Seven key trends in media and advertising for 2016

These are the things brand owners and advertisers need to look out for in 2016:

1. How to tell a brand story in five seconds. With more and more ads being viewed online – where consumers can often choose to skip after five seconds – the challenge of engaging viewers and getting the brand front-of-mind before skipping will become fundamental in 2016. An Ipsos study for YouTube /Google16,300 ads were viewed across 11 different industries in 16 different countries, with over 170 creative attributes considered, by Ipsos Connect and Ipsos Spain. Results were published by Google in 2015 shows the continued importance of humour, suspense, emotion and celebrities in gaining traction early. It also shows that, increasingly, when an ad looks like an ad it’s more likely to be skipped. Yet knowing that you need to show the brand to get impact on the brand poses a huge challenge which advertisers need to rise to. Dealing with the increasing attention deficit and creating compelling content which links to your brand quickly without making viewers switch off is vital.

2. Along with ad skipping, so too comes the rise of ad blocking. With ad blocking usage in Europe having grown by 35% in the last year alone – up to 77 million monthly active users during Q2 2015 – the estimated loss of global revenue due to blocked advertising during 2015 was $21.8 billion.2PageFair and Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report This will continue to gain momentum in the mainstream consciousness and see the ad industry having to respond. Vanessa Lee discusses this trend in more detail on p94.

3. Following the exponential growth of programmatic advertising online, where the ads we see are individually targeted and based on an algorithm, we also anticipate it beginning to make a greater impact in the world of TV advertising. Ad buying will become increasingly automated by algorithms and in 2016 the ads you see at home on your TV may be selected for you personally. The challenge for advertisers will be delivering appropriate targeted messages, without concerning the viewer by over-stepping the privacy line and being creepy rather than cool.

4. In 2015 Instagram surpassed the 400 million user landmark.3 It now has more users than Twitter, which is four years older. It is also a faster growth rate than Facebook, which took two years longer to reach this milestone. This means that Instagram will increasingly feature on media plans. It has the reach. It has the audience. It means business in 2016.

5. Further empowering Instagram, and its brethren of social networks, in 2016 is the dawn of the buy button. Instagram’s ‘Shop Now’ button and Pinterest’s ‘Buyable Pins’ have already launched, and 2016 promises to see the innovation grow in usage as shoppers experience a new level of fast consumerism. Expect to see the inevitable media storm about drunken late night purchases and the ethics of making consumerism so simple.


6. As Generation Next begin to take over the world, we’ll see that in 2016 vloggers will start to win the battle over traditional celebrities in the war for endorsements and status in marketing plans. They’re already making in-roads. Lifestyle vlogger Zoella even featured on Celebrity Bake Off in 2015 and, with more than 9 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, she’s already ‘big’.4 But she’s just the tip of the iceberg. Expect to see more of her contemporaries in the mainstream in 2016, as brands begin to take the power and reach these self-made stars have much more seriously.

7. The rise of Generation Next and a growing internationalism will continue to evolve language in unexpected directions. Emoji has been noted by academics as “the fastest growing language in history”.5Professor Vyv Evans of Bangor University In 2016 we will almost inevitably see another symbol re-purposed for the new world, following in the wake of the # and the @. Expect the media and advertising communities to embrace the new zeitgeist earlier than ever before! LOL #justsaying.

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