No one wants to be caught behind on emerging trends. This holds especially true for megatrends, which are patterns or movements that can have a major impact on business or society. These are trends like the globalization or the relatively recent dominance of social media in content distribution.
When such massive shifts occur, you don’t want to be caught by surprise. You want your company to be on top of them to get a competitive advantage. We’ve compiled below a list of some large megatrends to be aware of in 2017. The list is based on Sparks & Honey’s annual A to Z Culture Glossary, which has proven to have 80 percent of accuracy.
1. Broadcast social media
People are still watching TV, but not necessarily on their TV sets anymore. More content producers are broadcasting their content on social media in an effort to meet the consumers where they are. Shows like Saturday Night Live (SNL) now upload skits to YouTube, and presidential debates are being streamed live. Twitter closed a deal with the NFL to stream 2016 football games. It’s a different media world for both consumers and providers.
This affects advertising because if the eyes are going to the internet so should you. Social advertising, when done right, could be a slam dunk. If you are not convinced yet, we recently listed seven other reasons why you should advertise on social media.
2. Immersive Literature
Consumers are looking for ways to authentically engage with products and tech advancements have opened up new possibilities to explore. You can scan codes from a book and watch videos that support the text, or you can take the book into your life with augmented reality. The possibilities are endless. Immersive experiences are definitely one of the hottest trends of 2017.
3. GIF-first mindset
Brands like Converse are starting to pick up on the potential of GIFs to go viral. They are starting to create their own GIF-worthy moments for internet users to share. 2017 is the year everybody will seize an opportunity to create the perfect GIF.
4. Inclusive economy
In 2017 different trends will have the common goal of creating a more inclusive economy. For the advertiser, this means that there are whole new growing markets to reach that have until this point largely been untapped.
Brands are becoming aware of the needs of the disabled and providing services, products, or partnerships in an effort to fill the service gap. Intersectionality, which can be described as the overlapping influence of social categories such as race, gender and class will dominate conversations. We will see the rise of a ‘refugee economy’ as entrepreneurs create innovative solutions to help the huge mass of refugees. The rising Latino population is mainstreaming and want to see brands promote their culture.
5. Millennial fatigue
Everyone’s tired of hearing about millennials, even millennials themselves. In 2017, expect this conversation to wind down and the focus on Generation Z to emerge. This represents a shift as the characteristics of Gen Z children are very different than that of millennials. Hint: They’re hardworking, conscientious, and mindful of the future.
6. Digital sampling
Consumers are frustrated by the inability to test products before purchasing them online. Businesses are adjusting in interesting ways such as allowing consumers to sample products from makeup to eyewear through technology. Urban Decay, for example, launched an app to allow customers to try 100 different shades of lipstick. When promoting a new product online in 2017 consider creating a more immersive experience for your clients.
7. New sobriety
All-out indulgence is falling by the wayside in 2017. More and more people have begun to adopt a lifestyle more akin to what is being called “new sobriety.” These are people looking to find a healthy balance between life’s indulgences and taking care of themselves.
Binge-drinking is becoming less attractive. People now want to socialize in fitness classes and juice bars. Saving leftovers is becoming mainstream across different cultures. And when it comes to beauty, people are looking for a more natural look. They want to wear their hair natural rather than applying chemicals. Prepare for a world that makes more natural and healthy choices. Advertisers would do well to acknowledge this shift in consumer tastes and reflect this trend in their campaigns.
8. OS education
Children born with technology are less familiar with human behavioral models and have instead begun modeling their behaviors off of the technology they are engaging with. What you can expect to see in 2017 is an effort on the part of parents to help kids find a healthy, balanced relationship with their technology. This is a shift for advertisers as much has been focused in recent years on integrating tech into children’s lives. In 2017, parents will seek for advice to learn new ways to teach kids how to develop a healthier relationship with technology.
9. Pet society
Pets are increasingly becoming more important family members in the family structure. There is a rise in the demand for all the luxuries afforded to humans to be offered for pets. Pet owners want all sorts of products and events – from TV channels to art exhibitions – to be designed specifically for their pets. For advertisers, this means in 2017 you should not forget to target this important audience.
Prankstavism is quite literally prank activism. It is the act of using comedy and humor to bring about social and political change. It’s about using humor to get people’s attention for worthy causes. We have already talked about the importance of humor to increase your ad viewability. In 2017, this specific type of humor will rise.
11. Social eating
Live streaming has become a new way of distributing and consuming content. Social media networks like Instagram and Facebook added live streaming to their platforms recently. In 2017, though, expect to see something new crop up: social eating. Yes, just like you watch people play video games for hours via a live stream, you can now watch them eat too. It may seem odd, but the potential for brand endorsements or product placements are huge and should not be ignored. People will not only Instagram their food, but live stream it.
12. Rejection to gender bias
A rising trend that is expected to become even more pronounced in the new year is a rejection of gender bias in favor of inclusivity. Long hair, straight pants and eyelashes are no longer representative of a gender. 2017 will be the year of agendered iconography. Women will take charge of how they are represented in our culture and old stereotypes will be quickly rejected. This presents advertisers with an opportunity to reject some of the old models that rely on gender norms and experiment with new ways of engaging consumers.