1) So far it seems to be the year of the apology. Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo are all owning their shortcomings. It’s refreshing in a lot of ways, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel as bold or sincere when everyone is doing it at the same time. That admission of fault and promise to make it better used to be a powerful weapon, now it’s becoming one more thing for people to ignore.
2) As a mix of advertising and entertainment, the Australian Tourism spot for the Super Bowl was brilliant. We’ve seen so many fake trailers over the years, but this one felt far more inventive. I think at least half of the US was ready to buy a ticket to that movie. I love when the rug gets pulled out so masterfully. But honestly, my favorite thing this year has been the Paving for Piece campaign for Domino’s from my colleagues at CP+B, in which the brand announced it will be repairing roads across the country to better protect carryout pizza. I haven’t seen the world respond so positively to such a simple brand gesture in years.
3) There is so much seriousness and self-importance in marketing lately. Maybe brands feel that they need to make a difference to stay relevant. But I wonder if we will start to see it shift. As the messages start to feel too heavy, the world may begin to crave a little more levity and flippancy.
4) The biggest message awards shows have been getting across is that the work needs to make a difference if we should expect it to receive accolades. I think it’s great, but I also think it would nice to see a broader interpretation of “make a difference” in order to get a wider range of thinking amongst the winners. Not all great ideas change the world, some change a category, or our perception or our mood. When we celebrate those things, we are reminded of the impact our ideas can make on a daily basis, and that can be just as motivating.
6) Problems with inclusion and diversity need to be solved. But we don’t talk enough about how advantageous solving the issues will be. There is a need to find new perspectives, new ways of thinking and new ways of telling stories. That is what everyone is looking for in entertainment, and advertising, anyway. That is how work stands out from the rest. If we look at the things we have to gain with inclusion, rather than looking at it solely as a goodwill effort, change will happen much faster.