Sunday, January 06, 2013

Crystal Bollocks

So the Christmas tree has died and the plastic pressies from China are now safely in landfill. You've made on average 2.8 New Year's Resolutions, and broken 1.4 of then.

And all those 'Review of the Year' pieces... are giving way to 'Predictions for 2013'.


Like JWT's '10 Trends for 2013', a report you can buy here for just $250!

Alternatively, don't waste your time.


This fun article shows just how far off the mark predictions usually are.

I foresee that 'Twitter' will be the key advertising medium for 2013. Hang on, I'm getting another message. Instagram! That should have been Instagram. Or maybe Pinterest?

Nevertheless, I'm not anti predictions per se. In many media jobs, they're essential. A magazine company needs to predict whether 2013's sales really are going to fall off a cliff, before deciding whether to upgrade their printing presses or not. A TV company needs to estimate how much of their 2013 revenue is going to migrate to the internet, before deciding how much money to invest in programming.

But as creatives, we live uniquely in the present.

Yes, magazines may die. TV may die. And Facebook may be revealed as the wholly useless brand-building medium many suspect it to be.

But none of this affects the brief you have in front of you right now. That brief has a time horizon of about 3 months (for a TV ad, or an event), 2 months (poster, or iPhone app), or 1 month or less (print ad, online banner or display ad, or radio ad).

It just doesn't matter 'what's going to happen in 2013'. What matters is you coming up with a great idea for the brief you have in front of you right now.

Yes, I know people say that if you don't shape the future, you'll be shaped BY it. But coming up with great ideas IS the best way for creatives to shape their futures.

And while a fashion designer needs to take a punt on what people will want to wear in nine months time, and an architect wants to build a building that will still look good in 100 years time, as creatives we don't need to think much further than next week, do we? Because clients want work that will work now, not work that will work if it is run in five years' time. Consumers want to see stuff that's interesting to them today, not something that might become relevant down the track.

I've heard far too many ECD's pontificating about 'the future of our industry' when first of all, they don't know, and second of all, they would be far better off worrying about what clients, consumers (and yes, awards juries) are looking for TODAY.

So that's why I'm not making any predictions for 2013.

But have a good one!

2 comments:

Clever Dick said...

Agree totally. And I'll probably still agree tomorrow.

Sell! Sell! said...

Agree totally Scampy. The whole industry needs to be focussed on what's happening right now, not pontificating about what may or may not happen in the future: http://sellsellblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/marketing-and-communication-in-2011-how_23.html