Perspective - The power of community

By Sarah-Jayne Kerr | 8 December 2023
Sarah-Jayne Kerr.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

Throughout 2023, one prevailing theme stood out: the power of community. In a world that's more connected than ever before, the challenge lies in cutting through the overwhelming noise. Brands recognised the importance of fostering a sense of belonging, an essential ingredient to stand the test of time. Platforms like Discord, Playground, and Geneva became the go-to spots for brands to intimately engage with their audiences.

Personalised experiences were another standout trend. Brands went above and beyond, from tailoring product deliveries to facilitating one-on-one online interactions through predictive modelling. A prime example is Mecca, with its ingenious beauty loop boxes and a website experience finely tuned to cater to specific demographics, all based on age brackets.

Sustainability remained a pivotal concern, yet consumers became increasingly discerning about greenwashing. Mushroom Packaging, for instance, revolutionised eco-conscious materials, offering brands a more straightforward path to sustainability.

AI, once a subject of trepidation, emerged as a valuable ally for creatives and brands alike. It injected a boost of productivity and problem-solving prowess. Brands that harnessed the power of AI by asking the right prompts saw remarkable success. At our agency, we seamlessly integrated AI into our daily workflows, revolutionising ideation, organization, and overall efficiency.

Thoughts on 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, age diversity will take centre stage. As our population ages, brands will need to adapt their strategies to become more inclusive and celebrate the aging process. McDonald's introduction of adult-oriented Happy Meals and the beauty industry's move toward age-inclusive offerings signal a wider cultural shift.

The rollout of Augmented Reality (AR) will continue its ascent as tech giants delve deeper into AR, VR, AI and blockchain technologies, creating immersive worlds for consumers. This shift is set to become as present as Google Maps replacing old-fashioned directories. Consequently, we anticipate a surge in 3D graphic design and the popularity of programs like Blender and Cinema 4D. Brands like Jacquemus and Revlon are already pushing boundaries with the creation of lifelike 3D products doing the impossible within their ads, leaving consumers to question reality.

In tandem with the digital surge, there will be a renewed appreciation for handmade craft products. People crave comfort and meaningful connections, which resonate through experiences and products imbued with a unique, artisanal touch. Expect to see an uptick in handmade techniques in design, including craft textures and retro design processes. Encouraging craft in creative processes will be a focal point for 2024, fostering not only innovation but also yielding distinctive design outputs.

The spotlight on mental health and well-being will continue to intensify. Brands that address these vital aspects, including emotional well-being and overall mental health, will strike a profound chord. In an era marked by societal complexities, creating spaces for people to reconnect with themselves will be indispensable.

As we venture into 2024, these trends will serve as guiding stars for brands seeking to stay ahead. Embrace them, and you'll forge deeper connections with your audience, paving the way for a vibrant and impactful future.

Sarah-Jayne Kerr, creative director at ARTHAOS

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