I've always wanted to do one of these... a predictions list! So here it goes, a little bit of what's to come: digital soothsaying for the annum two thousand and eleven. Please enjoy.
1. Crowdsourcing: People will finally realize that the Crowdsourcing future they've been hearing about isn't really crowdsourcing at all but, rather, a ruse perpetuated by some to navigate an economic and financial downturn. Yet "some" will continue to preach it. And for reasons no one in the industry can comprehend, one of those "some" (someone with no credentials other than a moderate Twitter following) will be named Chief Crowdsourcing Officer of a global agency.
2. Privacy: The stall doors are off and we don't care. We will say goodbye to privacy. Actually, that happened long ago, it's just that people will stop caring. I mean, what can you do? That being said, we still love to complain about it... more than a good Facebook redesign.
Your "junk" will be fondled and you will like it.
3. "The New Agency Model": Both sides will continue to beat their chests. Digital screams, "Hey, we've got ideas too." Traditional yells, "Keep your silly named company (but here's a buyout offer for you), we've got tech figured out!" and as BBDO Chairman Mr. Lubars puts it, "We're kicking their butts!" [Sigh.]
Both are right (sort of). But wait, what's that? You in the back... say that again. "But we're 'Post Digital'!?!" someone sheepishly squirts. Digital and Traditional look at each other and respond (for once in unison), "That is the stupidest thing we've ever heard."
Post Digital is a farce. It's the red herring of 2011, part of the overflowing hype that leaks from the duct-taped side of the perpetual buzz marketing machine.
4. The Buzzword Ban: Across the country agencies and brands alike band together and ban certain marketing buzzwords from the boardroom, mainly: synergistic solutions; passion points, robust eco-systems; social-capital; what's the added value; encourage social advocacy; harness social currency; and who are our brand evangelists? Please add your own in the comment section below. These are always hysterical. But first ask yourself, what is the added value?
5. Flash vs HTML5: Believe it or not, no one actually cares how content is delivered. I know, shocking, right? But that won't stop HTML5 developers from making all the same mistakes Flash developers and designers made previously. Both sides need to reconcile and remember that both are at the mercy of the public. We serve their needs. Not some myopic and overly engineered vision of what things are "supposed" to be.
6. On Millennials: "Say 'Millennial' again! C'mon, say 'Millennial' again! I dare ya, I double dare ya motherfucker, say 'Millennial' one more goddamn time."
Can we start talking about the Net Generation already... please?
7. Mobile: This one is easy. Mobile will finally become ubiquitous. As ubiquitous as what the "You Need to Upgrade Your Flash Player" page was, and what the "You Need an HTML5 Capable Browser" page will be.
8. Location Based Services: We got it right, but man-oh-man did they get it wrong. LBS will continue to be huge. It's just that, in 2011, everyone realizes how NOT exciting Foursquare and Gowalla were and are. Keep your badge; people are cheap and just want coupons. As I predicted last year, the current Location Based Services (the ones that survive) will become little more than the modern day equivalent of a coupon book. And guess what Foursquare, Gowalla and the rest, you don't have the numbers to make marketers care: Facebook Places has rendered you impotent. It was fun (sorta, kinda) while it lasted.
9. Frivolous Technologies: QR codes may have been big elsewhere around the world but the technology is going to be leapfrogged here in the States. QR Codes (and the ilk): your tombstone is waiting for you in the lobby. You've been replaced by label recognition. "This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye."
10. Advertising is NOT dead: It's just different... and that is a good thing. It's becoming interesting again. I like what Phil Knight said about advertising a long, long time ago: "I hate it."
He's right. So often, it's so terrible. In fact, at times I can't f'ing stand it. Alas, the ad world is turning toward something meaningful. Even if, at times, it's just a laugh—it's better, however, when it's something useful.
I'm happy to report, this will continue and find more and more traction inside the boardroom.
There it is, ten items to help you start your two thousand and eleven season off right. Let me know what I've missed. With only ten items I know I missed plenty.Dave Snyder is an associate creative director at Firstborn.
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