Our predictions on what will matter in 2018: Amplification, voice, AR and… structure

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne's deputy CEO Gayle While and managing director Simon Lamplough believe 2018 is the year adland's threads are finally sewn together.

2017 has been a transformative year for Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. New work, new wins, new people and new ways of thinking. Not everything’s gone to plan of course, and as ever it’s hard to put our finger on exactly why or how we got where we got. Nonetheless, we are ready to do it all again and have a few thoughts on what 2018 has in store.

While and Lamplough with CEO Nick Garrett

Creative agencies will be in the business of amplification

Sir John Hegarty used to famously say that great creative campaigns were 80% idea and 80% execution. He’s recently changed his mind on that and now says they are 80% idea, 80% execution and 80% amplification. Creative agencies need to take control of, plan for and manage the ways their ideas go to market better in 2018. Channel planning, PR, CX, shopper and social are all disciplines that creative agencies will need to be skilled at if their work is to stand out and matter.

Voice is the new… voice?

Google and Amazon are going to give our vocal chords a workout and our thumbs a rest as the shift to voice enabled search becomes mainstream.

We’ve already seen major brands scratch the surface and embed functionality into Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. As the trend grows and voice matures as a tool in 2018, we expect to see more and more brands building interactive experiences around search.

Augmented reality finally proves its usefulness

Ever since Pokemon Go, brands and agencies alike have worked furiously to try and replicate the utility and experience that the AR phenomenon offered up (with varying degrees of success).

With thousands of test cases and learnings now available and Apple releasing ARKit, a tool allowing software developers to build AR experiences for the iPhone, 2018 will be the year where we see AR come into its own for brands and be used to deliver real customer benefits.

Collaboration is king

The protectionist attitude that many creative agencies have been guilty of in the past won’t cut it going forward. The diverse media landscape and complexity we all face means that welcoming partners into project teams is the future. Be they media agencies, media partners or other specialists, the work gets better when we collaborate, learn and co-create. Our ambition for 2018 is to better leverage our partners and we’ve no doubt many others share the same agenda.

An increased focus on people, process and structure

To drive change, you need to pull one of these three levers. In today’s landscape where every agency is trying to define its future-state, 2018 will see new thinking in all three areas. New skillsets and disciplines brought into agencies, new processes and working rhythms defined, new collaborations and coalitions formed, and new integrated teams that redefine what is normal and bring cross-agency skillsets together to provide bespoke client solutions.

It’s clear that the pace of change isn’t slowing down, it’s only increasing. It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry and we look forward to seeing what the next 12 months bring.


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