The irony of asking a digital agency to create the front cover of a 90-year-old anniversary edition for AdNews was not lost on me.
The brief was ‘what will the advertising landscape look like in 90 years?’ and with it being such an important milestone issue, I was full of trepidation approaching the R/GA boardroom, where I was met with a bold response that immediately raised eyebrows.
Overwhelmed and delighted by such a provocative stance, it made perfect sense — it’s not AI and robots that will become of the utmost importance to the advertising landscape in the next 90 years, it’s bigger and deeper than that — it’s us as people, as commodities, that will become increasingly sought after.
Our data has already become nectar for the buzzing brand gods that attempt to syphon details of our every move, click and purchase.
Take Qantas’ points lure by asking you to book Uber via its app, combined with the availability of internet on flights (cue targeting mid–air), improvements to personalisation and retargeting - all just a few examples of the increasing brand efforts to know more about us. The quest to get to me, to know me, and get things in front of me is intensifying already, let alone over the next nine decades.
See what's inside the AdNews Annual here
Beyond what new tools and twisted agency structures may rise and fall over the next 90 years, it’s the bigger and almost scarier idea that we as highly–desired consumers will effectively be packaged up and treated like meat that made this thought–provoking cover so perfect.
Thinking ahead to the next century, as we asked a batch of senior industry leaders in the Annual, is a rather alarming thought. Once over the initial realism that we’ll have dearly departed by then — to then subsequently re–examine and visualise what your chosen career field would look like is confronting.
This is especially confronting for journalism.
Given newsrooms are under increasing pressure, with job cuts still rife in the sector, and there’s a deep swirling black-hole of clickbait bullshit and untrained journalists in inflated–titled roles being catapulted out across the inches, there’s a lot more to go awry here.
On a more cheery note, this is the seventh edition under my belt as editor of AdNews, having moved over, after four years, from my role as digital editor. Taking on the magazine has been a far greater experience than I ever imagined. The fresh take from the talented agencies invited to create front covers has given us a new burst of life, matched with an array of new features.
Feedback has been thick and fast and we’ve even had a bump–up in subscriptions. As always, I am keen to hear more about what people would like from AdNews in 2019 as we continue to offer more value to our readers and differentiate ourselves from the marketplace. Email me here.
This year also marks the launch of a new era of the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards, to be held on 5 April 2019.
With presenting partner Snapchat on board as well as slashed, revised and tighter award categories, the Samsung CMO as chair of judges, a leaders' long lunch, exhibition of the work, and of course a big evening party, next year's Awards will be like no other.
Lastly, a big thank you to those who supported AdNews this year, with not just editorial and insight via the many on and off the record conversations, but to those who continue to choose AdNews for advertising, branded content and events.
Our next edition will be February - sign up here to make sure you get your copy.