowerment means hyperpolarizationand people who know one another by theirparty affiliations, their religious affiliations,the nuance of their opinions. Thus, there’smore voluntary segregation, althoughindependents will emerge to serve as modelcrossovers and feed good ideas andconsensual thinking across lines.
  • 3. BEWARE THE MOBMEDIA—THE NEW BULLIES
  • 4. 2.BEWARE THE MOBMEDIA— THE NEW BULLIESThe new bullies might be virtual. People andbrands will need to watch for flash mobs thatpop up over controversial issues, especiallywhen they happen around an immediateaction and involve a well-known voice, bethat a celebrity or a political figure. Theattack-from-all-angles aspect could includethe bureaucracy and advertisers, spurred byeasy access to phone numbers, complaintsites online, organizations’ e-mail subscriberlists and all the social media platforms thatare available at the click of a link. Plus—today the story transforms from one aboutthe issue to one about the mob.
  • 5. A CHILDREN’S PLACE
  • 6. 3. A CHILDREN’S PLACEThe Octomom. Jon, Kate and their eight. TheBalloon Boy family. They all illustrate thatthe American opportunist has gone fromempowered fringe to media freak show. Whatdoes the Balloon Boy story, in particular,really mean? And is it a purely American taleof the quest for fame, or is this part of a newnormal that says children are prime-timeaccessories? We’ll see a new recognition thatinfluence peddling starts at the youngestages, and that everyone is a brand, and hasinfluence. We are all media, and everycampaign begins with the influence of oneand my pass-along value; look what happenedto J. Crew’s ballet slippers when the Obamagirls wore them on their summer holiday.
  • 7. OBAMACLOCK
  • 8. 4. OBAMACLOCKTick, tock: The world will continue in 2010to count days, weeks and months in Obamatime, measuring accomplishments andsetbacks against the president’s tenure inoffice and the slow hands of time (hisdaughters coming of age) versus the rapidpace of change (hourly inputs on the worldeconomy, the fragile quest for peace, etc.).
  • 9. HEADING OFF ANGST
  • 10. 5. HEADING OFF ANGSTThere will be increased awareness of possiblelinks between cell phones and brain cancer;the hidden dangers of war and the impact oftraumatic brain injuries and post-traumaticstress disorder on soldiers, their families andthe community; and everyday injuries to thebrain (so watch for lines of helmets tobecome fashionable and for new rulings onhow kids can play). Also, spas and clubs willplay up the importance of brain health on anaging population.
  • 11. NO PIGGY IN THE BANK
  • 12. 6. NO PIGGY IN THE BANKFundraising will be more creative forcharities and startups in the near future,with everything from peer-to-peer lending toonline benefits becoming fairly commonplace.The genuine challenge in the United Stateswill be affording higher education withthe loss of home equity. So look for newinstruments and schemes to pay for it, andfor private liberal arts colleges to becomeextreme marketers to attract those who canfund a full tuition.
  • 13. IN-YOUR-FACE HONESTY
  • 14. 7.IN-YOUR-FACE HONESTYDavid Letterman’s straight-upacknowledgment of his sexual activities wasa game-changer for public figures withsomething to hide. As Americans focus theirworries on basics such as jobs and debtsand their anger on banker bonuses, they willsee sexual misconduct and frat-house anticsas minor issues in the greater scheme ofthings. Watch out for big names playingthe honesty gambit.
  • 15. GO COMMUNITY!
  • 16. 8. GO COMMUNITY!The nation is too big and too diverseto make sense of and to influence. Theindividual is too small and too isolated tocount, and too vulnerable to feel safe. Watchas people look for communities tobelong to, where they can feel at home,understand the issues and make a difference.And watch as more and more brands andmarketers connect to them there, withhyperlocalization being the buzzword. Onlinetools that can help people become moreconnected and more effective in communitieswill take the honors in 2010 and beyond.
  • 17. THE SHADOW OF THE BOMB, AGAIN
  • 18. 9. THE SHADOW OF THE BOMB, AGAINThrough the Cold War ’60s and ’70s and intothe ’80s, the world lived in the shadow of theBomb (remember Dr. Strangelove?) as thetwo big powers played poker for globalstakes. That all went away for a generationor so. Now it’s back, with more potentialplayers: Iran, North Korea, Pakistan andmaybe even terrorist groups. What’s the newgame, and how is it played? Crank up theanxiety.
  • 19. HANDS-ON ASPIRATIONS FOR INSOURCING
  • 20. 10.HANDS-ON ASPIRATIONS FOR INSOURCINGNow that anybody can access theoreticalknowledge online, and so much employmenthas shifted to the service sector and so muchactivity involves intangibles, there will beincreased interest in mastering practicalskills that were previously outsourced:growing things, making things, modifyingthings and mending things. This goes from thebreakthrough high end of genetic engineeringand surgery right through to the basics offixing the plumbing, putting up shelves andgrowing vegetables. In anxious times, thewatchword for peace of mind is: Every day,make something or mend something.
  • 21. WHAT IT MEANS