As DJ Earworm puts the finishing touches on his mash-up of this year’s biggest hits, it seems like just yesterday that I jotted down the 7 things LMD’s creative team was going to focus on in 2019. So, here we are…how did we do on our resolutions? Did you make it to the gym after all? (My gym habit lasted zero days—but if you never start, then you can’t let yourself down. Chess, not checkers, people!)
Welcome to the United State of Advertising 2019! What did 2019 actually teach us and how it will affect the design world moving forward?
- The best way to keep your audience engaged around the clock is Twitter. For up-to-date news and press releases—and chicken sandwich wars—there’s no better social media platform. Twitter also allows its users to receive push notifications from the accounts they are most interested in—whether its feuding fast-food brands, sandwich fiascos, or a deal available on that new tech gadget you’ve been eyeballing. We’ll see companies and brands continue to lean heavily on Twitter in 2020 and beyond.
- TikTok is the new Vine. Although it was launched in 2017, TikTok became THE place for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos in 2019 among the younger generation. Much like Vine, TikTok users are able to “link” their videos as posts to the major social media channels, which makes its outreach and mass appeal that much greater. A new social media platform to advertise on? Sign us up!
- Instagram’s “Dark Mode” and IGTV video features are here to stay. With the dark mode feature on iPhones becoming more and more popular, individual apps such as Instagram took note in 2019 by providing its users with the option of viewing its interface in dark mode, rather than the bright white interface of old. Keep this in mind when designing apps and Instagram posts moving forward, as other social platforms are sure to follow the image-sharing juggernaut. Additionally, with Instagram’s IGTV feature, companies can now post longer videos with the capability of reaching much wider audiences, as IGTV videos appear 4x larger than photos on Instagram’s Explore page. That means more real estate on the Explore page—and more exposure for brands. Image size makes an impact—so factor it into your decision making when deciding to post to Instagram or IGTV.
- Branding natural materials is “lit.” Silverware, cups, drinking straws, you name it. More and more companies are using natural materials for their products. That look you gave the server when they handed you a straw made from wheat stalks? You can look forward to more of that in advertising in 2020.
- A GIF is worth a thousand words. Despite being available on Facebook since May 2015 and being introduced to Instagram in early 2018, GIFs have never been more popular. Whether you’re texting a friend or posting a sticker from your favorite tv show on your Instagram story (or your Slack channel), there truly is a GIF for everything. And now, companies are making their own GIFs to keep their followers engaged when posting static images get stale and videos too long.
- Child and adult interests aren’t all that different. Let’s face it–everyone wants to relive their simpler, childhood years, as evidenced by the successful releases of Toy Story 4 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as the wildly popular Disney+ Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian. These series still have huge fan bases that include people of all ages—which means the more bang for the buck for advertisers. For example, our client the U.S. Coast Guard strategically placed one of their video spots in advance of the release of Avengers: Endgame, a blockbuster hit seen by audiences across the US and around the world. The idea was that Avenger fans of all ages would also likely be intrigued by the day-to-day activities of a Coastie.
As we continue to mash-up what we learned in 2019 and what we predict will be hot in 2020, perhaps the most important thing to take away from this past year is that the advertising world has never been more dynamic. As new forms of social media continue to develop, old ones continue to advance, and ways of appealing to the consumer expand, reaching an audience is easier than ever—as long as you’re willing to adapt to an ever-shifting landscape.
Bring on 2020. Bye “Old Town Road (of Advertising)”, you’re so last year.