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Creative trends to look out for in 2024

It is no surprise that creativity is what makes a business or brand stand out amidst tough competition, but to get a little head start in the year ahead, what can we expect?

Looking at 2023, the creative landscape was heavily affected by tightened budgets and hesitant clients, and though it may have been a mediocre year for creativity, Steve Cochran, Chief Creative Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ says that the “sun may now be coming out again”.

Saatchi & Saatchi is known for its creative work across brands such as Westpac, Chorus, Toyota and Tourism Fiji.

“There is lots of innovation, both real and talked about, with lots of purpose driven ambition. These are important things for brands to understand to know where they’re going and reassure people with a vested interest that they are progressive brands,” says Cochran.

“This means we must make sure we continue to meet people where they are at and have ideas that connect with them in their day to day. The trick is being aware of where culture is going, but importantly, staying relevant by not losing touch with where culture actually sits for most people today.”

The return of the funny bone

Following the pandemic and amid heightened climate concerns, 2023 saw the brands more than ever show concern and empathy.

“It wasn’t a time to be seen having fun,” says Cochran.

With the new year, Cochran says that light-hearted campaigns will return, seeing the return of more entertaining storytelling and “connecting through humour”.

“Maybe we all need to laugh a bit more,” he adds.

AI here, AI there

Surprise, surprise, artificial intelligence (AI) makes another list of the countless lists they are on.

After a year of experimenting, more people are getting a grasp of the potential AI offers and in the world of creativity, it is all about creating something that is not real.

Cochran adds that the growing potential of AI is exciting for the realm of creatives as it enables them to do things more easily.

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He looks at the ‘faux-out-of-home’ trend as an example: outdoor advertisements that appear to be photographed or filmed and posted online to seem organic, but it is all fabricated to look real.

“There’s lot of interesting potential playing in this space. However, equally you need to tread carefully, because if done insensitively, there is the danger of being seen as inauthentic, fooling or even lying to people, which could backfire on your brand,” he says.

“It will disrupt and require an evolution of some skill sets (and licensing law), but I’m optimistic about the upsides. Either way, there’s no putting it back in the bottle now.”

Social media remains on top

The past decade, we can’t deny that the influence social media has had on the real world.

Cochran says that the platforms to keep your eyes on in the new year are undoubtedly TikTok, Instagram and Twitch.

These platforms are nurturing niche but large audiences, who spend a lot of time down these “rabbit holes”, and brands and businesses need to hop on this before the wave is gone.

“How we maximise marketing efforts across channels to add up to something impactful enough to make sure brands are part of broader culture is a conversation we are often having, and not one that’s going away anytime soon,” he says.

“But the risk of this is brands having too many disconnected things going on at the same time or possibly disappearing down rabbit holes themselves.”

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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