We’ve gathered together an inspiring round-up of trends and predictions from the advertising, digital marketing and graphic design worlds. Here are 10 consumer marketing trends you can expect to see a lot more of in 2020 (sadly, no monkey employees).
The 16 Biggest Marketing Trends for 2020
We asked 14 marketing leaders for their expert take on 2020’s marketing trends, and how you can use them to get ahead of the competition.
One way it has responded is with its Love Beauty and Planet hair and skincare range, with bottles made from 100% recycled plastic that are also 100% recyclable. But it’s not stopping there; Unilever aims to reduce the weight of all its packaging by one third in 2020 and halve the waste associated with the disposal of its products.
2. Voice-driven media
A few years back, ComScore predicted that voice searches would account for 50% of all online searches in 2020. At the time, 20% of searches were done by voice. We don’t have current stats to prove what growth has taken place but, with increasing ownership of voice-enabled devices, it’s fair to say voice search is a trend that’s not going away. This means that digital marketing efforts in 2020 will need to be optimised for voice search.
Out-of-Home advertising has experienced a bit of a renaissance of late and its popularity is expected to continue to grow when it comes to marketing in 2020. We’re going to see advertisers getting more and more innovative, incorporating elements like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), live updates and personalisation. JCDecaux told us that contextually relevant billboards will also become more popular, like its rain-activated Starbucks ad, which says “It’s raining, we’re pouring.”
Other examples of where the OOH format is headed include Sky Ocean Rescue’s campaign, which saw an exploration of the depths of the Indian Ocean live broadcasted directly to digital OOH screens across the UK. While the Spinal Injuries Association used a first-person perspective to let viewers experience the difficulties of performing simple tasks (like making a cup of tea) when you have a spinal injury. The really clever part was that people could fast forward through the struggle by tapping their payment card on the billboard to make a donation.
4. Real people replace models
Authenticity became a watchword in 2019 and ‘keeping it real’ looks set to be ever-more important in the future. In our Inclusive Beauty report we found that 82% of the British public agree beauty should be representative of real people. Brands taking this on board include US drugstore CVS, which will stop retouching images of models in 2020, and Dove, which launched the #ShowUs project to build a library of stock images that depict women and non-binary individuals as they really are.
The call for realism will also see more taboos being tackled; as kicked-off by shaving brand Billie showing real pubic and underarm hair in its advertising, and Bodyform, which featured a woman in the shower with menstrual blood trickling down her leg.
5. Animated sites
Flash is dead, long live HTML5! One of the latest trends in marketing is the addition of ‘micro-interactions’ to websites. What’s a micro-interaction, you say? They’re small animated features that can bring a site to life in a big way. For example, when you hover over an icon and it wiggles about or pops out, that’s a micro-interaction. When you go to ‘like’ a post on Facebook and get an animated series of reactions; that’s also a micro-interaction.
6. Live experiences
The importance of ‘experiences’ – especially for Millennial consumers – has been recognised in recent years, but experts reckon 2020 could see a peak in experiential marketing. Speaking to Forbes, Premanjali Gupta, Head of Marketing & PR, Asia Pacific at Blis predicts that live marketing will play an important role for engaging with high-value customers, in particular. “I expect an increased focus on high touch, experiential marketing for high net worth customers,” she said. “It’s all about telling stories, creating unique personalised experiences and making a real connection with our customers.”
Experiential is also gaining traction thanks to increased ways to measure its effectiveness. Incorporating data lets brands track how people interact with experiences but it also lets them make experiences more personalised. One example of where experiential is going is an immersive Monopoly activation coming to London in 2020. For the project, Hasbro Inc has teamed up with production company Selladoor Worldwide to create a 75-minute live-action version of the game. Participants will take on a range of challenges as they make their way around a giant Monopoly board.
7. e-Sports marketing tie-ups
e-Sports hit the big time in 2019, with industry revenue exceeding more than $1 billion. There are now five premier titles, and viewership is starting to rival that of traditional sports. Recent trends in marketing indicate this is a big opportunity for brands. KFC scooped three awards at The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC for its Colonel KL campaign, which aimed to make the brand an integral part of League of Legends, the world’s most popular e-Sport game.
As part of the campaign, KFC created an algorithm for predicting League of Legend winners based on historical match stats and current performance. Colonel KI (KFC-AI) was housed in KFC’s app, allowing fans to log in before and during games to check out predictions. During exciting moments, Colonel KI distributed KFC coupons to fans, capturing customer data. Other brands to cash in on the e-Sports trend include Domino’s, which made a documentary series about professional gamers, and Chinese smartphone brand Oppo. As the exclusive global smartphone partner for League of Legends e-Sports, Oppo will have year-round activations around global tournaments.
8. Taking a stance
When brands take a stance on controversial issues it can be – well – controversial. The tactic can just as easily alienate customers as win them over, but latest advertising trends include taking risks with opinionated creative and it’s likely to continue in 2020. Strong campaigns that have hit the headlines include Nike’s Colin Kapaernick ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything’ ad, Gillette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’, tackling toxic masculinity and Lush’s #SpyCops, which highlighted the ethics of undercover policing.
While these issues were polarising, our research finds they ultimately had a positive impact – Nike and Lush were named as the top two purpose-driven brands in our ‘What’s the purpose of purpose?’ report. Our research also found that 68% of Brits think it’s important the brands they buy from have a purpose, making it likely that marketing will be less vanilla and more contentious in future.
9. CGI influencers
Misrepresentation, scandal, failure to disclose… Things can go wrong with influencers, after all, they’re only human. But what if they’re not? CGI influencers are becoming more and more influential. Lil Miquela, Blawko, and Bermuda, created by LA-based start-up Brud, have nearly two million Instagram followers between them. Lil Miquela was named in Time’s Most Influential People on the Internet and has picked up sponsorships with brands like Barneys, Outdoor Voices, and Ugg.
The characters – who are self-professed robots – hold strong political views and stances on social issues, and Gen Z don’t give a flying pixel that they’re totally fake. It seems AI influencers could be the answer to marketers’ prayers – nearly half of whom want complete control over influencer posts (according to a survey by influencer marketing service Takumi). Offering this level of brand safety, robots may well become the brand ambassadors of choice.
Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 100m global consumers. She also likes cake.