Trends

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Ad Trends 2018: An uncertain industry in a state of flux

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When looking ahead, it's always important to keep one foot firmly rooted in the past, particularly when examining adland, which has been in a state of flux for years now. With agencies and brands alike shifting their allegiances towards digital with greater urgency than ever before, many industry insiders feel we're riding the crest of a sea change for the industry, but there are still lessons to be learned from looking backwards, particularly given the frightening year we've all just lived through.

This year, as you will discover below, when I reached out for comment on what 2018 will bring for adland, I was inundated with insights and opinions. For me, this speaks to the inculpable, forward-thinking optimism of the industry at large in the face of what has been a year rife with uncertainty, change (though sometimes for the better) and division. And lots of good creative of course. Because there will always be good creative, sneaking smouldering embers into the darkest corners.

This year, I focused on an exhaustive 20 trends (whittled down from an even more daunting 50), as well as the two major trends that gathered the most insight. Note that many of the opinions expressed below are conflicting (and conflicted) and that they don't necessarily reflect my own, or those of Creativepool. They are all, however, honest and well-reasoned. But then, what more would you expect from the Creativepool community?

 

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

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As of may 28th, 2018, GDPR will officially come into effect and for many industry insiders I spoke to this month, this was the first thing on their mind when it came to 2018. Many feel that it will fundamentally change the way advertisers use data and target customers, especially in terms of location. Others are not so concerned, but everyone is under no illusion that it will definitely cast a major shadow over adland throughout the year and going forward.

Zheng Zhang, CEO and Co-Founder of EnvisionX

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A debate that has dominated not just the advertising landscape but various industries in 2017 has been GDPR. Coming into effect in May 2018, conversations around the legislation have been vast as companies prepare for the pending changes associated with how businesses acquire, hold and share consumer data. Once enforced, programmatic advertisers need to be more transparent by actively obtaining consent from consumers. As a result, we will see programmatic advertising change as we know it as the industry will adjust to this significant shift. Moving into 2018, I believe we will see programmatic advertisers begin to embrace new technologies that help to fulfil the aim of GDPR to ensure programmatic continues to thrive, yet consumer’s data is appropriately handled. We are seeing more programmatic service providers embrace Blockchain technology which has been subtly establishing itself within advertising. The technology provides advertisers with the ability to create an immutable record of data transactions and a fully audited trail to ensure increased security. Not only would this instil a greater level of transparency within the industry but will also reinstate consumer trust; meaning they would be more likely to give programmatic suppliers access to their data if there is a guarantee their information was secure. As the digital advertising industry continues to strive for successful automation, creativity and personalisation, programmatic needs to embrace the capabilities of emerging technologies to continue its growth and innovation in a post-GDPR ecosystem.

Nick King, UK Commercial Director at Exponential

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GPDR comes in to force on the 28th of May 2018. It is not a set of guidelines, but a legal requirement with fines of up to 4% of turnover making non-compliance a serious issue. The law will make everyone within the supply chain from clients, through to publishers and ad tech vendors think about how they collect and use data. There will be a draining of the volume of data that is collected meaning that businesses that are compliant will drive greater value in 2018.

Raman Sidhu, VP Business Development at Beemray

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There’s currently a lot of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data being used to target customers which, come May, will be illegal without opt-in consent. Real-time consumer behaviour is primarily about location and the context of that location. For example, knowing the longitude and latitude of a customer’s location isn’t actually very useful, but knowing where they commute and shop is. With GDPR on the horizon agencies and partners must look to new sources of location data, or risk the fines. This insight is the key to unlocking real time advertising moments in a post-GDPR world. Only by removing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data can companies truly understand and act on audience segments. In this sense GDPR is a good thing, as it will reduce the amount of data businesses have to sift through, giving them more useable audience segments instead. As users need to give their consent under GDPR, location data will be the key to customer marketing in 2018 and beyond. This will ensure advertisers stay compliant from the off and that consumers are given the best advertising experiences not only in the moment, but at all times.

Richard Simkins, Creative Solutions Director at Exterion Media

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In May when the GDPR tide finally comes in we'll discover who has been swimming naked. Or at least who are still struggling to put their swim shorts on. Like the brand safety challenges of 2017, I would not be surprised if GDPR threatens the integrity of some digital media companies. It will be particularly interesting to see how the many invisible DSPs (Demand-Side Platforms) adapt to the new landscape, and how successful the Goobook duopoly (the Michael Phelps of the digital seas) are at maintaining their status quo.

Tobin Ireland, CEO and Co-Founder, Smartpipe

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The powerful cocktail of the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) meeting the wider ePrivacy Regulation that is currently in development, means that 2018 is set to be one of the most turbulent years yet for marketers. With new data laws coming into force in a few months’ time, there is uncertainty, confusion, and worryingly a real ignorance surrounding them. Indeed a recent survey found only 28% of UK brand websites will be GDPR compliant by the deadline of 25th May. Creative agencies would be unwise to think that data protection is not relevant to them, as they provide a critical component in how brands respond to these new laws. Much of the challenge of the GDPR concerns how we engage and communicate with consumers to deliver trust and consent. Creative teams need to step up and insert themselves into the current compliance processes, reminding their clients that it is engaging ideas and excellent communication that drives consent – not box ticking exercises. Instead of seeing the new regulations as a negative, marketers should use them as an opportunity to build better relationships with consumers, using data to provide more relevant and engaging ad content in a safe and compliant way. Key to this will be incorporating fresh thinking and technological innovations into agency business models.

 

Vertical Video Becomes the Norm

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Let's face it, the vast majority of us in consume a great deal of our content via our mobile devices, so it stands to reason that, given the profile of most mobile devices, that vertical video would become more widely used as we spend more and more time glued to our smartphones.

Stuart Campbell, Managing Director of Bareska

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2017 saw a 40% rise in the use of video content delivered in vertical aspect ratios across a multitude of social media platforms. As content producers, we’ve had to keep up with the curve and learn that the days of repurposing content shot in 16.9 for social platforms is over. 2018 should see a steady increase in that trend and I expect a 70% lift in agencies producing content in 2:3 and 9:16 aspect ratios which will mean greater challenges on set. Producers and directors will be faced with the challenge of shooting for a variety of aspect ratios on set. Widescreen formats will always remain valid but the question in development will be “are we just shooting for mobile” or “does this have to be cross-platform relevant?” There are some practical solutions on set. Ensure branded elements or subject matter is not left or right of shot, no fine details and brand placement with text remains centre frame.

Grant Munro, General Manager at Shutterstock Custom

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We’ve spent most of the year producing on-brand custom content for marketers around the world. We saw a 185% increase in client requests for video content this year. Not only is video becoming much more pervasive in newsfeeds and other ad channels, but it is becoming the standard for how consumers expect to consume content. New video creative needs to be developed so it can be ‘fit for the feed.’ People spend up to 5 hours per day consuming content on their mobile devices, which are primarily designed for vertical consumption. This means that the more traditional horizontal video format is ill-suited for the rise in mobile behaviour. The average consumer checks their phone as many as 150 times per day, but they don’t want to turn the screen to enjoy a piece of content. That means we need to adjust the content to align with their preferred consumption habits. The word video no longer describes videos. In 2017, video is really any piece of content with motion formats. That includes gifs, cinemagraphs, and even dynamic animations. When developing creative concepts, marketers need to be mindful that video and motion format work hand in hand.

Jeffrey Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Userfarm

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Vertical doesn’t just mean turning your camera on its side. People now see the world through a vertical frame and all visual arts have to adapt to this reality. Vertical brings a new emphasis on the truly relevant and immediate in content, whether useful or emotional. It is a new kind of up-close-and-personal intimacy via people’s private interface to whatever and whoever is closest and most important to them. And the small screen suits close up work very well. Vertical’s challenges also make it refreshing. It forces a reappraisal of old tropes like the big wide shot of the car on the open road and of snazzy visual virtuosity, which is pointless on a small screen. Overall vertical’s opportunities for creative far outweigh its challenges – storytelling remains the same, whatever medium you’re working in. Currently, brands wonder if they should shoot their videos in vertical. In 2018, brands should be asking what justifies them creating video in horizontal? The opportunity is especially great for youth marketing campaigns and for mobile-related brands; Vodafone, Uber, Netflix et al should insist that their marketers deliver a vertical-first creative strategy. But all brands will benefit - if John Lewis’s Christmas ad 2018 is in horizontal, they should be looking for a new agency.

 

Brand Transparency in the age of Post-Truth

Kara Melchers, head of BITE for Creativebrief on how technology is changing how much brands are able (and willing) to hide from their consumers

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It’s a major act of the imagination to go from looking at a product to imagining its genesis. Most of capitalism is not really interested in encouraging us to think about anything other than the product as it exists on a shelf. However, technology is changing this. It gives us access to more information and a greater awareness of the product’s impact on the planet and the people who make it. This transparency is encouraging brands and customers to behave more ethically. We’re not just talking about a marketing solution, it’s fundamentally changing how, where and by whom products are made. So be prepared for customers wanting to know more about the social, economic and environmental impact of your brand and create a truth you’re not ashamed to tell.

 

More Big Media Buys

Nick King, UK Commercial Director at Exponential, on the big boys of media taking over everything in 2018

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Media agencies have had a tough year, and at times some of the ire directed at them has been rather misplaced. However, I do not see 2018 getting any easier as well-funded competition is moving into their space. Unusually it is not some VC-backed start up but instead the traditional big business consultancies that have their eye on the media buying budgets. Accenture have sounded the starting gun, winning not only Maserati’s media buying and creative (through the recently acquired Kamarama) but also managing “every touchpoint of the customer experience.” Expect more big wins and big hires in 2018.

 

Authenticity in an Uncertain World

Jim Bowes, CEO and Founder of Manifesto, on how a desire for authenticity in a world losing trust will colour everything brands touch next year

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The biggest trend of 2017 has been authenticity - people's desire to know that what they’re looking at is real. As a result, we have seen the rise of blockchain-based technologies, which have authenticity at their core. This same theme will remain important for brands in 2018; it will, therefore, be vital for businesses to keep the trust of their audience. As people's expectation of the customer experience has changed, their demand for authenticity has only grown stronger. However, making ads that claim to be authentic just won't cut it. Brands need to walk the talk and live and breathe their core values, and technology can help here. The range of new platforms and channels available to marketers has broadened significantly during the past year. For example, we have seen the proliferation of conversational interfaces, internet of things, augmented reality and bots. These have all become much more tangible this year and increasingly common in people’s homes. In 2018, the challenge will be to create synergy between these solutions and a brand’s core values, so that customers feel that these interactions are authentic.

 

Closing the Sales Loop with Packaging

BD NETWORK feel that, in 2018, more brands will increasingly use advertising budget to communicate on-pack promotions and effectively close the sales loop

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Today, consumers want to be treated as individuals, and demand tailored service and expect reward for their patronage of brands. With grocers investing heavily in own label, brands are resorting to on-pack promotions to stay competitive. This puts strain on traditional advertising which has historically been used to drive awareness and broadcast a brand message – It’s no longer enough. One way brands can overcome both hurdles is to run an on-pack promotion to incentivise and reward consumers and then use the advertising budget to drive awareness of the promotion, closing the sales loop and therefore, drive greater ROI. We’ve seen a number of brands employ this approach in the past year including Diet Coke and Walkers, and expect this to become a recurring trend in 2018.

 

The Importance of Context in Content

Sue Todd, CEO of magazine trade body Magnetic, on the importance of context in an era of fake news

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Living in an era of ”fake news,” the topic of what constitutes the truth and our responsibility as an industry to build trust has rarely strayed far from our lips in 2017. An independent global study by Kantar highlighted the effect that "fake news" and the US presidential election has taken on trust in media, with the greatest toll unsurprisingly on Facebook. At Magnetic, we conducted research to deconstruct and better understand the drivers of trust in media, finding that the most significant drivers of trust in brands and media were relevancy and meaning, reliability and ethics and expertise and objectivity. With consumers sceptical and untrusting of media, advertisers should look for ways to tap into the trust that traditional media brands inspire in consumers. Our “A Matter of Trust” demonstrated the power of this “rub effect”, in which trusted media, like magazines, increased consumers perceptions of trustworthiness for brands who use this environment. As the furore around trust in our industry rumbles on, the importance of context in advertising is set to be the big trend of 2018.

 

Diversity Filters into Everything

Robyn Lange, Curator at Shutterstock, muses on how Diversity will continue to be a major focus for marketers in 2018

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Our recent research reveals globally, marketers agree that representing modern day society is now more important than fitting with a brand’s message. And 90% of UK marketers believe using more diverse images will help a brand’s reputation. Striking a chord with consumers is no longer about serving them images of perfection, as social media has helped to change how people view images. Consumers prefer images that accurately portray the world around them, as opposed to a perfected version of the world offered by marketers.

 

Digital Video Continues to Dominate

Richard Sharp, VP EMEA at Grapeshot, feels that, in 2018, we should expect the quantity of video content that's produced and consumed across digital platforms to continue to grow

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In 2018, the expansion of video's footprint will be driven by a continuing trend toward consumption across the predominant social and OTT platforms, as audiences spend less of their time reading and more time watching. As the needle moves toward a video-first digital media culture, we should expect advertising formats to diversify, evolving into longer and shorter formats that are more adapted to specific platforms and relevant audiences. We will see even more demand for insight around placement and context - this is not just in relation to brand safety but specific synergy and relevance in relation to content seen after that pre-roll placement. In support of this evolution of video advertising, video consumption and monetisation metrics will become more established and demand for transparency by advertisers will increase. Overall, this shift will be relatively momentous over the course of the year, and will make obvious the rise of a new form of visual literacy that will transform human culture and the underlying technologies that support it.

 

The Maturation of Programmatic Advertising

Richard Kidd, VP head of business development, EMEA at OpenX, hopes next year will see programmatic advertising mature into an industry with trust and transparency at its core

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While we saw promising advancements in 2017 – particularly with the launch of transparent first-price and second-price auctions – the industry still has much progress to make. Domain spoofing – an increasingly popular form of advertising fraud – will begin to diminish as new initiatives, such as ads.txt, make it more challenging for fraudsters. As programmatic buyers begin to demand only the highest quality inventory and processes from their partners, we’ll see providers swiftly adapt to respond to this need. Programmatic technology partners will take greater steps towards providing services free from the risks of fraud, as well as breaches in brand safety or opaque processes.

 

Dynamic Content fills the Void left by Automation

Richard Glasson, CEO at Hogarth Worldwide, thinks that dynamic content is set to explode in 2018

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In 2018 we’ll see huge strides forward in how it’s made to fulfil the needs of programmatic advertising. As the online media buy becomes more automated, the content that fills that space needs to be engaging and relevant to the consumer. This is where some incredible emerging technologies will come to the fore. There’s so much activity in the worlds of dynamic video, personalised CGI, VFX and automated HTML programming, that we’ll start to see virtual humans and content produced by AI – especially as brands start to use data in more effective ways. The entry of these technologies into the mainstream is just around the corner and shouldn’t be seen as a threat. It’s a huge new opportunity for pushing creativity and innovation in the advertising industry.

 

Comfort in Familiarity

Richard Simkins, Creative Solutions Director at Exterion Media believes that we'll all be finding comfort in the familiar throughout the next 12 months

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I expect that the world in 2018 will continue to feel a scary place. Brexit negotiations will likely get worse before they get better; Trump's presidency will continue to generate headlines for all the wrong reasons; the Russian Football World Cup could experience significant security challenges; data hacks will become worryingly common and fears of AI will grow as the robot takeover appears ever nearer. As such, as was identified in the recessionary years a decade ago, people will increasingly gain comfort from familiarity and brands that they trust. Companies that can confidently communicate their heritage and efficacy will do well, as will the bold advertising formats of TV, Cinema and out-of-home (OOH).

 

The Evolution of OOH

Richard Simkins, Creative Solutions Director at Exterion Media, also thinks that 2018 will be a huge and transformative year for OOH

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2018 is going to be a big year for Out-of-Home advertising, especially digital OOH, with major investments being made across the board. We’ll see further rollouts of new formats such as high-impact video screens and the continued rise of experiential - enabling organisations to turn the OOH environment into live brand experiences. Data integration will also become more and more prevalent in not only informing the creative approach, but also enabling us to better understand audiences and how to execute campaigns in the right environments. I think one area that will also be really interesting for OOH in 2018 is AR. I'll admit that 5 years ago I was unconvinced by the scalability of Augmented Reality. However, the success of SnapChat and the resulting adoption of AR into Instagram & Facebook has shown that people like the technique. In 2018 I expect to be regularly blown away by creative, helpful or beautiful uses of Apple's ARKit framework, and we'll see new AR techniques propagate into other formats, especially OOH.

 

Social Media in the Driving Seat

Keren Lerner, Founder/MD of web design and marketing agency, Top Left Design, on the importance social media tools such as Instagram Stories will play in 2018

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As an essential tool for influencers and brands to communicate to their audiences. Instagram Stories has gained huge traction over the past 12 months and is becoming the favoured tool of many brands, businesses and celebrities. Once perceived as a Snapchat copycat, Instagram actually gained 200 million daily users after they launched the Stories feature. There is a misconception that it’s a B2C feature. B2B will begin engaging in it too – many already have. It allows business to show a more human, less ‘polished’ side to their business - activity snippets, quick and funny “speaking to camera” pieces, and sneak previews of new launches. It also marks a step towards a more direct form of social media interaction, where users can reply to stories and interact through direct messages. In fact, a more dynamic year lies ahead for marketing in general. With brands already making use of Virtual and Augmented Reality in brand awareness campaigns, we are set to see a lot more of this. Once large brands start trying these things out, smaller businesses can learn and follow suit. There are already smaller video production operations who are creating footage for this purpose for the SME market. For Halloween, Fanta created a VR video which immersed viewers in a spooky journey to the 13th floor of a building. This kind of content will definitely become more commonplace in 2018 as more brands start to adapt and get better at using technologies such as AR and VR in their campaigns.

 

Accountability

Martin Woolley, CEO at The Specialist Works, thinks that 2018 will see advertisers waking up to the fact that they have much less certainty about where their advertising money is being spent

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The big trend in 2018 will be about accountability. All advertisers are waking up to the fact that they have much less certainty about where their advertising money is being spent - let alone the much more important question of what their return on advertising budget is in real terms. P&G has led the way by cutting a staggering $100m from their digital marketing spend with no discernible drop in business. Others will follow their lead. Expect to see things like greater pressure on media agencies and tech companies to prove the value of the money spent. There will be experimentation with promising new channels like influencer marketing alongside a simultaneous demand for solid ROI metrics. And traditional media channels like TV and out of home advertising will become cool again.

 

Analytics Playing a Larger Role in how Video Production Agencies Operate

Stuart Campbell, Managing Director of Bareska, on how technology in analytics and audience targeting has created a new landscape for marketers reaching their customers with video

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Everyone knows the power of video to successfully engage an audience but the days of producing a beautiful piece of content and winning an award without ever knowing if it did its job are well and truly over. Our old model of content production was simple. Receive brief, make, deliver, feel proud. But if we put our hands up and were honest with ourselves we never really knew if it did its job for the client, or if it was truly successful in achieving all its aims or gave a return on client investment. New reporting and analytics tools have lit up the dark corners video production agencies used to hide in. It’s now possible to see playback fall-off rates, engagement and comment instantly. No more hiding! In actively monitoring we’re able to make edit tweaks and changes when some content on some channels isn’t engaging as well as we’d hoped. Technology in analytics reporting has transformed how video production agencies behave after delivery.

 

Sponsored Content

Robert Marsh, Managing Director of Delightful Media, believes that, in 2018, brands are about to tap even more into sponsored content and to leverage influencer marketing

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With brands looking to get cut through in an ever more crowded market, more are looking at alternative ways to reach their audiences. Sponsorship offers brands an increasingly appealing way to both target consumers and also to communicate their brand values in a way that augments traditional advertising routes. Online, between 25% and 30% of users apply ad-blocker technology to their browser – and for many publishers, this is driving the use of native advertising and branded content – where a brand’s message can reach its target without being blocked. We’re excited about the increased investment by brands into video content. At Delightful Media, we’re seeing a move away from the mass-produced, low-cost food and drink videos filmed from overhead, to a more premium aesthetic. We think this trend will grow still further in 2018.

 

The Prevalence of the Predictive Marketer

Andrew Morsy, UK Managing Director at ‎Sizmek, believes that predictive marketing will be necessary to keep up with competitors over the next two years

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The application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to evaluate customer patterns and assess historical behaviours is the best tool available to marketers to deliver personalised experiences and more meaningful adverts. As the technology develops it will be possible for advertisers to create campaigns in which every minute detail has been optimised for its intended audience, ensuring a successful experience that resonates with the consumer. Although predictive marketing is set to revolutionise the industry and take us into the next generation of highly personalised advertising, it is also likely to mark the end for brands that can’t keep up with the technological pace. Less than a third of C-level marketing executives (30%) currently use their own data to understand the needs of their customers. Not because they don’t recognise the value in predictive marketing, but because they are hampered by barriers such as lack of digital skills, understanding and time. The next few years are crucial for brands – those that use predictive marketing to analyse, organise and utilise the oceans of data they have collected to forge meaningful relationships with consumers will thrive. Those that don’t will struggle to survive. As David Gosen our GM EMEA likes to say - AI is no longer optional for marketers.

 

Relevant, Catered Content

Alex McIlvenny, UK Country Manager at Ligatus, feels that advertisers need to start taking ad blocking seriously and focus on knowing what consumers want in order to avoid it

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2017 has been a turbulent year for the advertising industry, but looking forward to 2018, I believe that we will see a shift in focus from the previous, and still relevant, concerns over brand safety to other industry issues such as ad blocking. This is something as an industry we cannot ignore, as the AOP found that the average UK publisher is losing £500,000 ($660,000) a year due to ad blocking. It’s becoming clear that to survive, publishers need to focus their attention on knowing what consumers want, and start creating engaging and interactive content without disrupting the user experience. Native ads help offer a vital solution for publishers, who need to start actively discouraging users from installing ad blockers by developing personalised, relevant and most importantly non-intrusive ads. Through the increasing adoption of native programmatic comes a guarantee of brand safety, a remedy to transparency issues and real-time opportunities for delivering tailored messages in the right place and at the right time.

 

The Year of User Experience

Thomas Bremond, International General Manager of Advanced Advertising at FreeWheel, on how marketers need to think about the big picture in 2018, across the entire advertising ecosystem

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Today’s marketers have a wealth of choice when it comes to buying media. TV is no longer just a linear device and OTT now accounts for 29% of digital video ad viewing in the US, surpassing desktop for the first time in 2017. Reaching their target audience across all screens and platforms is key for marketers, so it, therefore, makes sense that in 2018, the distinction between linear TV and digital video will become less apparent. Within this growing convergence, there will still be demand for the high quality, creative advertising content associated with traditional TV. So it makes sense that digital video providers take a ‘TV-like approach’ and that broadcasters align with operators to provide premium content within a brand safe environment. 2018 should become the ‘year of user experience’, with further consolidation across the ecosystem to recognise changes in viewing habits and to deliver the most engaged audiences for advertisers. We know that programmatic maximises the monetisation of video, but we also know that the solution needs to work across all screens – while delivering relevant marketing messages to consumers.

 

User-Generated Content

Jason Keith, VP strategy & analysis at DigitasLBi, thinks that more brands will use their own audiences to appear for authentic next year

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Customers today crave authenticity out of the brands. The more authentic they appear to their audience, the more loyalty they will earn from them. One way to tap into this authenticity is to leverage user-generated content in their native advertising. The truth is that when brands use content created by users it helps them build trust and builds connections with its customers. User-generated content won’t be taken only from social media posts. Brands will also use things like surveys, polls, etc. It won’t be uncommon to use customer reviews and opinions shared in native advertising format.

 

Social Media Influencers Become Legitimate Marketers

Aaron Brooks, CEO and co-founder of VAMP, thinks that 2018 will be the year of the social influencer

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To flourish in an industry that’s growing as rapidly as we see the influencer marketing channel developing, brands want technology that solves the pain points they are experiencing. Chiefly, producing fresh, quality content en masse in a fast, affordable, scalable way which brands can amplify into their paid and owned media channels. Brands are working with influencers more than ever before and it is projected that they will be incorporated even more into their ongoing marketing strategy in 2018. The social platforms have also been legitimising influencers by introducing features which help them. For example, Instagram’s “Paid Partnership” feature which makes it easy for influencers to be 100% transparent with their followers. The search for talent with quality content and authentic engagement will become more competitive as brands look to increase their spend on social media advertising and sponsored content. The best tech in this space is anticipating the next steps for Influencer marketing, not trying to retrofit traditional models of advertising into a channel that works completely differently to anything marketers have ever seen before.

 

Final Thought

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After a quiet year creatively in the UK ad industry, we'll see a step-change in the quality of work - as we often do when times get tough. Go big (on ambition) or go home. Charlie Rudd, Chief Executive at Ogilvy & Mather London

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK. If you have a spare minute, feel free to check out his pieces on the Tech and Design trends of 2018 and his thoughts on the Ads of 2017, as well as the year's Top Tech and Top Design stories. Merry Christmas Creativepool!

 

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