INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: The Richards Group Presents 2020 Media Trends

Charlie Malekan and Claudia Iraheta from The Richards Group guest lectured in Gordon Law’s 3303 Advertising Media class on Thursday, January 23rd. In addition to sharing information about TRG with the students, they also shared their annual Media Trends presentation, summarized below.

  1. STANDING OUT IN THE AGE OF MULTIMEDIA TSUNDOKU

Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読) is a Japanese slang term that originated in the Meiji era (1868-1912). It’s the idea of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The piling of unread books. When you consider that 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past two years, the staggering reality of our modern-day multimedia tsundoku begins to set in… By TAI Alumna Malorie Rodak (Brand Planning Director)

  1. SOUND TEST: WHY PODCASTS ARE RIPE FOR EXPERIMENTATION

Podcasts have become an increasingly viable breeding ground for not only new motion picture franchises, but new storytelling opportunities, new content possibilities, and new ways for brands to inject some authenticity into how they connect with audiences. They’re low-risk, low-cost, and ripe for testing new ideas – they’re also seeing more adoption than ever before… By Patrick O’Neill (Digital Strategist) And Kyle Davis (Digital Strategist)

  1. THE MARKETPLACE ABHORS A VACUUM

 “Every day, we all come to work with an aim to help our brands follow culture as closely, as tightly, as seamlessly as possible – but should we instead collectively acknowledge that today our brands have the opportunity not to follow but to lead culture?” By Sarah Walker-Hall (Brand Planning Director) And Kelly Piland (Brand Planning Director)

  1. TIPTOEING THROUGH THE POLITICAL TIDAL WAVE

It’s been almost four years since the 2016 election, and we are gearing up for another 365 days of polls, pundits, and politics. We are all going to witness one of the most polarizing elections in recent memory – and the big question for brands looms – should we get involved? Or maybe a better question – what do we do if we get pulled into getting involved? By Luke DaMommio (Brand Manager)

  1. COLLAB FATIGUE IS COMING – HERE’S WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Collaborations, for many brands, are an opportunity to make noise; it’s to drive conversation, garner relevance, or at the very least look pretty cool… It seems as though the original authenticity of collaborations has been exploited by brands looking to revive their stale social and cultural presence or pander to subcultures that are getting more attention in the mainstream (i.e., streetwear) and ride the coattails of those waves… By Trey Green (Digital Strategist) And Helina Seyoum (Digital Strategist)

  1. BLURRING LINES: CONTENT AND COMMERCE CONVERGE

Many brands winning today have scrappier business models. They’re going direct-to-consumer because they don’t need to rely solely on traditional distribution with major retailers now that their products can reach consumers and be purchased in alternative ways thanks to the Internet. The script has flipped, and for scrappier brands like Halo Top and Glossier, it’s not about filling the upper funnel first, but rather starting with the experience closest to the brand’s product, commerce. This doesn’t mean the direct-to-consumer approach supersedes distribution, but it should have a stronger role for your brand in 2020… By Laken Faccio (Digital Strategist)

  1. A NEW SOCIAL ORDER

Mark Zuckerberg kicked off this year’s F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, stating “the future is private.” While this might sound like social as we know it is being dismantled, consumers should view this more as an evolution that increases their control: control of content, control of data, control of overall interactions taken by one’s social self. While formats like the news feed are here to stay, we are beginning to see small changes that inherently make the way we interact on these platforms differently… By Aubri Elliott (Brand Media/Planner)

  1. DEEPFAKES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE MURKY

Deepfake is a technique for video manipulation common in academic research institutions – and by amateurs in online communities – using machine learning (generative adversarial neural networks or GANNs) to augment and distort a base video in differing degrees… Just type the word “deepfake” into YouTube or Google, and you will get explainer videos and profiles that specialize in taking movies or TV shows and swapping actors’ faces with other actors’ faces… By Jayr Sotelo (Motion Graphics/Group Head)

  1. UNPACKING THE BLACK BOX: GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK’S MOVE TOWARD AUTOMATION

Facebook and Google have been predicted to control an estimated 59.3 percent of all digital ad spend in the U.S., according to recent reports. Part of the appeal of both platforms is the ability to manually create precise targeting segments and optimize based on a variety of performance metrics. But as Google and Facebook continue to expand their advertising offerings, the role of the traditional media planner is evolving to adapt for less hands-on control of their campaigns. Both platforms have launched a series of capabilities to bring more automation into campaign management. Fundamentally, Facebook and Google’s updates are building machine learning into campaign strategy at a level not seen before from either company… By Conor MacDowell (Brand Media/Group Head – Search) and Ann Peter (Brand Media/Planner)

  1. THE ANTI-AESTHETIC

Every cultural phenomenon that rises to define a generation seems to be followed by an underlying youth counterculture that challenges the social norm. The post-war consumerism and conformity of the 1950s gave way to a radical freedom and rebellion counterculture in the 1960s. The corporate greed yuppies of the 1980s set the stage for the teenage slackers who made up the grunge subculture in the 1990s. Most recently, the Pinterest-perfect, Instagram-flawless social media profiles that defined the 2010s will fuel a more digital anarchy among teens in the 2020s… By Lauren Kaindl (Brand Planner)

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