The 6 trends for 2019 you need to look out for…


We’re always keeping our eyes and ears open, aiming to keep on top of important global trends and insights that may impact the way our audiences are thinking, what they’re doing or spending… relevant to all of the sectors and categories we’re working in.

We utilise these to help inform our strategic and creative thinking, because we know when these trends and insights are embraced we’re better equipped to empathise and drive stronger engagement.

And with this in mind we’ve pulled together 6 of our favourite trends that we think are going to be really important as we move further into 2019.

1. Rethink responsibility

With Y2K well behind us we can look forward. Forward to a planet of clean skies, electric flying cars, eco homes and arctic-cold/scorching-hot February days. And brands, consumers and businesses are all starting to rethink what responsibility means to them, or what it says about them. Some significant areas to hone in on:

  • Planet over products - the Blue Planet effect has inspired a generation to take action and to rethink a single-use mindset
  • Radical transparency - the clearer the proposition, the more trust can be established, some brands are pushing the envelope and taking ‘warts and all’ to new dimensions!
  • Corporate neutrality, no more - brands are increasingly prepared to rock the boat, to choose a side and make a political statement. Be authentic or expect misfires and own goals.

2. Voice recognition

Voice recognition is getting bigger and bigger, and more and more savvy. Here are three things we think aren’t too far from reality right now!

“Alexa, donate £25 to the RNLI”. It’s not too hard to believe that as we fill our homes with the ‘A word’, then the more useful and reactive she will become. Watching RNLI’s ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ inspires tweets galore right now… but an obvious and immediate reflex of voice donations must be just around the corner.

Schools and Unis could help students with revision by asking exam questions, backed by super-smart A.I. that can get people to expand on their answers, under real exam conditions - followed by an accurate grade.

For brands, market research opportunities are plentiful and very, very contextual - how about Alexa asking if you’d like to answer some questions about breakfast cereal at 9am on a Saturday morning whilst you’re in the kitchen, for a £25 incentive added to your Amazon account.

3. Sayônara stereotypes

If there is one trend that’s standing out to us right now, it is this. A lot of this is to do with how women are being represented and certainly cascading across gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and beyond - all being explored in the most unapologetic way ever.

Alex Thursby-Pelhan, from W+K London says "This year feels like a time where (these) varying perspectives aren't just 'nice to have', but absolutely necessary,"!

Leading us to…

4. Natural Looking Photos

The era of staged looking stock images featuring cringe-worthy stereotypes and haggard cliches is pretty much gone, and now designers are looking for more natural, not typical photos.

Over the past few months, we’ve been speaking with consumers and supporters about a number of topics on behalf of our clients and they are quick to tell us what drives engagement - real stories and real experiences, which can quickly turn to scepticism and disbelief with “obviously” faux imagery.

5. Challenge accepted

Mintel are telling us that there is a growing momentum for people to take new challenges, driving them to reach new heights and explore new passions.

This covers the entire spectrum, from diets and exercise across to volunteering and protesting - it’s about showcasing your passion in a completely different and often physical way. All centred around being goal-driven and something they can share or talk about with others (often finding people with similar passions).

Charities have been encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone for years but with some many of the same challenges being recycled or repeated but could we do to embrace this trend and help charities to accept a challenge themselves and take things to the next level?

6. Vertical video is on the rise

For those of us too lazy to turn their phone horizontally to watch a 3-minute video you’ll know what we mean here. It’s almost like people don’t like turning their phone round to the side to watch something!

As video continues to dominate then an entire strategy just for video content may not sound too unrealistic. However, go to Instagram, and you’ll find vertical video-a-plenty. It’s happening on YouTube too and also new video channels like Spotify.

We can’t see motion picture shift 90 degrees any time soon, but short-form content certainly needs to accommodate for our unusual media habits.