2015: The year of simplicity, clarity and content.

I always tend to make predictions of what’s going to happen in the upcoming year, and 2015 won’t be an exception. I think this is going to be an exciting year in digital advertisement and technology in general. It’s going to be the one in which we, advertising and marketing professioals, are going to go “That’s it!” With all the trial and errors we’ve been through, especially in the Hispanic market, this year we are going to digest the good, throw out the bad and relaunch. Here are my predictions:

In the agencies.

I think in 2015 we are going to see more and more that the ol’ traditional duos of an art director and a copywriter are going to be blurred by a more collaborative structure between departments and the addition of new positions. Campaigns will start not to be campaigns anymore. They are going to be platforms. Ecosystems that should breathe and live the core of the brand message and philosophy and integrating the consumer in order to create an interaction between the two entities. The old models that agencies have are turning more and more obsolete by the second. This mentality of creatives being copywriters, and all they can do is write, and they have and should have no idea of any other discipline is not the way things are going to turn out to be. Talent will have to be hybrid and more collaborative. We should start to see a way more Vertical pipeline rather than a Horizontal one.

This year also we are going to see more and more of the digital mid size shops turning into full service agencies with all capabilities. Of course, it makes sense. When everything is digital, nothing will be. Sounds like “The Incredibles” villain Sydrome, but it’s completely true. And right now the only shops capable of both disciplines are the ones that are digital at the core. As part of this transition, we’ll also see more and more agencies acquiring other agencies and/or shops. Like Sapient did with La Comunidad in Miami in order to grow their creative capabilities, other traditional agencies are going to acquire digital shops in order to grow their production, strategy and measurement capabilities in the digital world.

Other thing is the infamous term “Total Market.” As a Hispanic creative working in the hispanic market, I think that we should move from the immigrant perception of the hispanic consumers. By now Hispanics are not immigrants anymore. They are Hispanic-Americans and that’s what I think Total Market, in the most simplest way, means. Are we going to see this turning tables this year? Of course. So, to all Hispanic agencies, be ready. Clients are already realizing this.

Digital Advertising.

Those brands that think of digital advertising as a banner ad media plan are really, at the end of the line, wasting money. Its been a while since the ROI on a banner ad campaign is negative, for everybody. Yet clients keep on doing the same things. Why? I have no idea. In my opinion the most effective way of doing digital advertising is through content. CONTENT. again. Yes. Also making your ad approach a useful tool is another way of making your campaign or strategy successful. Digital advertising has turned into something more than just the web. Now, it’s also mobile devices including phones and tablets, wearable technology like the smart watches, even your regular ol’ TV with a chromecast. We should see more and more of those in 2015. For sure. Now, it’s weird to have a digital advertising section in this article since everything that will continue is unavoidably, DIGITAL by now, I’ll continue and you draw your own conclusions.

TV.

Interactive television will continue to grow and will make regular TV more and more obsolete. Proof of that is that HBO GO will be a subscription stand-alone platform, without the dependency of a premium cable subscription to HBO. That’s something. Netflix, Hulu and Prime will continue to grow and be able to have more and more content. People are going to start getting used to it. Why? I mean, consumers are already recording TV shows and content on their DVRs. That is a clear sign that they cannot be constrained to TV schedules. We already have the solution, the big corporate pigs are the ones who need to let us move forward. That tendency will continue to grow in 2015. I don’t think regular TV will be replaced this year though, not yet.

This year online content will continue to take grounds on advertising. Interactive TV is growing in a way in which Ads have no place in it, and if this is the tendency that consumers and the industry will ultimately take, advertising will have to become entertaining content as well. We are already experiencing that kind of strategies. Old Spice, Dove and Honda are just a few of the brands that are mastering it. Content. Content. Content. Content. In my opinion, that’s the keyword for this year. Regular ol’ TV commercials? sure. They are going to continue to be there. But I think this year they will start to grow into a bridge in order to amplify a broader platform that will exist online.

Mobile & wearable.

Whoever thinks of mobile as an APP, it’s terribly mistaking. Mobile devices are a set of tools that have become essential to people. This year, we aren’t going to see a lot of breakthroughs in mobile other than more ways to advertise through the tools (apps) people are already using on their devices. You are never going to advertise successfully through an app unless you give consumers a useful tool for them to use on a daily basis, “brought to you by yourbrand.” Think of the Nike Plus platform. It’s a tool. It’s a community. Brought to you by Nike. Also, mobile will continue to grow as the driver of content through social media. Consumers aren’t going to their computers to communicate or share with their friends, they are using their mobiles. The web is turning more and more into apps rather than websites, something I’ve been predicting since 2008 when I first saw the app store. And of course, data. With a device that people carry 24/7 and have made everybody obsessively dependents of it, big data collection (and privacy) this year is going to continue to be a major topic. Just thikg, with a phone (or a wearable) you can actually know when a person went into your store and send him or her a message, “Say hi to my little friend and get a 10% discount.” Scary, yet exciting. For us ad people at least.

Social Media.

Social media will continue to be the biggest driver of content in 2015 (content again) and the reason why consumers are bringing up the numbers on mobile content consumption. It is of my belief that when I see the growth of mobile consumption in any market it’s not because people are using a bunch of apps. People are just most of their time on facebook or twitter watching and sharing content. So next time when you start working on a campaign and want to include mobile because of the big numbers, have that in mind. Also, Facebook has been taking over video distribution. This year I think Facebook is going to be claim kind of a genre of videos from Youtube, just because of how consumers behave. If I take a video of my cat and want to share it with my friends, does it make sense for me to post it on Youtube and then share it on Facebook or just go to Facebook directly and share it there? I think the answer is simple. For ads, however, it’s a bit more complicated since you have a measurement aspect on it. So far, the results I’ve seen with Facebook video ads are way better than going to Youtube. I think the reason is that people aren’t looking for ads on Youtube. Only us, advertising geeks are hehe.

Any new social network site for this year? Who knows. Maybe the next Zuckerberg is coding in a garage somewhere in nevada at this very moment. How social media is going to evolve in wearables? That I want to see it, but of course it’s something we are going to experience this year.

Radio & Music.

I love radio. Maybe because I’m a musician, who knows. I think this is a good time for radio creativity. Why? Because consumers are quitting the old model of owning music and are moving into a “renting” music platform. How? By using platforms like Pandora and Spotify. Renting? Well… I think that’s what it is. You listen to all the music you want and in exchange they will play advertising in between songs, but you don’t really own the songs. Is the internet way of things. Sort of. hehe. Even if you subscribe to these services, you are basically renting it for a fee. I don’t know, just my view. Anyway, most consumers aren’t paying for this services and that’s where advertising comes in. Now, this is not a prediction but more of a request to the industry: we should be doing MORE. Even radio has turned into a SCREEN (tablet, smartphone, TV). Why is this precious media being left behind is beyond my understanding. Regular radio is mostly being used in cars. In our homes, offices and portable devices we are using these online services, with screens and headphones!!! Great opportunities and ideas (that I won’t share here) for any creative here. 😉

BIG DATA.

Brace yourselves! For BIG DATA will become BIGGER AND BIGGER. hehe… This year one of the most important things is going to be DATA. I and don’t mean the good ol’ hits and visits. Those are already obsolete and don’t mean nothing, IMHO. I mean DATA. INFORMATION. Why do you think Amazon is going into hardware businesses like phones, tablets and home electronics? Because they want DATA. They want to know what you do, when you do it, how you do it, with whom and how frequently so they can sell you what you “want.” Same thing with advertising. This year every single campaign should collect DATA. That’s going to be the second most important measurement for any campaign (being ROI the first, of course).

General technology.

  • 2015 is the Oculus Rift Year. Hopefully. We will definitely see a lot of campaigns and stuff in general using this thing.
  • This year we are going to start seeing a lot of Game Streaming services bloom.
  • Wearable technology. Hopefully we don’t end up with Golden iTeeth.
  • 4K will start to become a standard more than a novelty, and we are going to see more streaming of it.
  • In app purchases will replace the model of purchasing apps. At least for games. This is so sad…
  • A bunch of other useless crap, as usual, will come out. Where’s my Leap Motion? ha!

That’s it. Happy 2015!!!

Francisco “El Tigre” Sánchez.

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