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Question Of The Week

Media Innovation Trends that will make or break 2023

What will succeed interactive billboards, digital collectibles, and TikTok trends for brands?

By Avnie Bansal

From digital collectibles to interactive billboards, in 2022 commercial creativity reached a new peak. Marketers and consumers alike were talking in NFTs, AIs, and TikTok trends.

So, what's more to come in 2023? What trends will make or break in the media industry? What media innovations, do will advance the industry? We asked some top agencies to find out.

Sarah Walker, Global Chief Marketing Officer, EssenceMediacom

The media innovation that I’m most fascinated to see play out this year is the adoption of AI by content creators. As an industry, we are fetishing AI to our own disadvantage.

Yes, it can create paintings. Yes, it can write poetry. Yes, we can use it to build hugely bespoke, nuanced, and interactive brand experiences that win Cannes Lions. But it’s real and immediate potential is much more mundane.

It is learning and accelerating the boring, transactional, repeatable, and unsexy bits that fund our adventures as an industry.

Inventions like ChatGTP3 are learning to solve problems of marketing coordination and efficiency with breathtaking speed. And they have the power to revolutionize the experience if what it takes to produce high volumes of content. From copywriting Instagram posts to optimizing layouts to implementing tracking tags to the drafting of contracts, AI has the power to fundamentally reinvent what it means to be a content creator, hopefully opening the doors to a much greater variety of people and posts for brands to work with.

Michael Florence, Global Head of Planning, Gravity Road

Step aside 5G, I'll see you in 2025. Here comes 3 x O.G. media innovations for 2023 that will energize the industry and make marketers cry “I want one of those!”

Here’s the trio that I believe will create the most transformational change and commercial value for clients.

Firstly, TikTok. Undoubtedly the media megastar of 2022. Building on its incredible rise, the greatest possible idea that will advance the industry is TikTok following in the footsteps of YouTube and Twitter by opening up its API platform. Providing public access to its data will have a seismic effect on the industry's ability to present a more rigorous end-to-end case for TikTok innovation; better forecasting, measurement, insight, ideas, analysis, and feedback - the list goes on. All of which are essential for de-risking and selling fresh ideas to clients. 

Next up, is an advanced method that is fast becoming a powerful marketing tool for evoking emotion, and building new memory structures as well as brands. The 2023 AR/VR tech is breathtaking. Be it family trips to Abba Voyage, Londoners stopping and staring at the Piccadilly Lights DeepScreen (see below) or team building exercises killing zombies in Sandbox VR. All perfect blueprints for branded innovation.

Finally, the device that will transform an agency's ability to illustrate an innovative idea is Mid journey AI. Similar to OpenAI's DALL-E and Stable Diffusion, this program can create extremely persuasive images from textual descriptions. Its power is that it can almost instantly visualize campaigns in the real world (and deliver them too), helping to green-light projects in weeks not months.

When it comes to innovation in 2023, don’t just take my word for it. Go and have a play with MidJourney AI today, check out Niantic 8th Wall (best-in-class Web AR experiences), and say a little prayer to the open API gods for me!

Simeon Adams, Creative Partner, Goodstuff

 At the risk of drawing accusations of copping out of definitively answering this question; I don’t believe it’s hard to predict the media innovations which will matter most in 2023. It never is. Because, of course, it’s not the innovations themselves that count, but how they’re applied creatively and commercially.

 I firmly suspect those creative media campaigns acknowledged in 2023 will be those who make brilliant use of technologies and media innovations of five or six years ago. As we inevitably find to be true, and Gartner’s 'Hype Cycle' explains, whatever media innovation is unveiled in the year ahead, will immediately scale the peak of inflated expectations.

 Then, as with all things (metaverse as an example), it will fall into the trough of disillusionment after a year or so. Take the QR code for example. It climbed the slope of enlightenment (thanks to a Superbowl spot) before reaching the plateau of productivity. That's just the way media and the commercial applications of the technology are and forever will be.

 As always, we agency folk should focus on creating the conditions for brilliant commercial creativity and inventiveness. In Goodstuff’s case, this means continuing to foster a culture built on the power of media creativity and the ongoing proof of its efficacy; powered by the people, processes, technology, and brave clients, that make it happen. Regardless of the media innovation du jour, these are the only things that will advance our industry. So, bring it, and 2023, on.

Richard Kirk, Chief Strategy Officer, Zenith UK

Meaningful innovation always comes from those who can answer old questions in new ways. Whilst media is changing rapidly, these perennial problems still plague advertisers:

  • What’s the actual reach of my campaign?

  • What’s the impact of channel A worth vs channel B or C?

  • How risky is this forecast of ROI?

Answer those in a new way, and you’ve created a commercial advantage for clients. That’s an innovation you can take to the bank.


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