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[2012 trends] Bob, where's my flying car?

Well, much like the '50s 'World of Tomorrow' projections of flying cars, jetpacks and teleportation that we all guffaw, laugh and point at... I'll risk joining their esteemed ranks of ludicrousness by jumping in the mire of guesstimation.
I'm not focusing on any specific area of our industry; after all, any development affects us all. As John Digweed ruminated, we're all connected. I have tried to be broad, though.

Remember, dads play Xbox, too. Oh, and I've avoided trends. The points below will be stalwarts for years to come. The temporary is never attractive, anyway. Unless you married Liz Taylor. And I've only chosen five. I just like that it's an 'S' that's highly strung at the top.
  1. Your TV will actually become your TV

    The promise of internet-connected television has been around for a good few years - so much so that you may think it's skirting the edge of Flopville. That couldn't be further from the truth.

    Sixty five percent of TVs globally sold in 2012 will be connected TVs. And, in South Africa, we love our televisions. Add to that the likelihood of an Apple-made TV hitting the market within the next 18 months and suddenly we've moved from Flopville to Boomtown. We recycle our TVs every three years on average. By then, with any luck, we'll actually have the internet accessibility that is necessary.

    At the same time, we're starting to see content providers open up their offerings to alternative viewing options such as Xbox, which will help warm consumers to the idea of consuming content through their televisions via the internet.

    YouTube is investing R800 million in original web-only programming that will also be available on connected televisions, where YouTube is often a default channel. That R12 billion that Google bought YouTube for may very well the bargain of the century.

    These will ultimately lead to the TV of the future: consumers enjoying the same diversity of choice in video programming in the living room that they currently enjoy on the desktop. And, for advertisers, that means the biggest marketing medium of them all opening up to the same type of targeting that was previously only possible on the web and, more recently, mobile devices.

    What's possible? This...

  2. Rubbish user-generated content and involvement

    Brand A: Hey consumer! Come and upload fun videos of yourself enjoying our brand and you'll have a one in 100 000 chance of winning your own monocycle!
    Consumer A: Piss off.

    Not so long ago, UGC or user-generated content was all the rage. Brands creating owned media spaces to encourage earned media.

    It's over.

    In 2012 (and beyond), we'll no longer see shallow user-generated content. Brands will provide more content for their consumers, rather than expect them to create their own.

    So, creative charlatans... beware. You'll actually have to come up with your OWN ideas.

  3. Dear John Doe. We love you. Need a lawnmower?

    The personalisation of advertising has taken for bloody ever to arrive, hasn't it? We were promised relevant and hugely personalised communication from brands via email, social networks, mobile and every other 'digital' channel (one of the large dollops of wool that purveyors of digital used to drop over the eyes of unsuspecting clients). We would never have to browse the shops again. Joy!

    Instead, we received grossly irrelevant ads ("Hey, Susan! Do you need a penis enlargement? Well, look no further!") and creepy corporate libel suits about how brands were recording our every movement.

    Well, finally that's over. Communication will become more personalised as data about individuals becomes increasingly specific and available.

  4. Technology will die

    Oooo... Augmented reality! Oooo... building projections (and yes, I did do one in 2011)! Oooo... holographic car phones!


    Technology will become less and less the glittering lure it has been for the first decade. It'll go mainstream (well, most of it already is), and that means slipping beneath the surface and being imperceptible. You know, like magic.

    Which means that the age-old truth - that reality and true human experience will always be the best form of storytelling - will again rightfully regain its place at the head of the pack. And, in advertising, we either tell you a story or help you tell yours.

    Welcome back, creatives who are specialists at doing that, and the technologists who allow you do it in new and amazing ways. And, no, that isn't a f*cking banner.

  5. Scrooge McDuck will have to sell his money silo

    Remember. He used to while away the hours swimming in his piles of cash. No longer. The way that we will begin to transact when buying our all-important stuff will make credit cards and cash look a bit like a feudal medieval bartering system. Anyone used Google Wallet yet? No? Well, me neither. But that will change. Fast.

    Products such as Google Wallet, PayPal Wallet, Facebook Credits, Zungus and Square, M-Pesa - not to mention the oft-rumoured prospect of Apple moving into the mobile payments space - all promise to connect social, location, deals and purchasing all through your phone.

    When you combine that concept with ads that are integrated seamlessly across media platforms, you suddenly have the purchase process of the future on the horizon.

    And it's going to change everything. Again.

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About Matt Ross

For over 15 years, Matt Ross's passion for original, ground-breaking ideas and technologies has taken him worldwide to create multi-award-winning digital and integrated creative campaigns for numerous clients. He's just joined King James ( as ECD, plus as head of Punk (formerly Mnemonic). Contact: tel +27 (0)21 469 1500, email , Skype dd-mattr, follow @matthewsross and connect on LInkedIn.
Ivan Ayliffe
Solid. Especially liked, "Which means that the age-old truth - that reality and true human experience will always be the best form of storytelling - will again rightfully regain its place at the head of the pack. And, in advertising, we either tell you a story or help you tell yours." More please.
Posted on 20 Feb 2012 11:46


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