While the theme song for the Year 2012 will undoubtedly be ''It's the end of the world as we know it..." by R.E.M., and we'll be bored with all the End-of-the-World theme parties and raves and launches by March already... in case the world doesn't end, these are some essential trends and things you need to know for the year to come [with additional editing and contributions from moi - managing ed].
We will know far too much about: Doomsday cults, the Mayans, ancient calendars and civilisations, the History Channel, aliens, meteors which may hit earth and other potential disasters.
We will be sick of: Jokes about the end of the world, predictions about the date the world will end, crazies who predict the end of the world.
How to be a fashionista: Black will be the political fashion statement de jour as fights against the POIB and increasing clampdown on media freedoms in South Africa intensify, and media and civil society mobilise more stakeholders.
Food of choice: Many of our political leaders will be forced to eat humble pie as the media step up campaigns to expose corruption among those seeking to gag the media. They will, of course, deny they have ever eaten humble pie and refuse to comment, instead banning the ingredients for humble pie deep in some legislation.
Parody accounts on Twitter: The number of distinctly South African parody twitter accounts will continue to grow - from @Jan_v_Riebeeck and SABCtoo to @MnrCD and @MevSUIT (yes, the creatives have woken up to the potential of Twitter and arrived en-masse, finally).
Social media memes: The return of... Star Wars. Last year Volkwagen did "The Force"; this year, it's "The Bark Side" and "The Dog Strikes Back" - but nothing beats the sheer awesomeness of "Cello Wars" by The Piano Guys, a small piano store in Utah.
Pop culture: The popularity of Abba will never, ever, wane.
Next big movie/TV trend: Zombies are going to be big.
Please don't mention: The Kardashian divorce, butt, implants, babies, boyfriend, billions or anything! What an appalling waste of space they are.
Emails editors delete: 'Save the Date' - with no indication of client, venue, importance, etc.
Clients to be deleted from the editor's Christmas Card list: Those who intimidate our journalists and salespeople by refusing to advertise until editorial is guaranteed.
PROs to be deleted from our databases: Those who attempt to bribe us with separate offers of extra 'freelance work' .
Worst insult hurled at editor: Every one of the thousands of useless spam emails with press releases about everything except media, marketing or advertising.
Most baffling movie combo: 2011 had Cowboys and Aliens. What's next? The Kardashians take Jersey Shore - Revenge of the Orange People? (Told you zombies would be big...)
Most famous sprog in 2012: Jay-Z and Beyonce's baby. We had thought of some names for the music stars' baby in the true Seff Effrican tradition of combining names... Jayonce, Zbey, Jaybe, Beyoz... before they announced Blue Ivy.
The new Marketing Association of SA (MASA) GM, Sarel du Plessis, who has his job cut out for him to continue trying to make the industry's marketing body relevant, and
Whomever the new Loeries CEO is - it's a helluva job, requires big balls and tons of personality, as well as fundraising ability.
Brands to watch in 2012:
Kagiso with its 'Beyond FM' expansion strategy
The big agencies whose big brand clients have gone out to pitch, from Jupiter Joburg and Cape Town to Ogilvy and TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris
It will be interesting to see what Woolworths does in-house from now on, where Edgars goes and what happens to the Cell C business.
Let's also hope that brands are braver in 2012 with their campaigns and budgets, given that things are expected to start improving globally with the recession towards the end of 2012, finally. Loeries was a fantastic event this year, but the work was creatively muted.
Media to watch in 2012:
John Brown is the new custom publishing force in the market to watch, having picked up big brands such as Edgars and Discovery last year.
Despite several magazine closures already announced (Top Billing, Cleo, Psychologies, etc, in 2011), which sadly will probably also not be the last in the recession-hit media industry as consolidation of resources continues, there are some recent and some new magazine and newspaper launches to watch in 2012 as change brings innovation:
Rolling Stone magazine
NewsNow from Media24
Grazia, international weekly fashion and news magazine, also Media24
City Press 'i' magazine from New Media
iPad-only daily publication iMaverick
Scoop! the new English Sunday tabloid; and
The New Age, of course, which is surprising the media industry with more robust political reporting than initially expected.
Keep on shuffling...
This piece has been adapted from January 2012 issue of AdVantage, with additional editing and contributions from Simone Puterman, managing editor of Bizcommunity.com.
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