July 5, 2011

12 Social Trends

Interesting presentation showing 12 social trends from Cannes. OK, I know it is over but it just keeps on giving…
December 28, 2010

The digital year ahead

The end of a year is always a time when people look backwards but mostly when digital trend watchers look forwards to the coming year.

It seems like for the past 10 years everyone has been saying that the coming 12 months will finally be the year of the mobile. Everything seems to point this being true in 2011 but in ways that nobody expected. It isn’t just about phones any more but now the tablet is allowing people to stay connected away from the PC like never before. Expect to see a whole selection of new products appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that will allow people to connect wherever they are – with each other and with brands.

What does this mean for the world of advertising? Location-based marketing will grow even more in 2011 according to Jesse Thomas in a recent article on Mashable.We are moving from people “checking in” to impress their friends to more retailers giving special offers to those people who drop in regularly. This is leading to a whole new way to drive traffic to stores and gives marketers a powerful tool to reward visits.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that Augmented Reality on smartphones will go mainstream. In this article in the New York Times, Nick Bilton explains how this technology has moved from being a geeky gimmick to a truly useful tool. It’s not just about looking through your phone screen to reveal hidden information or seeing yourself with a virtual girlfriend. People are now at home watching TV and augmenting the experience with additional content on their phones or tablets. In the case of ABC TV network app where the tablet listens to the audio of the TV show and is able to display relevant information at key moments in the program.

Social media is not going away in 2011 and many are predicting that it will grow even stronger as a marketing tool. In the Harvard Business Review David Armano presents six trends, for me the most interesting of which is the move to a more open social experience where campaigns cross boundaries between various social networks. This comes from the reality that people don’t stick to one social platform but dip their toes in many different ponds.

Now that I’m based in China it’s interesting to see how they fit into this picture. The country may have come late to the digital marketing party but is fast catching up. With our own social networks, location-based tools and microblogging services – not to mention the explosion of digital devices in the hands of the consumer – China is poised to impress the world with some amazingly creative and effective examples of 21st century advertising. The sheer numbers of online customers and their passion for all things new makes China a wonderland for switched-on marketers. While viral videos still seem to be the most popular online medium for brands we will hopefully see more active forms of participation through the smart use of mobile while more campaigns will become social-centric allowing increased participation.

As this digital decade ends and another begins we can look to the One Club to remind us of the best digital campaigns of the past 10 years. From a Subservient Chicken to Nike shoes that talked to your iPod, through to an online video that literally changed the face of advertising and gave us the word “viral”… enjoy some of the best work that will no doubt appear like ancient relics 10 years from now. Yet their ideas will still stand strong even if technology moves on. Creativity never gets old.

February 19, 2010

100 things to watch in 2010

Thanks to DigitalBuzz blog for bringing this JWT presentation to my attention. Definitely worth a read…

View more presentations from iainwhite.
January 5, 2010

Happy Digital New year

As we end a decade that has seen incredible progress in all things digital many people are speculating what 2010 holds for interactive advertising.

In AdWeek they looked at the top digital trends for 2010.

One interesting thought is that the pure digital agency will disappear. Many have clearly seen the need to improve their skills in brand building – one thing that “traditional” agencies have long been experienced at. Meanwhile these traditional agencies have been hiring experienced digital experts taking away the main selling point of pure digital shops. Ultimately the debate comes down to who provides the best ideas to clients. In a world of crowd-sourcing any agency should be worried about the independents who could bypass everyone.

Social gaming is mentioned by AdWeek as being one thing to watch. With companies like FourSquare providing location-based marketing platforms we are likely to see this take off. This is especially true with the growth in the number of smart mobile devices. It’s one of the reasons why they also suggest that 2010 will finally be the year of mobile.

Click here to read the full article.

At AdAge, with the help of Millward Brown, they have also been looking into the crystal ball to predict what 2010 holds for digital.

They suggest that many new online ad formats will appear in an attempt to capture more eyeballs and clicks. However, many people will be cautious and stick to the most trusted formats such as video banners. On the whole, they say that online video will continue to thrive and will move from art to science thanks to more sophisticated analytics. They do have a word of caution suggesting that “advertisers need to be sure they aren’t using technology just because they can: It will only be effective when it is relevant to the brand or the message”.
AdAge agree with AdWeek that social (and mobile gaming) will be a hot topic. Twitter and Facebook can now be accessed from an Xbox console while games for the iPhone or other smart phones will “bring gaming to the masses”. GPS-enabled phones open up interesting possibilities and brands will be vying for their share of this new opportunity.

Click here to read the full article.

For my own part, I see Google as being (still) the ones to watch in 2010. The release of Google Goggles for Android could open up new possibilities while the potential launch of a Google phone could mean that smart phones get into the hands of a huge number of people. We could see a repeat of what happened when Microsoft took many of Apple’s developments in the mid 80s and allowed the masses into the world of computing.

The possibilities for advertising and marketing will continue to grow in 2010. As digital trends become the norm, brands will be able to reach people in ways that were not possible before. Messages can be more targeted, relevent and effective.

Have a happy digital New Year!

December 30, 2009

Digital in 2010

Everyone is busy making their predictions for digital trends in 2010. Mostly what we all know already. I’m interested in what will surprise us in 2010. Will it be tablet computers changing how we consume digital media at home? In the meantime here is a look ahead from the guys at Soap Sydney. As always, with their unique perspective…