Happy New Year everyone, from all of us at Message House. We wanted to start off the 2017 by looking ahead to what the year may have in store, and we came across a fascinating report by J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, who have put together The Future 100 – Trends and Change to Watch in 2017. We took a look at the report and pulled out our five favourites that we think could be real gamechangers this year.
The Second Screen Comes First
Mobile apps and social networks are taking a leading role during major televised events, increasingly hosting live TV themselves and becoming the primary screen for viewing. Twitter is already heavily involved, having signed deals with major sports such as MLB, NHL and NFL to bring live streams of games to users, as well as exclusive commentary and analysis shows. Millennials are ahead of the curve, and already stream more than half of the TV they watch, so the shift to mobile as the primary screen is an intuitive one. Advertisers and content producers should carefully consider the ease of accessibility of their content on mobile if they’re to keep up. The ‘second screen’ is no longer distracting you from the TV, it has become the TV.
The idea that young people sit down at their computers every night to watch other people play video games can seem strange, but it’s a market that has expanded massively in recent years. In the western world, Twitch dominates the video game streaming market – in 2015 it boasted 100 million visits per month, creating a prime opportunity for advertisers. The ads aren’t all video-game related – although they do make up a sizeable proportion – as companies such as Coke, Bud Light, Pizza Hut and Old Spice have recently signed up. With most of the user-base being young, digital-savvy and male, it’s clear to see why advertisers are starting to pay attention to this platform.
In this politically polarised aged, it can seem like madness for brands to get involved in the political debates of the day. On the other hand, there’s a risk that consumers could abandon brands who stay neutral, preferring to spend their money on brands who align more closely with their values. The data seems to support brands getting involved, the JWT report indicates that 78% agree that companies should take action to address the important issues facing society. The risk of course, is that a brand takes the ‘wrong side’ of the debate, alienating some of their consumers and seriously damaging their reputation. Brands need to decide if it’s a risk they’re willing to take.
New Tech, New Sports
We’ve seen the success of e-sports with professional leagues around video games such as FIFA and Call of Duty, but with consumer drones going mainstream, sports marketers are tipping drone racing to be the next big sporting event. Drone racing is turning this new tech into an exciting sporting spectacle, and there’s a real interest among the media too, with broadcasters signing up to show the Drone Racing League on their screens. The message here is to watch out for newcomers – today’s niche technology could be the next big thing.
The Attention Economy
As technology has become increasingly integrated with our lives, we have become inundated with information coming from all sorts of avenues. The competition is fierce, all this information means it has become harder for individual messages to stand-out among all the noise and capture our attention. The report points out that marketers need to be careful not to alienate consumers by confusing attention grabbing – something people truly want to pay attention to – and annoying distractions like pop-ups that interfere with your experience.
There’s plenty of other great trends in the report that are well worth checking out, you can find it in full here.