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CULTURE VULTURE 2018


In our seventh annual deep dive into
the big trends pervading U.S. culture,
we explore the current angst plaguing
Americans, the new definition of suburbia,
today’s modern parenting struggles,
and how shopping is becoming more
polarized (along with other interesting
things, like breaking down the allure of
shiny new things).

2
1 02

THE GREAT SAFE


AMERICAN CRISIS(?) HAVENS

03

THE
MIDDLEBURBS

TOP
CULTURAL
TRENDS 04

CHILDHOOD,
REIMAGINED

05 06 07

GEN NICE: EXTREME GREAT


COMING OF AGE EXCHANGES EXPECTATIONS

08 09 10

RETURN TO THE RISE OF THE SHINY NEW


LONG TERM ASIAN ECONOMY OBJECTS

3
On the surface, Americans are doing well.
People have more disposable income and
can afford things they couldn’t in the past.
Despite this, there’s an angst that pervades
consumers’ outlook.

Although 67% of consumers say


“I’m very happy with my life as is,”
59% believe that this is the lowest
point in our nation’s history that
they can remember. We have a
natural aversion to the feeling of
getting less than others, and with
rising income inequality and more
perceived injustice, that’s exactly
how some consumers feel. Sixty
five percent say society grants an
unfair advantage to some groups. it becomes easier to suppress
This is magnified by social media; dissenting perspectives.
nearly two-thirds say “social media
has made people more envious of No wonder many groups feel
each other.” left behind — nearly half of white
working-class Americans say
The angst of feeling trapped in a “things have changed so much
stagnant position while everyone that I often feel like a stranger
else seems to be benefiting is in my own country.” Younger
amplified by our tribal natures. As generations are experiencing this
we gravitate toward groups with fragmentation too, leaving them
common values and motivations, feeling less connected to the

THE GREAT AMERICAN CRISIS(?) 2018 TREND REPORT 5



WE HAVE A NATURAL AVERSION
TO GETTING LESS—NOT TO
INEQUITY.

PAUL BLOOM
PSYCHOLOGIST AT YALE UNIVERSITY


country as a whole. Millennials are IMPLICATIONS
half as likely as Baby Boomers to
say that the U.S. best represents Figure out where your brand should and
who they are — they relate to state 01 shouldn’t play on the continuum of social
concerns.
and online communities instead.

Brands have the difficult task of If getting involved in a cause, test involve-
responding to this angst without 02 ment against current and potential custom-
ers.
isolating valuable consumer
segments. Companies like Target,
Jim Beam, and Papa John’s have Keep up with the cultural zeitgeist (e.g. sub-
faced backlash over statements 03 scribe to your weekly Culture Briefings).
supporting and opposing certain
causes, causing PR nightmares and
affecting bottom lines. Additionally,
only 36% of consumers believe
companies should comment on
social and political situations — so
brands must choose wisely when
getting involved.

THE GREAT AMERICAN CRISIS(?) 2018 TREND REPORT 6


IT’S ONLY AMONG HUMANS
THAT YOU FIND VERY LARGE
GROUPS WHO ARE ABLE TO CO-“
OPERATE. BUT IN THIS CASE, IT’S
GROUPS UNITED TO FIGHT OTH-
ER GROUPS, PROBABLY COMING
FROM OUR LONG HISTORY OF
TRIBAL LIVING.

JONATHAN HAIDT
PROFESSOR AT NYU


Which of the following best represents who you are and your values?
(%)
Millennials Gen X Baby Boomers

31

22
18
15 16
13 14
12 12 13
9 8
7 6
3 3 4 4

The country I The state I My local The The sports The school I
live in live in community communities teams I root went/go to
that I’m a part for
of online

Sources: American Psychological Association, Mindshare’s Pool, PRRI, Simmons

THE GREAT AMERICAN CRISIS(?) 2018 TREND REPORT 7


8
In 2005, the average person owned 156
CDs. Today, we have instant access to
over two billion Spotify playlists. With
seemingly endless content options, the
world seems more complex than ever.

Consumers are feeling the effects,


with 67% saying they “find the
world to be increasingly complex”
(up from 56% in 2012). And having
too many options takes a toll on
decision-making. Many people
feel paralyzed by choice — nearly
half say they sometimes “spend
more time trying to decide what
to watch than actually watching
something.” Others fall back on was the largest box office year for
safe bets: over half of consumers horror films, with hits like It and
admit to watching an entire TV Get Out providing safe havens
series multiple times. for viewers to replace real-life
fear with fiction and experience
Whatever content they choose, for negative emotions in manageable
many consumers, it’s an escape environments.
from the anxiety of everyday life.
Nearly two-thirds say they “use As shows and movies play a
content to take my mind off of bigger role in one’s identity,
negative things going on in the escapism goes beyond a solo
world.” One surprising stress- pursuit. From Meetup groups
relieving genre? Horror — 2017 hosting Game of Thrones watch

SAFE HAVENS 2018 TREND REPORT 9


63%
AGREE: “I USE CONTENT AND
ENTERTAINMENT TO TAKE MY
MIND OFF OF NEGATIVE THINGS
GOING ON IN THE WORLD”

parties to conventions like Comic IMPLICATIONS


Con and RTX, content lovers are
herding together to form collective
How can your product or brand create or
escapism. 01 align to a “safe haven” for consumers?

Some brands go a step further.


Netflix’s Bed ‘N’ Binge room Find ways to simplify messaging or block
allows people to binge shows 02 out noise in the age of complexity.
in themed rooms. And Disney
recently announced plans for a
Star Wars luxury hotel, complete Does your 2018 tentpole strategy align with
with costumes and customized 03 consumers’ changing behaviors?
storylines for guests — proving
that escapism goes beyond the
screen.

SAFE HAVENS 2018 TREND REPORT 10



WHEN FANS LISTEN TO A
BACHELOR OR BACHELORETTE
PODCAST, THEY’RE ENTERING
THE SHARED COMMUNITY OF
FANS THE SAME WAY FANS OF
A FANTASY EPIC (OR AN NHL
FRANCHISE) MIGHT.

PASTE MAGAZINE


Agree “I find the world to be increasingly complex”
(%)

66% 67%
64%
61%
56% 58%

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Sources: ICM, Mindshare’s Mindreader, Mindshare’s Pool

SAFE HAVENS 2018 TREND REPORT 11


12
The great urban revival is relocating — to
suburbia. And these aren’t your mother’s
suburbs. Communities sitting on the edges
of urban centers are developing unique
economic and cultural identities.

That’s leaving today’s boom


looking rather different from the
one that took place in the 1950s,
when “the father of modern
American suburbia” William Levitt
applied mass production to home
building. Back then, the suburbs
depended heavily on the urban
centers they surrounded — a city/
suburb relationship sociologists
identified as a monocentric model. rather, Millennials settling down,
shifting population growth from
Over time, developers have made urban counties to suburban
more walkable downtown areas ones. And as more young people
in communities outside of cities, move to the suburbs, they’re
causing this relationship to turn bringing urban expectations
into a polycentric model, with with them. Stereotypically urban
many economic centers operating establishments like pop-up shops
independently of one another. This and food halls have begun to
shift is blurring the line between cross over into suburban living.
cities and suburbs. Millennials are even adding
an Instagram-inspired twist on
You can thank Millennials — or home-buying, hiring professional

MIDDLEBURBS 2018 TREND REPORT 13



THE GREAT URBAN REVIVAL
MIGHT NOT BE ENDING, IT MIGHT
JUST BE RELOCATING. INSTEAD
OF PILING INTO EXISTING CORES,
AMERICANS MIGHT SIMPLY BE
CREATING NEW ONES ACROSS
THE COUNTRY.

BLOOMBERG


photographers to capture the IMPLICATIONS
moment they step into their new
pads. Does your current brand proposition draw
01 in Middleburbia consumers and address
their needs?
Suburban infrastructure has also
shifted. For example, The Arcade
Providence in Rhode Island was Implement your local marketing strategy so
one of the oldest libraries in the 02 that it appeals to a Middleburb mentality.
country. With a rising demand for
housing in the area, it’s now a
swanky apartment complex within Use signals and data to help identify
a walkable city center. New York’s 03 Middleburbs
opportunities.
for 2018 business

Knitting Factory music venue


has bought small concert halls
in suburban Minnesota, bringing
more opportunity and culture to
the city outskirts — and giving the
suburbs a whole new feel.

MIDDLEBURBS 2018 TREND REPORT 14



THE NAME “SUBURBS” NEEDS
A REVISION. THE TOWNS SUR-
ROUNDING URBAN CORES WITH
TRAINS AND BUSES DIRECT TO
CITY CENTERS AND A WALKABLE
AND ACTIVE DOWNTOWN ARE
NOT SUBURBS

GABE BAILER
URBAN PLANNER


MONOCENTRIC MODEL POLYCENTRIC MODEL

1950’s TODAY

Sources: New York University

MIDDLEBURBS 2018 TREND REPORT 15


16
Parents are spending more time than ever
with their kids. But thanks to the ubiquity
of screens and techy toys, that time isn’t
always the quality time that parents yearn
for.

We’re living in an era of hyper-


indulgence, with the average
household containing about 71 toys
for kids to play with. Part of this is
due to the hyper-connected world
we live in causing tensions for both
parents and their kids. Children are
getting phones at younger ages
and spend more time each day
using mobile devices (48 minutes
on average) than reading or being of parents say they worry their
read to (30 minutes). children spend too much time in
front of screens, they don’t want to
However, as the issues of be overbearing or have their child
indulgence become more feel left out from social groups by
apparent, a potential backlash may going completely screen-free.
be coming. Researchers recently
found that kids become more Schools are taking note. Instead of
creative with fewer toys, causing sending their kids to tech-oriented
some parents to take a more schools, tech executives like Bill
minimalist approach. Parents are Gates and Steve Jobs favored
also trying to balance the tensions schools like the Waldorf School
of mobile moderation. While 71% in Silicon Valley, which doesn’t let

CHILDHOOD, REIMAGINED 2018 TREND REPORT 17


71%
PARENTS ARE WORRIED THAT
THEIR CHILDREN SPEND TOO
MUCH TIME WITH THEIR DEVICES

kids use screens until 8th grade. IMPLICATIONS


Standards around homework
and testing are changing too —
Inspire ideas for quality family bonding time
some elite schools are reducing 01 among consumers and their families.
the amount of homework and
starting later, enduring criticism
from opposing viewpoints. And How does your brand offer utility or guidance
the evolution of STEM (Science, 02 that addresses modern parenting struggles?
Technology, Engineering, Math) is
evolving again, with some pushing
this categorization to expand into How does your brand support children’s
the arts as well (meet STEAM). 03 learning with the current evolution in
education?

More distractions, more problems?


For some parents and kids, less
(tech and toys) is more.

CHILDHOOD, REIMAGINED 2018 TREND REPORT 18



A NEW MOVEMENT IS WORKING
TO INCLUDE ART AND DESIGN
INTO THE CONCEPT OF
STEM. THE NEW IDEA, STEAM,
HIGHLIGHTS THE NECESSITY
OF INCORPORATING ART WHEN
TURNING SCIENTIFIC AND
TECHNICAL PROJECTS INTO
USABLE, REAL-WORLD PRODUCTS.

HUFFINGTON POST


Number of Waldorf Schools in the US
(kids don’t use screens until 8th grade)

173
160
150

65

1991 2000 2012 2017

Sources: Pew Research, Nielsen, Common Sense Media, Toy Industry Association, New York Times

CHILDHOOD, REIMAGINED 2018 TREND REPORT 19


20
Meet Gen Nice. They‘re the most educated,
diverse, and tech-savvy group ever, and
just beginning to hit adulthood — one
that’s looking pretty different than it did for
other generations.

The Great Recession and the


evolution of technology have
helped shape Gen Nice, ages 7-22,
into a different cohort. Milestones
like driving, dating, and drinking
were left behind with older
generations. Instead, Gen Nice’s
online activities define them,
from what apps they use to what
YouTube channels they subscribe
to. to manage their online identities.
With the majority of interaction
Coming of age in a time with a huge happening online, there’s also
emphasis on technology comes a feeling of isolation when that
with growing pains. New services interaction shifts into the real
like tbh, House Party, and Musical. world. These tech troubles — along
ly create more opportunities for with high academic and economic
Gen Nice to stay connected to pressures from parents and
each other and the world at large. schools — have stressed out Gen
However, from juggling multiple Nice young adults, who are now
Instagram accounts (Finstas) to exhibiting higher rates of anxiety
keeping up on their Snapstreaks, and depression than Millennials
it’s become more difficult for them before them.

GEN NICE: COMING OF AGE 2018 TREND REPORT 21



“I JUST KNOW OF ALL OF THESE
PEOPLE BECAUSE OF SOCIAL
MEDIA, BUT I DON’T ACTUALLY
KNOW THEM. I COULD NEVER GO
UP TO THEM AND BE LIKE, ‘HEY,
I SAW YOU ON INSTAGRAM FOR
TWO YEARS.’”

GEN NICE FEMALE


But it’s not all doom and gloom. IMPLICATIONS
Gen Nice is one of the most
empathetic generations, breaking Think about how your product or
down stigmas around race, 01 communication approach will change for
the next generation.
gender, and mental health. And
they’re optimistic about their place
in the world and the future they’ll Ensure that you understand the nuances of
help shape. 02 these potential new customers.

And while traditional celebrities


still resonate, they have an ever- How can your brand help the next
refreshing set of role models to 03 generation navigate their complex entrance
into adulthood?
look up to, born out of YouTube,
Snapchat, and Instagram. These
influencers connect with them
on a deeper level, thanks to their
approachable personas and
engaging content.

Brands, meet the new change-


makers.

GEN NICE: COMING OF AGE 2018 TREND REPORT 22


63%
GEN Z WOULD PREFER TO SEE A
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER IN
ADVERTISEMENTS
(ONLY 37% PREFER TRADITIONAL CELEBRITIES)

High School Seniors Who’ve Done the Following


(%)
1976 2016

87 85
72 72
68
56 57

39
33

11

Has driver’s license Ever dated Worked for pay Drank alcohol Smoked cigarettes
(last 30 days) (last 30 days)

Sources: Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, University of Michigan, MediaKix

GEN NICE: COMING OF AGE 2018 TREND REPORT 23


24
Look at any category from retail to food
to travel to media, and you’ll see two
extremes in action, with efficiency at one
end of the spectrum and immersion at the
other.

Laziness is deeply ingrained in our


DNA. And that’s good for brands
— 51% of consumers want a
trusted brand to help simplify their
lives (up from 31% in 2012). So it’s
no surprise that these consumers
want a streamlined shopping
experience. For example, Amazon
Go, a beta retail experience,
removes the friction of checking
out by tracking shoppers through stores, which feature only items
the store using sensor tracking that can be made quickly and
and deep learning. Other retailers have employees taking orders
are investing in line-skipping before consumers even get to the
convenience, with Walmart’s register.
Scan & Go app and the CVS and
Curbside partnership among the But it’s not just about what’s
many convenient options available faster and easier. About 65% of
to consumers. consumers say “it’s extremely
important to have stimulating
It’s not just retail that’s focused experiences” and over one-third
on streamlining. Starbucks is say “even when I don’t purchase
increasing efficiency in its express anything, I enjoy shopping.” In

EXTREME EXCHANGES 2018 TREND REPORT 25



YOU HAVE TO GIVE PEOPLE A
REASON TO COME TO THE STORE
OTHER THAN JUST DUPLICATING
WHAT THEY CAN BUY ONLINE.

BRIDGET RUSSO
SHINOLA CMO


addition to its express stores, IMPLICATIONS
Starbucks also offers a Roastery,
a small-batch “coffee theater” that Workshop what the extremes of your cat-
encourages consumers to enjoy 01 egory could look like for new products or
services.
a multi-hour visit. The Samsung
837 NYC flagship store doesn’t
sell products but operates as a Identify where your brand has a right to
digital playground of art-house 02 play among consumers.
installations. There are even
Instagram-ready museums like
the Museum of Ice Cream, which Continue to monitor innovation across rel-
features colorful areas for picture- 03 evant categories so you don’t fall behind.
snapping.

Whether it’s efficiency or


immersion that consumers are
after, brands are stepping up and
giving it to them.

EXTREME EXCHANGES 2018 TREND REPORT 26


65%
Agree: “It’s extremely important to
have stimulating experiences”

STREAMLINED ELABORATE

Data Sources: Mindshare’s Mindreader, Simmons

EXTREME EXCHANGES 2018 TREND REPORT 27


28
As companies like Amazon, Uber, and
Netflix push the boundaries of speed,
service, and innovation, consumer
expectations are changing, forcing other
brands to keep up.

With great expectations comes


great power. In the late 1960s,
psychologist Robert Rosenthal
introduced the Pygmalion Effect,
which suggests that higher
expectations lead to an increase
in performance, impacting how we
think and behave.

Consumers today are comparing all


brands to a select few disruptors, Team’s EAST Model, consisting of
raising the overall bar. Fifty two four pillars: make it easy, make it
percent of consumers say that attractive, make it social, and make
they “have higher expectations it timely.
for brands today than they did in
the past.” So what can we learn Brands like Amazon have done
from innovators like Tesla and this by implementing same-day
Airbnb? How to play off key human deliveries, reducing the wait time
behavior triggers. The number one consumers expect for receiving
consumer expectation for brands their products. HotelFlex works
today is “to make my life easier.” with hotels to allow travelers to
To do this, brands should look check in and check out at any time
to the U.K. Behavioural Insights they’d like. And Hiatus is an app

GREAT EXPECTATIONS 2018 TREND REPORT 29


Attractive Ease
Largest touchscreen Direct to customer selling
Slick design Autopilot
(e.g. removal of grill) Easy entry/exit
Key shaped like car Automatic garage warning
Over the air updates
Streaming services
Advance parking sensors

Social Timely
Tesla charger stations Speed of response
Easter eggs on social
Dealerships in Malls Culturally relevant press
Elon Musk – ‘social CEO’ releases

that negotiates bills and payments IMPLICATIONS


on the consumer’s behalf to lower
prices. Use data and research to identify and
01 meet changing expectations of category
consumers.
Media is also undergoing a
change in response to consumers’
expectations — HBO’s new Use the EAST Model to workshop new
interactive show Mosaic lets 02 ways to enhance your marketing or
communication strategy.
viewers watch from different
characters’ perspectives and
choose the sequence in which Explore adding layers to content (e.g. shop-
the story unfolds. And FOX has 03 ability) to ensure it’s delivering against
expectations.
adopted six-second ads onto their
network, minimizing how long
consumers expect commercials to
last.

Great expectations, met and


exceeded.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS 2018 TREND REPORT 30


52%
AGREE: “I HAVE HIGHER
EXPECTATIONS FOR BRANDS
NOW THAN I DID IN THE PAST”
(61% OF MILLENNIALS)

87%
Consumers say they
measure all brands
against a select few
companies

Sources: Mindshare’s Pool, Behavioural Insights Team (a separate company in the UK), Wunderman

GREAT EXPECTATIONS 2018 TREND REPORT 31


32
For the past few years, companies have
been trading long-term success for short-
term gains. However, we’re now in the
midst of a backlash as longevity is making
a comeback.

The average number of very large


business effects (e.g. penetration,
market share) per ad campaign has
dropped by nearly 20% from 2012
to 2016, thanks to the percent of
short-term campaigns increasing
from 7% in 2006 to 26% in 2016. It’s
understandable why brands would
favor short-termism. Not only is it
easier to observe and measure,
but CMOs and brand managers 50% since the 1990s. Startups are
are increasingly pressured by also taking longer to IPO, with the
quarterly sales goals. median amount of time increasing
from 3.1 years in 2000 to 8.2 years
But immediate results aren’t in 2017.
always a good thing. This short-
term outlook inhibits innovation As the issues with short-termism
and makes the economy less become more apparent, some
competitive, impacting the stock are shifting to more long-term
market. This means that more strategies. For example, the Long-
companies are staying private, with Term Stock Exchange is a new
the number of U.S. publicly traded model backed by Silicon Valley
companies dropping by almost venture capitalists that operates

RETURN TO THE LONG TERM 2018 TREND REPORT 33


THERE IS CURRENTLY TOO MUCH
FOCUS ON THE SHORT-TERM
EASIER TO MEASURE AND
OBSERVE
CLIENTS OFTEN PRESSURED BY
QUARTERLY SALES GOALS

using “tenure voting,” in which IMPLICATIONS


shareholders who have their
stocks for a longer period of time Ensure that you’re setting the right KPIs for
get more votes. 01 long-term growth (e.g. unaided awareness,
penetration).

The power of long-term thinking


has its perks. Just look at the Balance brand building and sales activation
Houston Astros, who went 02 in your creative and media strategy.
from one of the Major League
Baseball’s worst teams to World
Series Champions in five years by Think long-term; don’t always be quick to
leveraging young prospects. Proof 03 change course if impact is not immediate.
that if companies are willing to
take a step back and focus on the
greater potential, the payoff will
greatly exceed the sacrifices.

RETURN TO THE LONG TERM 2018 TREND REPORT 34



SILICON VALLEY’S HIGH-TECH
DENIZENS COMPLAIN THE PUBLIC
STOCK MARKETS ARE MARRED
BY A NARROW FOCUS ON SHORT-
TERM EARNINGS AND PROFITS.
NOW THEY ARE ACTUALLY
DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT, BY
LAUNCHING A NEW FRAMEWORK
FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE,
INVESTING AND TRADING
CALLED THE LONG-TERM STOCK
EXCHANGE.

WALL STREET JOURNAL


Median time for IPO exit

8.2 years
7.4 years

3.1 years

2000 2013 2017

Sources: Wall Street Journal, National Venture Capitalist Association, IPA

RETURN TO THE LONG TERM 2018 TREND REPORT 35


36
Growing in population size, buying power,
and cultural influence, Asian-American
consumers are becoming an increasingly
valuable multicultural segment for brands
to consider.

Asian Americans make up 6% of


the U.S. population, but they’re
the fastest-growing multicultural
segment, expected to balloon to
14% within the next five decades.
This often-overlooked group
in America represents a huge
untapped market waiting to be
recognized, with the highest
incomes and education levels, the
fastest-growing home-ownership records with a top 10 Billboards
in the U.S., and some of the debut and a spot on Time’s list of
highest spending in categories like the Top 25 Internet Influencers.
makeup, apparel, and restaurants.
It can be seen in our content too,
But those aren’t the only places as Asian authors, playwrights,
where Asian Americans are having directors, and actors bring their
an impact. From Hollywood to own unique values, stories, and
Washington, 2017 was a watershed perspectives into the mainstream.
year for this group. For example, Companies like Netflix have
Congress added 18 members of recognized this and are buying
Asian descent (the most ever). And and creating Asian content like
K-Pop group BTS broke hearts and Okja and Bardo. Their impact on

RISE OF THE ASIAN ECONOMY 2018 TREND REPORT 37



FOR A LONG TIME,
GLOBALIZATION HAS EFFECTIVELY
MEANT ‘AMERICANIZATION.’ THE
NEW GLOBALIZATION IS NOT AS
SUCH AMERICANIZATION BUT
IS SOMETHING THAT COULD BE
CALLED ‘GLOBAL-AS-ASIAN.

FORBES


other brands is wide-reaching, IMPLICATIONS
with companies Nike and Sephora
jumping to embrace the culture. Understand Asian-American consumers’
relevance to your category and brand and,
01 when appropriate, include them in your
Of course, there are still issues multicultural strategy.
that need to be addressed. Brands
need to understand that Asian
Americans represent a broad and Understand their motivations and nuance
02 your brand communications accordingly.
diverse group of many different
cultures with vastly different values
and needs. And they need to be Make sure communications reflect an
cognizant of the problems they face 03 accurate and authentic representation of
— like misrepresentation in media, this audience.
immigration, and discrimination —
to better serve them.

RISE OF THE ASIAN ECONOMY 2018 TREND REPORT 38


WHAT BOTHERED ME ABOUT APU
IS HOW HE STOOD IN FOR MY

PARENTS, REPLACING THEIR REAL
STORIES AND REAL STRUGGLES
AND THEIR REALLY COMPLICATED
LIVES WITH AN ACCENT

HARI KONDABOLU
THE PROBLEM WITH APU


Expenditures by Race/Ethnicity
White AA Hispanic Asian

$325

$275 $270
$256

$208 $206
$180
$163 $167
$156
$130 $133
$105
$96
$88 $81
$74 $74 $79
$70

Family Restaurants Women’s Apparel Women’s Accessories Skincare Makeup

Sources: U.S. Census, Simmons, Pew Research

RISE OF THE ASIAN ECONOMY 2018 TREND REPORT 39


40
As new technology develops at rapid
rates, it’s easy to be fascinated by the
latest devices. But brands must embrace
tech trends carefully — or risk losing big.

Look no further than Second Life


for a cautionary tale. In the early
2000s, the virtual world — which
lets users create avatars to interact,
shop, and consume media — was
predicted to be the future of the
internet and marketing. It was
supposed to revolutionize life as
we knew it. But it failed.

Fast forward to 2012, and Google cream brand Halo Top, which had
Glass was expected to be our new over 2,500% increase in sales in
way of seeing the world, displaying 2016. That deserves recognition,
digital information through but we ignore the fact that 85%
wearable headsets. It also failed. of CPG products fail. Blame
So did Snap Inc.’s near-identical “Survivorship Bias,” a tendency
replica, Spectacles. to focus on success stories while
forgetting failures. This bias even
Our brains are often hijacked by happens with successful brands
novelty. Whether it fails or succeeds, like Amazon, Google, and Apple
our “cult of the new” mentality — all having introduced failed
keeps us distracted by the latest products (RIP Google Plane and
thing. Just look at breakout ice Google Wave) between their few

SHINY NEW OBJECTS 2018 TREND REPORT 41



MOST OF US ARE REGULARLY
FOOLED BY THE SURVIVOR
BIAS. CONSIDER THE PLETHORA
OF BUSINESS BOOKS READILY
AVAILABLE IN AIRPORT
BOOKSTALLS THAT FEATURE THE
MOST SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN


successful launches. IMPLICATIONS
However, as we enter a period of
Always check Shiny New Objects against
fad fatigue, brands are starting 01 scale and marketing truths.
to become more cautious. Some
brands fell into a Millennial refresh
trap — like Applebee’s, which First-mover advantage isn’t always an ad-
changed their menu and model 02 vantage; make strategic decisions about
relevance to your brand.
to attract younger customers. It
failed, so they went back to their
original model. Many are also Lean on agency partners (who have a
taking a cautious approach to 03 broader view) to help navigate the fast-mov-
ing tech space.
the digital ecosystem, with major
spenders like P&G, Mars, and
Taco Bell pulling money out of
digital and reinvesting in television
for longevity and brand safety
concerns.

What’s old is new — and profitable


— again.

SHINY NEW OBJECTS 2018 TREND REPORT 42


0
10
20
30
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2004-12
2005-02
2005-04
2005-06
2005-08
2005-10
2005-12
2006-02
2006-04 IPL
2006-06
2006-08
2006-10
2006-12
2007-02

MFG/IOFC
2007-04
2007-06
2007-08
2007-10
2007-12
2008-02
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2008-08
2008-10

SHINY NEW OBJECTS 2018 TREND REPORT


2008-12
2009-02
2009-04
2009-06
2009-08
2009-10
2009-12
2010-02
2010-04
2010-06
2010-08
ant.pre-SMA

2010-10
2010-12
2011-02
2011-04
2011-06
2011-08
2011-10
2011-12
2012-02
2012-04
2012-06
2012-08

Google Search Index


2012-10
2012-12
2013-02
2013-04
2013-06
2013-08
2013-10
2013-12
2014-02
2014-04
2014-06
2014-08
2014-10
2014-12

2015-02
2015-04
2015-06
DANIEL J LEVITIN

2015-08
MCGILL UNIVERSITY

2015-10
2015-12
2016-02
2016-04
PUPPIES, AND KITTENS.”

2016-06
2016-08
WE USE TO ENTICE INFANTS,

2016-10
RSS, Dec. 2005 UGC, Feb. 2008 Virtual World, Jun. 2010 Gamification, Apr. 2014 Wearables, Sep. 2014
ITS ATTENTION CAN BE EASILY

2016-12
“THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX HAS

2017-02
A NOVELTY BIAS, MEANING THAT

HIJACKED BY SOMETHING NEW –


THE PROVERBIAL SHINY OBJECTS

2017-04
2017-06
2017-08
2017-10

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Sources: Halo Top, Nielsen, Google Trends
2017-12
SUMMARY
Technology plays a part, but at the
end of the day it’s human behavior that
shapes marketing and media strategies.
Current trends are giving you plenty of
material to work with. Contact us for the
latest trends as they rise in the cultural
zeitgeist.

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