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[2011 trends] External movements to force creative change

I predict a whole bunch of things that I think should happen, certainly based on global trends, and on emerging South Africa trends. Of course, they may not - although ad agencies live in a creative environment that changes by the minute, the one thing they seem less able to do is change! But in some of these instances, change might well be forced by external movements.
Should be interesting to watch!
  1. I foresee many lists of eleven things: top 11 news stories, 11 best National Geographic pics, 11 most downloaded apps.

  2. In the advertising world, I predict that agency groups will start breaking their internal walls down, that the divide between ATL and BTL/digital/design/activation/PR/eventing/whatever will be removed to focus on the core business challenge, then the core creative idea, and then how to get to market.

  3. That the "fee" model will be revised and revamped around the notion of 'value', not billable hours. The billable hours model undervalues conceptual big-value thinking, and overvalues day-to-day implementation work. This results in marketers finding agencies way too expensive overall, and believing that their work can be done by anyone.

    Some of it can, but not all of it will be done well. Agencies need to isolate what's worth more and what's worth less, and charge appropriately.

  4. The role of the 'production house' and the expensive director will be challenged by ever-improving technology, the desire to bring costs down to palatable levels, and the desire lurking in every art director to create content.

  5. More ad agencies will start making products and creating their own brands, creating a symbiotic revenue stream (a la Rockfish in the US).

  6. Mobile as communication medium to explode into the emerging markets, challenging the place of traditional media - an audio-visual, interactive selling (and buying) tool, wherever there's a cell signal.

  7. Mobile interactivity to explode. More of above, but much more than we even imagine.

  8. The concept of crowdsourcing ideas will grow as corporates look to broaden their network of creative suppliers, and lower their costs.

  9. Online shopping to take off - growth of mobile to assist this.

  10. Smaller, more virtual offices will be the name of the game - why waste rent money when only 10% of your workforce may be in the office at any one time? Plus you give them the freedom to work in their PJs till noon, if that's what they want.

  11. Technology will allow more personal, customised advertising - whether it's on the Internet, on your phone, on a billboard you drive past, walking in a mall. The ads will know you, know your friends, know what you like and don't, and talk to you in ways that will either give you the creeps or make you wonder how they knew that?!


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About Gillian Rightford

Gillian's CV is a mix of marketing, strategy, advertising, and leadership. She obtained a Business Science (Honours) degree in Marketing from UCT, worked in marketing strategy consulting, then headed into the creative world, doing account management and strategy for below and above the line agencies, before becoming co-founder and managing director of Hercules/DMB&B, and then group managing director of Lowe Bull...
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