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JWT sees the future

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JWT‘s Intelligence unit has launched its annual trends report, The Future 100. While much of it may be obvious to many of you, it‘s always good to see such predictions written down - something which we‘ll come back to in a few days‘ time, when we launch this year‘s Predictions Bucket.

For 2019, highlights of The Future 100 include:

  • Curators are building exhibitions ready for visitors to take perfect Instagram images. That seems more like a staging and production activity, and we‘re not really aware of such a trend in the art world, but it would make sense to do something like this in blockbuster exhibitions.
  • “Xennial“ politicians. A portmanteau of everyone‘s favourite words “millennial“ and “generation X“, this group of 30-45 year olds is now becoming the dominant political force. Indeed, many such... er... Xennials were in the British Coalition government (2010-15), prior to its leader committing reputational suicide on a global scale a year later.
  • Real portrayals of men and women. Men have feelings, women menstruate, and so on. All of this is good.
  • Super pet care: hipster treats for your dog, pet hotels and the like. When your dog starts developing a taste for smashed avocado on toast, you know that this has gone too far.
  • Softer electronic aesthetics. Less black plastic, more soft-feel pinks and the like. Again, all of this is GOOD.
  • Adaptive AI: software which changes according to its environmental input variables. Basically, a continuation of “smart“.
  • Uber dominance: Uber ends up running all transport modes. You know, because trusting Silicon Valley to be ethical while perpetuating a market-dominant lock-in mindset is sooooo going to happen.
  • Curated travel: like travel agents on steroids, these people know exactly what happens and when and they give you an itinerary based on this knowledge. Lying down and/or getting pissed in Magaluf is really SO OVER.
  • Brand therapy: where brands allow consumers the space to talk and reflect on themselves. This feels “yuk“ but can play a positive social force if done well.
  • Inclusive design: design where people‘s abilities and disabilities are factored into the product.
  • Hyper influencers: not necessarily a new phenomenon of course, the report focusses on KOLs (Known Opinion Leaders) on WeChat, suggesting that the growth of brand sponsorship will come from Asia rather than the west.
  • Three new ingredients: Lichen (what? - Ed), Dulse seaweed, Calamansi.
  • Virtual influencers such as Lil Miquela.
  • Retail theatre, bringing experiences back to physical retail environments.
  • Vegan food and clothing: good.
  • Public spas: great if so, as their resurgence will bring a once-public service back to life, but this appears to be more brand-sponsored installations in urban environments.
  • Reputation as commodity: the “China will tax you less if you behave yourself“ stuff.

Whatever you think of JWT‘s results, it‘s a good read and we‘ll try to grab an interview with its author soon.
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