1) Clients want lots of content — and they want it created faster and for less money than ever before. Gone are the days of shipping a :60 spot and calling it a day. This isn’t necessarily a new revelation in 2016, but it’s proving truer every day. But just because you create something and throw it on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook doesn’t mean that it’s effective. Consumers are smarter than ever and increasingly predisposed to skip over the endless branded content they’re exposed to. What continues to break through are great concepts that are well-executed. It’s on us to convince clients that it’s still about quality and not just quantity.
2) REI’s #OptOutside campaign was a great example of a brave choice by a brand that was executed flawlessly: paying employees to take the day off and go outside, taking the retail website and turning it into a place to discover national parks, creating a great broadcast spot, and even posting those big banners on storefronts. It was a gamble, but it paid off because it spoke to the values of their core consumers. I also loved Under Armour’s Rule Yourself Michael Phelps spot. That’s a beautiful piece of filmmaking paired with a killer track. It makes me want to go for a swim.
4) We’ll continue to see more and more brands and agencies experimenting with VR. As we all know, consumers today expect more engaging, immersive experiences — and VR has the potential to deliver just that. But we still haven’t fully figured out this new technology. Once we crack the code of how to tell great narrative stories with VR, the way brands interact with their consumers will be forever changed.
5) We continue to see great and inspiring work coming from pro bono clients. More often than not, you can feel the deep passion coming from the creators of cause-related work. Making stuff for the right reasons will always draw an audience. This year, I particularly liked “The Unacceptable Acceptance Letters” campaign that my friends at PRETTYBIRD and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created.
6) I’m going to buy a drone with a VR headset attached that powers a self driving car.