Digital Trends Shaping Agencies In 2018

Year on year, the sheer amount of content we are bombarded with and the number of platforms via which this content is distributed continues to rise. We continually talk to our clients about the concept of attention being treated as a commodity and one which must be extremely highly valued. As a successful agency yourself, you know the challenges your clients face in trying to acquire and retain their audience’s attention. Below are three ways that the best agencies are embracing cultural trends to harness this valuable commodity.

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Rejecting the Status-Quo

The renowned psychologist Esther Perel recently aligned greatness by its irreverence. In order to reject standard models and paradigms as cultural awareness advances rapidly, agencies constantly need to address these markers. An integral value pioneered by Hollywood recently has been to banish and manipulate standard gender norms, and this demand for neutrality is beginning to be mirrored in modern marketing. Gender ambiguity and fluidity might seem like simple or nebulous buzzwords. But consider a recent survey where 37% of Generation Z and 27% of Millennials strongly agreed that gender doesn’t define a person anywhere near as much as it used to. If we are to take such social cues from Hollywood and large consumer bases, it is evident that brands need to reconsider the age-old ways of doing things in order to adapt to a much more gender-fluid landscape.

The Importance of Visual Content

We’ve quoted these statistics repeatedly in proposals and pitches in the last two years, and we learned them ourselves during our time as writers, directors, and producers in television and film: a mere 10% of information is retained when delivered by itself versus 65% when presented with a relevant and aesthetically pleasing image. It is rooted in the universally accepted adage of screenwriting to ‘show not tell’. Acquiescing that most people are visual learners, the value of relaying key content in a variety of distribution methods is key. Whether that be via video, infographic, image or even a well-chosen screenshot, pairing your client’s message with well-chosen visuals can drastically affect the way content is received.

The Value of the Virtual Tribe

This is nothing especially new, but its prevalence only continues to grow and grow. The goal and focus of consumer marketing is accountability and the greater good, rather than the individual. Audiences and customers form virtual communities and use them to distribute User Generated Content or UGC. This facilitates a higher degree of trust as demonstrated by a recent Neilson study: an absurdly impressive 85% of people trusted UGC over brand generated content. While UGC will never exist as a sole marketing method, it’s encouraging to see digital and social channels like live video streaming support the distribution of this highly valuable content. In addition to video, blogging, reviews and forum posts, marketers can never ignore the strength of collective social agreement.

Based in Santa Monica, California, 21st Street Creative is a Creative Agency and Production Company specializing in the delivery of story focused, cinematic and engaging video content. Working directly with clients, we provide the full suite of services. Partnering with carefully selected agencies, we produce existing creative concepts on brand, on budget and on time.

Simon TatumComment