In our ninth annual report, we see how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology's growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy. One result is that more people are trying to find a balance and lead more mindful, in-the-moment lives.
Our forecast also puts a spotlight on the growth of immersive experiences; the accelerating shift to a visual vocabulary; the new appeal of imperfection; and the rise of telepathic technology, which will enable brands to better understand minds and moods and react in a very personalized way.
The full report-in which we cover each trend in detail, highlighting what's driving the shift, how it's manifesting and what it means for brands-is available at www.jwtintelligence.com
2 DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?
3 THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE 10 TRENDS FOR 2014 AND BEYOND 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES 4 7 RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE 8 REMIXING TRADITION 5 MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY 9 PROUDLY IMPERFECT 10 TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY MINDFUL LIVING 6 THE END OF ANONYMITY
10 TRENDS FOR 2014 AND
BEYOND In our ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, we see consumers both welcoming and resisting technology’s ABOUT THE REPORT growing omnipresence in their lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyperefficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and on their privacy. One result is that people are trying to find a balance and seeking to be more mindful and in-the-moment. And in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced, they are also embracing imperfection. JWT’s 10 Trends for 2014 report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year and specifically for this report. Trends don’t happen in isolation. They tend to intersect and work in tandem with each other, as you’ll see here. And many are extensions or outgrowths of trends we formerly spotted; after all, trends with real significance can’t be assigned to just one calendar year. The trends explored here, which we believe have significant weight and momentum, indicate shifts that are likely to be with us for a while. Like any complex and dynamic human phenomena, trends are not preordained—once they are spotted, they can be shaped. With this trends forecast, we aim to bring the outside in—to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and consumer conventions—and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain. 2
1. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES Entertainment, narratives
and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. EXAMPLE: To bring the tagline “Fill Your Home with Music” to life, Sonos (the maker of Internetconnected wireless music systems) created immersive installations in New York and Los Angeles. Digitized color washes, lighting and animation coordinated the color and mood of a room to the music playing through Sonos speakers. Image credit: DJ Ecal 3
2. DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?
We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo that needs to be mastered. EXAMPLE: Tinder and similar apps simplify the online dating process by eschewing wordy profiles in favor of photos that can be scrolled through quickly. Users of Tinder are tallying up 350 million swipes per day—swiping right indicates interest, swiping left indicates a decline. Image credits: JWTIntelligence team 4
3. THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE
With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond in kind, making the availability of their products and services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase. EXAMPLE: eBay, Google, Amazon and grocery services including Walmart To Go have introduced same-day delivery options in some markets and are steadily expanding their availability—and some are shrinking the delivery window down to as little as an hour. The eBay Now service provides delivery from local merchants in about an hour for a $5 fee. Image credit: Tom Uhlenberg 5
4. MOBILE AS A GATEWAY
TO OPPORTUNITY In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more. EXAMPLE: Developed by Vodafone in collaboration with Turkey’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Farmers’ Club sends SMS messages about government regulations, weather and market prices, tailored to farmers’ locations. A partnership with Şekerbank lets users pay by mobile phone at the end of the year. Image credit: GSMA 6
5. TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY Thanks to
the rise of brain-computer interfaces and emotion recognition technology, brands are getting more adept at understanding consumers’ minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very personalized way. EXAMPLE: To showcase the power of a Kit Kat break, JWT Singapore and Nestlé wired up students with headsets that tracked their brainwaves while they ate a Kit Kat bar, then generated a unique piece of art that reflected their state of mind. Students who entered the “brain booth” got to see what happened to their brain after they consumed a Kit Kat. Image credit: Quavondo Nguyen 7
6. THE END OF ANONYMITY
Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around technologies and services that affect privacy. EXAMPLE: Tesco’s 450 gas stations in the U.K. will start using screens made by Amscreen, a digital advertising firm, that analyze the faces of people approaching the register and target ads based on gender and rough age; they also track how long people look at the ads. Image credit: Carolyn Lagattuta 8
7. RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE
As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a higher value on all things that feel essentially human and seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s siren call. EXAMPLE: A growing number of bands and music festivals are asking crowd members to put their phones away and experience the concert “in 3D,” as She & Him have requested. Others who have objected to the usual sea of phones held aloft include Jack White, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Prince and Björk. Image credits: Michela Ravasio; Nick Ayala 9
8. REMIXING TRADITION With social
norms quickly changing and a new anythinggoes attitude, people are mashing up cherished traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own recipes for what feels right. EXAMPLE: While religious affiliation is declining in the U.S. and the U.K., “godless congregations” such as the Sunday Assembly are adopting elements of organized religion, seeking to reap the benefits that come with ritual gatherings and the community they offer. Image credit: isitsharp 10
9. PROUDLY IMPERFECT Imperfection and
even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become neatly polished and curated. Imperfection provides an unfiltered, all too human version of reality that reflects all the diversity that’s seen in everyday life. EXAMPLE: In October 2013, the Austrian grocery chain Billa, part of Germany’s Rewe Group, launched a private-label line of “nonconformist” produce dubbed Wunderlinge, a made-up word that combines the terms for “anomaly” and “miracle.” Another German retailer, Edeka, has tested selling ugly produce at a discount, branded as “Nobody is perfect.” Image credit: Peter Mullaney 11
10. MINDFUL LIVING Consumers are
developing a quasi-Zen desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful living is filtering into the mainstream, with more people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions and focusing on the moment. EXAMPLE: Virgin Atlantic commissioned content from the meditation gurus at Headspace for the in-flight entertainment system. Designed to help passengers meditate and deal with the stressors of traveling, the videos address topics such as how to get sleep and deal with boredom. Image credit: Lumina 12
2 1 IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES RAGING
AGAINST THE MACHINE 3 THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JWT’S 10 TRENDS FOR 2014 AND BEYOND, PLEASE VISIT WWW.JWTINTELLIGENCE.COM 4 7 DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL? 8 REMIXING TRADITION 5 MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY 9 PROUDLY IMPERFECT 10 TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY MINDFUL LIVING 6 THE END OF ANONYMITY