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Carat Trends 2021
The Year of Emotionally
Intelligent Marketing
Photo by kate-trifo on unsplash
Trends for 2021
Fifty years ago, futurist Alvin Toffler wrote the
book Future Shock.
He defined ‘future shock’ as a psychological
state brought about by a personal perception
of "too much change in too short a period of
time". The start of the 2020s has definitely
delivered that!
For brands, the volatile times mean a greater
need for emotional intelligence; listening and
understanding how their consumers feel and
helping people navigate the new world
through their products, services and actions.
2
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 3
To help with that, we have split our annual trends report into three sections.
Section one looks at five long term societal trends that are changing how we live our lives.
Section two looks at shorter-term patterns and innovations that we will see in the media landscape in 2021.
Section three looks at the intersections between the trends. It provides a starting point for you to think
about ways that you can build smart, emotionally intelligent experiences for people in 2021.
Here’s to a year of innovative, emotionally intelligent brand building!
2021 TRENDS
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 4
Section 1 – Societal trends
shaping the 2020s
1. From FOMO to FOGO
2. The Donut Problem
3. Connected Lives
4. Respecting Privacy
5. The Great Divide
Section 2 – Hottest media
trends of 2021
6. The Camera’s New Life
7. Screen-free Media
8. The Decade of Paid
9. Responsible Media
10. The Metaverse
11. Social screening
12. Connecting
the Dots
Numbered Divider 5
Societal
trends shaping the
2020s
5
Section one
We have split this presentation into two parts –
the long-term societal trends changing the
world, and the smaller, possibly more
temporary trends in media and technology.
In this first section, we look at the trends in
society that are changing how we live, work
and shop.
6
FROM FOMO TO FOGO
Fear of Missing Out has been replaced for
many by Fear of Going Out. Older consumers
particularly are cautious of going out because
of the virus.
Instead, people are living much more remote
lives, working and socialising virtually.
Brands have reacted by creating more ways to
experience and buy the brand without leaving
home. Examples range from the explosion of
meal kits and online demonstrations to
augmented reality tools letting people enjoy
time with their friends remotely.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 7
Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
FROM FOMO TO FOGO
Our more remote lives are being caused by
fear, but also by restrictions.
In many cases, people aren’t allowed to go
out. Or when they do, the experience is much
less enjoyable than before.
Governments are trying to strike a perceived
balance between keeping society safe and
letting people spend money in the economy.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 8
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
FROM FOMO TO FOGO
As the pandemic continues into the 2020s, we
will see some of these effects remain, even with
the use of vaccines.
There will be greater polarity based on age with
younger people being more willing to return to
pre-pandemic life. Another source of
polarisation is access to technology;
households with multiple connected devices
are better able to cope with isolation.
People with ‘screen jobs’ will continue to work
at home for at least part of the week. Some
people, particularly the more introverted, will
find that they prefer to spend more time at
home.
As a result, there will be many more consumer
segments for brands to understand!
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 9
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IMPLICATIONS
Create a contactless path to
purchase. Make it just as easy to
buy or experience the brand from
home or away from stores.
Develop new products and services
designed to be ‘remote-first’, and
maybe even new direct to consumer
brands.
Improve the experience of buying
online – including unboxing the
package.
As the world transition back to
‘normal’, try to work out which parts of
your business will return most quickly,
and which parts may never fully
recover.
THE DONUT PROBLEM
People are living more locally, and shopping more
locally as a result of the pandemic.
Figures from the Javelin Group and Huq show that,
while city centres are still seeing significantly fewer
people, the outer areas have recovered better.
People working from home are shopping and
socialising near to where they live.
Google reports that global searches for phrases like
‘available near me’ have doubled.
There have been movements to get people to use
local retailers and service providers for several years,
and the pandemic is making this happen.
We call this shift to more local living, with less footfall in
town centres The Donut Problem.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 11
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
THE DONUT PROBLEM
Working from home means much less
movement around the city and around whole
countries.
Use of cars has returned more than use of
public transport. In New York, for example,
public transportation is at 25% of previous levels
as more office workers stay at home.
This has an impact on media use. Many media
channels are at least partly based on
commuting – morning and evening
newspapers, and ‘drive time’ radio.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 12
hoto by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum
THE DONUT PROBLEM
The Donut Problem is likely to continue as office
workers continue to spend at least part of their
working week at home, and people get used
to living more locally, re-discovering their
neighbourhoods.
We expect to see creative use of local spaces,
particularly outdoor markets, and more actions
to help local areas, for example, more local
sharing of skills and equipment.
There will also be more use of local online tools,
like Nextdoor and Google Maps, which is
adding more social elements, and greater use
of digital Out Of Home media.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 13
/
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 14
IMPLICATIONS
There is now a greater role for
location-based marketing, with more
segmentation, and more need to
understand consumers’ motivations.
Develop a more localised strategy,
including community initiatives,
philanthropy, and promote authentic
connections to places.
Explore opportunities in digital Out Of
Home and its ability to target
creatively and change messages
according to circumstances.
Re-think the concept of flagship stores
in city centres – it may be better to
have more, smaller outlets in more
places.
CONNECTED LIVES
For several years people have been living
increasingly connected lives, with more devices
in their homes and on their bodies.
Research by Deloitte claims that people in the
UK now own an average of six connected
devices, including phones, laptops, connected
TVs and activity trackers, up from just 3.5 per
head five years ago.
The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with
many people buying more connected devices
(21m were sold in the UK including TVs, games
consoles and laptops, as they adjusted to
spending more time - and working - at home).
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CONNECTED LIVES
Our ideas of the smart home often revolve
around the kitchen. In fact, the breakthrough
devices are for entertainment (TVs, smart
speakers) and for health and fitness, where
people can see a real benefit for a new device
that is comparatively easy to install.
Peloton has had a very strong year, hitting 1m
paying subscribers for the first time, and seeing
average use rise from 12 times per month last
year to 25 times per month. Peloton has just
signed a partnership with Beyonce; a sign that
its exercise bike is entering the mainstream.
Zwift is an app-only competitor to Peloton,
where people buy exercise equipment from
partners, use their own screens, and exercise as
part of immersive games with their friends, for
example cycling as part of a road race.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 16
Photo by Morgan Petroski on Unsplash
CONNECTED LIVES
As we move through the 2020s, we will see
greater levels of connection, with the rapid
uptake of 5G, and new uses of connected
technology, particularly around fitness and
health monitoring.
There will be many new brand and product
launches coming, including wearables like
Apple Glasses (expected in 2023), competitors
to Peloton and new activity trackers.
We will also see many more subscription-based
services. Just as it feels normal to have a
subscription to services that keep people
entertained, it will soon feel normal to have
subscriptions that keep people healthy.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 17
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 18
IMPLICATIONS
Try to work out how brands could fit
onto the different devices, in
addition to phones and laptops.
What use cases are there, and what
services can you develop?
Assess any scope for partnerships with
any of these devices and services as
they become more popular.
Identify which current devices and
activities the new technologies may
replace. What will people spend less
time and money on?
RESPECTING PRIVACY
The more we use digital devices, the more
data we create.
Consumers are becoming increasingly
concerned about what is happening to their
data, driven by high profile hacks of user data,
news stories like Cambridge Analytica,
accounts from friends who have been victims
of identity theft, and even the phenomenon of
ads seeming to follow you around the web.
Data from Consumer Reports shows that in the
US, 74% are at least 'moderately concerned'
about their use of data, and that 30% of
Americans say they have experienced a data
breach. Parks Associates claim that 5.5m in the
US experience identity theft every year.
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RESPECTING PRIVACY
These concerns have been rising over time, leading to
new legislation, including GDPR in Europe, and CCPA
in the US, but also prompting companies like Apple,
Mozilla and Brave Browser choosing to actively
position themselves as privacy first, with slogans like
‘What happens on the iPhone stays on the iPhone’.
Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrupt technology is now being
tested by companies and bodies like the BBC and the
NHS in the UK to give individuals more control over
their data.
One proxy for the interest in privacy is the use of
services like DuckDuckGo, the search engine that
does not leverage its users' personal data for
advertising.
Usage of DuckDuckGo has risen by nearly 50% in 2020
so far, and while the number of searches is currently
only 1% of Google’s it is growing much more quickly.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 20
Photo by Benjamin Lizardo on Unsplash
RESPECTING PRIVACY
The pandemic is leading to a privacy trade-off,
where people are agreeing to use their devices
and details to ‘check into’ places when they
go out to benefit from being able to live a
more normal life. This may soon include a
‘health passport’ to prove that people have
been vaccinated.
We will also see more people try to actively
control and monetise their own data, for
example, through companies like Tim Berners
Lee’s Inrupt, which gives people more choice
over what gets shared.
The key here is to create a value exchange for
respecting privacy, with specific benefits in
exchange to access to data.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 21
Photo by Cory Checketts on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 22
IMPLICATIONS
Be fully compliant with the latest
regulations, and totally respect
customers’ need for privacy.
Find new ways to target in a way that
will still understand their needs enough
to be able to provide the best
messages, products and services.
Collect and manage first party data,
and find the best partners to work with
who have access to their own data.
Make the best use of the new
contextual targeting tools, that do not
use any personal data.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Society has never felt more polarised and
divided. Disputes rage in the media, and
particularly on social media, between different
sides arguing seemingly irreconcilable
differences on a broad range of topics
including race and gender issues, religion, and
the environment.
Data from the think tank CSIS claims that the
number of public protests around the world has
risen by over 10% a year since 2009.
This has come to a head in 2020 with big
movements and protests developing around
issues like Black Lives Matter, Transgender rights,
and Extinction Rebellion.
Brands are also facing pressure to become
involved. Dentsu’s Digital Society Index found
that 72% believe that brands should actively
benefit society through their actions.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 23
Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash
THE GREAT DIVIDE
There are two main theories for the rise in
polarisation.
The fall of communism in the late 1980s meant
that that the forces of tradition and the forces
of change have become less well defined, and
new, more complex battlegrounds are
emerging.
The increase in numbers going into further
education around the world has led to a new,
bigger part of the population with more diverse
views and experiences, which clash with the
views held by many older people.
Social media and easier free expression have
amplified the issues and disagreements.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 24
Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Over the next decade, we expect to see
greater levels of compromise and harmony.
We can already see this through greater
governmental consensus and cooperation
over response to the pandemic and
vaccinations, but inevitably divisions will remain
for many.
Brands can play a role in building this
consensus, by backing causes, and explaining
why they have decided to take a stand.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 25
Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 26
IMPLICATIONS
Know where you stand. Be on the
right side of history, without
necessarily taking a public position
on every issue.
Transparency is more important than
ever. If you take a stand you may
have to defend previous leaders,
statements, and campaigns.
Work out which groups you are more
comfortable offending or being
boycotted by.
Numbered Divider 27
Hottest media
trends of 2021
27
Section two
In this section we look at the shorter-term
technology & media trends that we have spotted,
some of which have been accelerated by the
pandemic and the lockdowns.
These are less fundamental themes than in the first
section, and may be short-lived, but they are still
likely to have a big impact in 2021.
28
THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE
The time is right for augmented reality and QR
codes – camera-based technologies built into
our phones that help us to live more remotely.
Millions of people already use AR for fun
activities, like enhancing photos. Now it is also
emerging as a way of shopping virtually, for
example ‘trying on’ shoes or sunglasses, or
seeing how new furniture would look in your
home.
QR codes are becoming ubiquitous as ways to
check in to places for track and trace
programmes.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT / 29
Photo by the Mitya Ivanof on Unsplash
THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE
This power has lived untapped in our phones for
years. Only now we are discovering the
benefits – just as most of us did not often use
the cameras on our laptops until recently.
The technologies aren’t new, but their time is
now. They are useful and reliable technologies
that allow people to live more distanced,
contact-free lives.
One example of the increased popularity of AR
is that Pokemon Go has had a record year in
2020, partly as a result of adding an ‘at home’
mode to the game for people who could not
leave their homes.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 30
THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE
We are likely to see greater adoption of these
technologies among broader audiences,
which means that marketers will be able to use
them in more mainstream campaigns.
QR codes have had low adoption in the West
for years, but now millions of us use them every
week for track & trace, Research by
MobileIron claims that over 35% of consumers
in US and EU scanned one in the past week.
As we get more wearable devices like smart
glasses, the use of these technologies will
become even more intuitive and automatic.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 31
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 32
IMPLICATIONS
These technologies are now
mainstream and millions more
people know how to use them. What
could you use them for?
Both are very flexible technologies,
and can be used to either trigger
experiences, or generate quick
responses to campaigns in other
media, particularly in press and out of
home, but also on TV.
Think of current activities and
publications – could AR and QR do the
job better?
SCREEN-FREE MEDIA
Technology without screens also allows people
to interact without touching.
Companies like Spotify are experimenting with
voice response to audio ads, using voice to
make payments.
Brands like Mastercard and Netflix are also
creating sonic branding, small arrangements of
notes that they can use in adverts and product
features.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 33
Photo by Sebastian Scholz (Nuki) on Unsplash
SCREEN-FREE MEDIA
Use of audio assistants, through phones and
smart speakers, has been rising steadily, for
example, to nearly 40% of Americans, and
voice recognition is getting even more
accurate.
Listening is also going up, and is increasingly
digital, with the data collection and targeting
that this brings. Podcasts are becoming big
business as consumption grows.
In the summer Spotify paid a reported $100m to
exclusively carry US comedian Joe Rogan’s
podcast. In November it spent nearly $250m on
another podcast provider to get access to
more ad inventory.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 34
Photo by https://ew.com/podcasts/joe-rogan-spotify-missing-episodes/
Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash
SCREEN-FREE MEDIA
Audio will become a very significant digital
advertising medium; it offers a similar level of
targeting as other online formats but can be
considerably cheaper.
There will be lots more inventory too; for
example, YouTube has just started to offer
audio-only advertising.
Voice-based interaction will become more
common and more creative.
Use of voice will become more common in
more devices, including TVs, in-car navigation
and fitness equipment, as Amazon and others
push for greater levels of integration with their
technologies.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 35
Photo by Rasheed Kemy on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 36
IMPLICATIONS
Develop an audio strategy to cover
voice (including voice search),
music, podcasting, advertising, and
identity.
Use the full creativity on offer,
including dynamic ads, targeting and
response mechanisms.
What new moments can people use
to speak to, or hear from your brand?
THE DECADE OF PAID
More and more services are becoming paid or
partially paid.
More video content is becoming paid for, with
services like Netflix, Disney+ and others,
recording significant increases in subscriber
numbers, making them able to put much more
into their programming than national
broadcasters.
Newspapers like the New York Times have
switched to subscription-first businesses. The
NYT now has 7m paying subscribers, and ‘paid’
accounts for over 70% of its revenues, vs 25% 20
years ago.
Independent writers and artists are increasingly
funding their content through platforms like
Patreon.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 37
Photo by Madison Kaminski on Unsplash
THE DECADE OF PAID
Ad blocking, iOS 14 and other factors are
hitting ad revenues. Smaller publishers are
having to charge directly for their content
rather than using an advertising model.
Facebook estimates that the changes that iOS
14 will bring will reduce ad revenue for its
Audience Network partners by 50%.
At the same time, many people are getting
used to paying for content, and as payment is
built into phones, it is now very easy.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 38
T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T /Photo by Eric Stone on Unsplash
THE DECADE OF PAID
In the next months and years, we will see the
failure of publishers and services that cannot
successfully balance the mix of subscription
and advertising.
There will be more consolidation towards the
already successful businesses leaving late-
movers in trouble. Quibi is one recent example
that shows that the paid model will not work for
everyone.
We are also likely to see subscription fatigue –
how many services will people be willing to pay
for in the long term when you can swap with
friends and colleagues. To offset this, we
expect to see the emergence of new bundles
of content from publishers.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 39
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 40
IMPLICATIONS
The move to paid content means
that the amount of high quality ad
inventory will fall, and brands will
need to find other ways to reach
customers.
Look for sponsorships, partnerships and
ways to integrate messages into
content. Find ways to support the
good, small, independent publishers
who are struggling.
If ad revenues are going to fall for
publishers as a result of iOS14, brands
will need to actively help the ones that
are the best fit with their values to
ensure that they stay in business.
RESPONSIBLE MEDIA
There is a greater emphasis on brand safety in
advertising, including ensuring messages avoid
appearing next to some political views, hate
speech and more.
In addition, advertisers also care about societal
safety; not just what content their ads is seen
near to, but what content, and which points of
views their ads are helping to fund.
The rise of video within user-generated content
sites and social media has made it harder for
content to be moderated using simple tools like
keywords. Therefore, brands need to take extra
care to understand where their ads are
appearing on these platforms.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 41
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
RESPONSIBLE MEDIA
Programmatic advertising and real-time
bidding have separated advertising from the
media that it appears in, leading to brands
having less control over where their ads are
appearing and what they are funding.
High profile campaigns from lobby groups like
Sleeping Giants have made marketers aware
of this and forced them to address these issues.
The industry's response has become more
organised with initiatives like GARM (Global
Alliance for Responsible Media) from the World
Federation of Advertisers.
They have managed to get firm commitments
from Facebook and YouTube over monetisation
and moderation of content.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 42
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
RESPONSIBLE MEDIA
Technology companies are likely to have to take
much more responsibility for the content on their
platforms in the coming years. We are also likely to
see a change in the business model from ‘it’s free, but
we will monetise your data’, to ‘it’s free, but you are
responsible for what you post, and can share in the
monetisation’.
The response to the pandemic has shown that these
technology companies can act like media owners
and take more control over dangerous content to
stop its spread.
Artificial intelligence will help to spot malicious and
harmful content, but AI will also make it easier for ‘bad
actors’ to create more of this content, including
‘deep fake’ videos.
Finally, we hope that the greater responsibility for
content does not simply lead to more ‘bland’ content
that no one could find contentious.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 43
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 44
IMPLICATIONS
Make sure you know where your ads
are appearing, what they are
funding and to have a view on what
is and is not acceptable to your
values.
Take the responsibility to fund a wide
range of publishers and media owners,
to ensure a wide range of views in the
media is viable.
Try to better understand the role of
advertising within smaller, more niche
content sites, as well as the mass
reach channels.
THE METAVERSE
Gaming is evolving to become a much more
immersive experience, taking place in never-
ending worlds, where players express
themselves in a more social way.
The development is taking us closer to the
virtual worlds that feature in sci-fi books and
films like Ready Player One, where people’s
characters ‘live’ in believable alternate worlds.
As gaming becomes more mainstream, games
should be seen more as places and spaces
where people choose to spend time with
friends. This helps explain why gaming grew so
much under lockdown, when people could not
meet up in real life.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 45
/Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash
THE METAVERSE
Gaming and social media have been
converging for years.
Just as apps like Instagram increased their
traction by adding ‘gamified’ elements like
competing with friends on the number of likes
and follows that you could get, games like
Fortnite have been getting increasingly social
through features like messaging.
For example, Fortnite now hosts regular events
outside the game for its members, like gigs and
films, and recently added a ‘no combat’ mode
where people could just hang out with friends
rather than playing the battle royale games.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 46
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
THE METAVERSE
As games become more like social spaces, we
expect there to be far more opportunities for
brands to get involved.
We are starting to see more in-game
advertising, particularly in the free, streamed
online games, through companies like Bidstack,
where advertisers can target audiences
through the same programmatic exchanges
that they use with other campaigns.
We also expect commerce to become
integrated into the experience. Gamers
already have payment set up to buy things
within games like ‘skins’ and equipment, so why
not purchase physical goods too?
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 47
Photo by Corentin Marzin on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 48
IMPLICATIONS
Embrace games and eSports as an
opportunity to reach audiences –
and potentially to sell.
Gaming is now a mainstream medium for
many, with usership likely to rise further as
people spend more time at home.
Develop a greater understanding of
gaming culture and how your brand could
fit in.
Examine the increasing parallels with social
media; could gaming play a part in social
strategies?
SOCIAL SCREENING
Virtual watch parties are events where people
watch content together in different locations as
if they were all in the same cinema or front
room, but watching on their own screens, with
built-in channels of communication like voice or
text.
Of course, people have unofficially done this
for years - ringing friends during sports matches
(or tweeting along to reality TV shows) - but we
now see the emergence of dedicated services
for VOD.
Data from Maru/Matchbox reports that 19% of
US internet users have tried a watch party, rising
to 33% among 18-34s.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 49
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
SOCIAL SCREENING
Facebook introduced integrated video watch
parties in 2018. Now the feature has recently
been added to the video offerings of major
players like YouTube and Amazon Prime.
There are many similarities to what Twitch has
done to make gaming a collective viewing
experience - one person shares his screen,
while others click on the link to watch, seeing
all the action as it happens live.
Intel reports that 4m people in the UK now
watch eSports regularly. It is no surprise that
Amazon is combining Twitch with Prime to offer
watch parties as a service so that people can
also watch movies and TV shows together on
the platform.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 50
Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash
SOCIAL SCREENING
As people continue to live more remote lives, in
more connected homes, we expect these
watch parties to grow in popularity.
These could well become alternative activities
for separated families and groups of friends.
Why have a long weekly call or a Zoom quiz
when you could watch a new episode of The
Simpsons together?
To avoid piracy, content must be legally
shareable. Everyone watching must have
access; for example, any households watching
Amazon Prime content via Twitch need to have
a Prime account.
SVOD companies could offer the ability to host
watch parties as a (paid) extra feature to
members.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 51
Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 52
IMPLICATIONS
Find out if social screening is
something your customers are
already doing, and if they would let
you join in.
If so, investigate ways to enable events by
helping with licences, making special
content available, or bringing celebrities
and influencers to be part of the party.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
As the big technology companies consolidate their
power, they are each building more synergies
between their different services.
Google is putting payment into Maps, e.g. for petrol.
Amazon has added Twitch’s live streaming to
Amazon Music and has used the Twitch technology
to create new services like Amazon Explore.
Facebook is increasingly linking all of its services to
offer unified tools for eCommerce.
Facebook is sharing features between platforms, like
commerce and stories, and is now branding both
Instagram and WhatsApp as more obviously from
Facebook.
Apple is tying its different services together into
bundles.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 53
Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash
CONNECTING THE DOTS
In last year’s report, we showed how these
companies were increasingly competing with
each other in areas like streaming video and
gaming.
Connecting the Dots is the next step: each is
building on their strengths by linking more of
their services together, rather than introducing
new, stand-alone products.
Integrating the services means that the
ecosystems become more like ‘one-stop shops’
for all your needs, rather than a disparate
group of apps and sites.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 54
Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash
CONNECTING THE DOTS
We expect these companies to continue to
connect the dots in increasingly creative ways
throughout the next decade. Google will build
payment into more of its assets like Chrome, for
example, and you will be able to talk to every
part of Amazon.
However, there are major stumbling blocks
ahead in the shape of regulation and the
possibility that these companies will be forced
to sell or separate their different divisions.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 55
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 56
IMPLICATIONS
Growing synergy will increase the
strength of the big technology
companies, potentially at the cost of
independent third parties like Spotify.
This could mean very integrated ad
solutions for brands, with multiple services
seamlessly linking together.
But it will also make the technology
companies even more like ‘frenemies’,
with control of many of the most valuable
tools, and access to the most valuable
data.
Numbered Divider 57
Imagine the future
57
SECTION THREE
Now that we have outlined the main trends and
patterns that we have noticed, we want to bring
inspiration and help you to imagine the future by
looking at some of the intersections between the
two types of trends.
Many of the trends this year are connected. By
examining some of the connections, we should help
create new opportunities in our clients' markets and
for their audiences.
For example, what happens when you look at the
'Donut Problem' trend in conjunction with the rise of
paid content, or the 'Great Divide' with the rise of
immersive gaming?
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 58
59
From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide
Camera’s
New Life Contactless Media
AR app Hipster Bait combines
music discovery and a Pokémon
GO style location-based AR
experience
Why print installation
instructions for products if you
can access online tutorials
with a QR code?
Cyber security experts warn about
QR codes’ data privacy hazards. Is
your QR experience safe for users?
AR can be a great tool for
illustrating issues like diversity.
Google used AR to replace the
faces on dollar bills with notable
women
Screen-free
Media
Google istesting voice biometrics
for payment.
How does voice shopping affect
brand names?
Talk to the Ad
Google assistant has introduced
guest mode
so that your questions aren’t
saved. Whatis your brand’s version
of the incognito mode?
The Decade of
Paid
Disney reached 70 million
subscribers in less than a year. Can
even a vaccine stop the streaming
boom spreading?
LucrativeLocal Niches
Several new devices now work
on a paid service model. What
could you learn from Pelaton?
With paid content, there is less
need to have ads, so less
incentive to sell customers’ data.
The secret behind the rise of
Netflix?
Is it true that paid content is
predominantly left/centre
learning?
Responsible
Media
Quashing Conspiracies
How can your brand support
local
communities?
More devices can now carry
programmatic advertising.
How do your brand’s ads fit
smartwatches or games
consoles?
Is Spotify responsible for what
Joe Rogan’s guests say on his
podcast, as the pod is hosted
on Spotify’s platform?
The
Metaverse
Nintendo’s profits tripled in 2020.
Which games best align with
your brand?
Smart Sweat
While people have identities in
games, they generally don’t use
their real names
Political Battlegrounds
Social
Screening
Amazon introduced the virtual
watch party feature to game
streaming platform Twitch, letting
people watch movies from Prime
Virtual Gigs
Watch parties rely on people
being able to watch on
multiple devices, like phones,
laptops, consoles and
connected TV’s
By taking part in virtual watch
parties, you are creating a data
footprint,
including linking you with interests
and friends
Connecting
the Dots
Big Tech’s domination of business
reaches new heights in the
pandemic. What does your brand
have that they cannot copy?
Facebook talks about helping
small local businesses in its
introduction of shopping services
Google, Facebook and Apple
will soon launch their smart
glasses. How could they
enhance the user experience
with your brand?
Contextual Identity
Google and Facebook have
had to take proactive steps to
stop content spreading on their
platforms
‘FOGO’ x ‘AR’ = CONTACTLESS
MEDIA
This is one of the most obvious intersections –
the idea of augmented reality as a technology
that allows contactless experiences and
shopping.
Amazon used AR to bring Halloween to life for
US customers by printing pumpkin shapes on
their packaging in late October.
Shoppers could scan the pumpkin to see it
come to life. It also gave them a great reason
to download Amazon’s AR app, and then
(hopefully) use it for other things.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 60
Photo by Svitlana on Unsplash
‘FOGO’ x ‘RESPONSIBLE MEDIA’ =
QUASHING CONSIPIRACIES
There is a less obvious link between FOGO and
the Responsible Media trend. Still, one example
we see is the action that services like Facebook
and YouTube have taken to remove false
stories around the pandemic.
For example, all social platforms have removed
or stopped the spread of the ‘Plandemic’ video
and its sequel, which gave dangerous and
false information about the virus.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 61
Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash
T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T /
‘DONUT PROBLEM’ x ‘PAID
CONTENT’ = LUCRATIVE LOCAL
NICHES
Paid content works well for specific niches,
including local networks.
One example of this is KidPass, the subscription-
based service giving parents access to a
curated list of events to help entertain and
educate their kids.
It operates in 10 US cities and areas (although
the events it promotes are mainly online at the
moment).
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 62
Photo by Igor Starkov on Unsplash
‘RESPECTING PRIVACY’ x ‘SCREEN
FREE MEDIA’ = INCOGNITO VOICE
SEARCH
The Respecting Privacy trend has many
interesting intersections and examples relating
to the other trends.
Sometimes these trends contradict. For
example, the rise of QR code usage is worrying
for some as codes can lead to unsafe links (you
can’t see in advance where your phone is
being directed to).
Another, more positive example is how Google
has created a ‘guest mode’ for its voice
assistant, where queries you ask are treated as
separate to your other searches, protecting
your privacy.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 63
Photo by Thom on Unsplash
‘CONNECTED LIVES’ x ‘THE
METAVERSE’ = SMART SWEAT
The Connected Lives trend intersects with
many others, as it is all about the rise of multiple
devices in our homes.
Its connection with The Metaverse may seem
quite obvious – most multiplayer games are
accessible from many different devices, with
gameplay optimising accordingly.
What is also interesting is the home fitness
element. Peloton and Zwift both benefit from
aspects of gamification, including leader
boards and points. Zwift even presents its
workouts as game situations (riding your bike in
different terrain, for example), letting users
invite their friends to take part in the race.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 64
Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash
‘THE GREAT DIVIDE’ x ‘THE
METAVERSE’ = POLITICAL
BATTLEGROUNDS
We can even connect The Great Divide trend
with the rise of immersive gaming.
In October, two US politicians, Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar live-streamed a
game of Among Us on Twitch, attracting a live
audience of over 400,000, and reaching over
5m over the course of the whole game.
Gaming worlds will likely become a significant
‘battleground’ for politicians to reach critical
demographics with their messages.
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 65
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
BUILD OUT YOUR OWN TRENDS SPRINT
66
We now want to inspire you
to think about how you can
use these trends in your own
planning. The matrix we
have built out can form the
perfect tool for a 2021 Trends
Sprint or workshop for you to
prototype ideas to test in Q1.
The background reading in
this document will give your
team the overall
background to prepare for a
session. Then the structure
we are working with will help
your facilitators get the most
from everyone's creativity.
From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide
Camera’s
New Life Contactless Media
AR app Hipster Bait
combines music discovery
and aPokémon GO style
location-based AR
experience
Why print installation
instructions for products if
you can access online
tutorials with a QR code?
Cyber security experts warn
about QR codes’ data privacy
hazards. Is your QR experience
safe for users?
AR can be a great tool for
illustrating issues like
diversity.
Google used AR to replace
the faces on dollar bills with
notable women
Screen-free
Media
Google is testing voice
biometrics for payment.
How does voice shopping
affect brand names?
Talk to the Ad
Google assistant has
introduced guest mode
so that your questions aren’t
saved. Whatis your brand’s
version of the incognito
mode?
The Decade
of Paid
Disney reached 70 million
subscribers in less than a year.
Can even a vaccine stop the
streaming boom spreading?
Lucrative Local Niches
Several new devices now
work on a paid service
model. What could you
learn from Pelaton?
With paid content, there is
less need to have ads, so less
incentive to sell customers’
data. The secret behind the
rise of Netflix?
Is it true that paid content
is predominantly
left/centre learning?
Responsible
Media
Quashing Conspiracies
How can your brand
support local
communities?
More devices can now
carry programmatic
advertising.
How do your brand’s ads
fit smartwatches or
games consoles?
Is Spotify responsible for
what Joe Rogan’s guests say
on his podcast, as the pod is
hosted
on Spotify’s platform?
The
Metaverse
Nintendo’s profits tripled in
2020.
Which games best align with
your brand?
Smart Sweat
While people have identities
in games, they generally
don’t use their real names
Political Battlegrounds
Social
Screening
Amazon introduced the virtual
watch party feature to game
streaming platform Twitch,
letting people watch movies
from Prime
Virtual Gigs
Watch parties rely on
people being able to
watch on multiple devices,
like phones, laptops,
consoles and connected
TV’s
By taking part in virtual
watch parties, you are
creating a data footprint,
including linking you with
interests and friends
Connecting
the Dots
Big Tech’s domination of
business reaches new heights in
the pandemic. What does your
brand have that they cannot
copy?
Facebook talks about
helping small local
businesses in its introduction
of shopping services
Google, Facebook and
Apple will soon launch
their smart glasses. How
could they enhance the
user experience with your
brand?
Contextual Identity
Google and Facebook
have had to take
proactive steps to stop
content spreading on their
platforms
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 67
STEP 1
Download from the team on which individual
trends feel most relevant to your consumers,
category, and brand. Rank the trends in
priority order.
First, which of the long-term trends are likely
to have the most impact in the future,
creating both challenges and opportunities?
Then, which of the shorter-term media and
technology trends could be used to bring
advantage or create innovative work?
Please note you also need to think
about geography.
You will need to take into account an
understanding of the audience and the local
market conditions to ensure that the ranking
is based upon where the trends are likely to
be applied.
STEP 2
68
Build out your matrix and
plot summaries of what
you find exciting about
each trend in the matrix
we have built out for
you. Highlight your
priority hotspots based
on your scoring.
From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide
Camera’s
New Life
Screen-free
Media
The Decade
of Paid
Responsible
Media
The
Metaverse
Social
Screening
Connecting
the Dots
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 69
STEP 3
Break the team into Creative Pairs or Trios to
generate five quick applications/use cases of
the trends in combination. Then bring the
whole team back to share their ideas and
vote on those to be taken forward to
prototyping and building out ideas to test.
Each team should present their use cases via
a common format. For example:
The name:
The specific application of the trends:
Scalability:
Our right to play
TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 70
STEP 4
Final vote on the most exciting ideas and
assignment of ownership of next steps.
T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T 71
ABOUT CARAT
Most recently named a leader amongst global media
agencies by Forrester, Carat is consistently ranked the
#1 media agency in the world with over 12,000
experts, operating across 190+ offices in 135+
countries. Carat delivers an unparalleled capability to
unlock real human understanding to connect people
and brands by designing powerful and engaging
media experiences. Carat is a dentsu company and
privileged to work with some of the most storied and
innovative brands in the world.
CONTACT
Dan Calladine
Head of Media Futures
dan.calladine@carat.com

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Carat Trends 2021 - The Year of Emotionally Intelligent Marketing

  • 1. Carat Trends 2021 The Year of Emotionally Intelligent Marketing Photo by kate-trifo on unsplash
  • 2. Trends for 2021 Fifty years ago, futurist Alvin Toffler wrote the book Future Shock. He defined ‘future shock’ as a psychological state brought about by a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". The start of the 2020s has definitely delivered that! For brands, the volatile times mean a greater need for emotional intelligence; listening and understanding how their consumers feel and helping people navigate the new world through their products, services and actions. 2 Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT
  • 3. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 3 To help with that, we have split our annual trends report into three sections. Section one looks at five long term societal trends that are changing how we live our lives. Section two looks at shorter-term patterns and innovations that we will see in the media landscape in 2021. Section three looks at the intersections between the trends. It provides a starting point for you to think about ways that you can build smart, emotionally intelligent experiences for people in 2021. Here’s to a year of innovative, emotionally intelligent brand building!
  • 4. 2021 TRENDS TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 4 Section 1 – Societal trends shaping the 2020s 1. From FOMO to FOGO 2. The Donut Problem 3. Connected Lives 4. Respecting Privacy 5. The Great Divide Section 2 – Hottest media trends of 2021 6. The Camera’s New Life 7. Screen-free Media 8. The Decade of Paid 9. Responsible Media 10. The Metaverse 11. Social screening 12. Connecting the Dots
  • 6. Section one We have split this presentation into two parts – the long-term societal trends changing the world, and the smaller, possibly more temporary trends in media and technology. In this first section, we look at the trends in society that are changing how we live, work and shop. 6
  • 7. FROM FOMO TO FOGO Fear of Missing Out has been replaced for many by Fear of Going Out. Older consumers particularly are cautious of going out because of the virus. Instead, people are living much more remote lives, working and socialising virtually. Brands have reacted by creating more ways to experience and buy the brand without leaving home. Examples range from the explosion of meal kits and online demonstrations to augmented reality tools letting people enjoy time with their friends remotely. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 7 Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
  • 8. FROM FOMO TO FOGO Our more remote lives are being caused by fear, but also by restrictions. In many cases, people aren’t allowed to go out. Or when they do, the experience is much less enjoyable than before. Governments are trying to strike a perceived balance between keeping society safe and letting people spend money in the economy. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 8 Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
  • 9. FROM FOMO TO FOGO As the pandemic continues into the 2020s, we will see some of these effects remain, even with the use of vaccines. There will be greater polarity based on age with younger people being more willing to return to pre-pandemic life. Another source of polarisation is access to technology; households with multiple connected devices are better able to cope with isolation. People with ‘screen jobs’ will continue to work at home for at least part of the week. Some people, particularly the more introverted, will find that they prefer to spend more time at home. As a result, there will be many more consumer segments for brands to understand! TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 9
  • 10. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 10 IMPLICATIONS Create a contactless path to purchase. Make it just as easy to buy or experience the brand from home or away from stores. Develop new products and services designed to be ‘remote-first’, and maybe even new direct to consumer brands. Improve the experience of buying online – including unboxing the package. As the world transition back to ‘normal’, try to work out which parts of your business will return most quickly, and which parts may never fully recover.
  • 11. THE DONUT PROBLEM People are living more locally, and shopping more locally as a result of the pandemic. Figures from the Javelin Group and Huq show that, while city centres are still seeing significantly fewer people, the outer areas have recovered better. People working from home are shopping and socialising near to where they live. Google reports that global searches for phrases like ‘available near me’ have doubled. There have been movements to get people to use local retailers and service providers for several years, and the pandemic is making this happen. We call this shift to more local living, with less footfall in town centres The Donut Problem. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 11 Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
  • 12. THE DONUT PROBLEM Working from home means much less movement around the city and around whole countries. Use of cars has returned more than use of public transport. In New York, for example, public transportation is at 25% of previous levels as more office workers stay at home. This has an impact on media use. Many media channels are at least partly based on commuting – morning and evening newspapers, and ‘drive time’ radio. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 12 hoto by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum
  • 13. THE DONUT PROBLEM The Donut Problem is likely to continue as office workers continue to spend at least part of their working week at home, and people get used to living more locally, re-discovering their neighbourhoods. We expect to see creative use of local spaces, particularly outdoor markets, and more actions to help local areas, for example, more local sharing of skills and equipment. There will also be more use of local online tools, like Nextdoor and Google Maps, which is adding more social elements, and greater use of digital Out Of Home media. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 13 /
  • 14. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 14 IMPLICATIONS There is now a greater role for location-based marketing, with more segmentation, and more need to understand consumers’ motivations. Develop a more localised strategy, including community initiatives, philanthropy, and promote authentic connections to places. Explore opportunities in digital Out Of Home and its ability to target creatively and change messages according to circumstances. Re-think the concept of flagship stores in city centres – it may be better to have more, smaller outlets in more places.
  • 15. CONNECTED LIVES For several years people have been living increasingly connected lives, with more devices in their homes and on their bodies. Research by Deloitte claims that people in the UK now own an average of six connected devices, including phones, laptops, connected TVs and activity trackers, up from just 3.5 per head five years ago. The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with many people buying more connected devices (21m were sold in the UK including TVs, games consoles and laptops, as they adjusted to spending more time - and working - at home). TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 15
  • 16. CONNECTED LIVES Our ideas of the smart home often revolve around the kitchen. In fact, the breakthrough devices are for entertainment (TVs, smart speakers) and for health and fitness, where people can see a real benefit for a new device that is comparatively easy to install. Peloton has had a very strong year, hitting 1m paying subscribers for the first time, and seeing average use rise from 12 times per month last year to 25 times per month. Peloton has just signed a partnership with Beyonce; a sign that its exercise bike is entering the mainstream. Zwift is an app-only competitor to Peloton, where people buy exercise equipment from partners, use their own screens, and exercise as part of immersive games with their friends, for example cycling as part of a road race. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 16 Photo by Morgan Petroski on Unsplash
  • 17. CONNECTED LIVES As we move through the 2020s, we will see greater levels of connection, with the rapid uptake of 5G, and new uses of connected technology, particularly around fitness and health monitoring. There will be many new brand and product launches coming, including wearables like Apple Glasses (expected in 2023), competitors to Peloton and new activity trackers. We will also see many more subscription-based services. Just as it feels normal to have a subscription to services that keep people entertained, it will soon feel normal to have subscriptions that keep people healthy. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 17 Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
  • 18. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 18 IMPLICATIONS Try to work out how brands could fit onto the different devices, in addition to phones and laptops. What use cases are there, and what services can you develop? Assess any scope for partnerships with any of these devices and services as they become more popular. Identify which current devices and activities the new technologies may replace. What will people spend less time and money on?
  • 19. RESPECTING PRIVACY The more we use digital devices, the more data we create. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about what is happening to their data, driven by high profile hacks of user data, news stories like Cambridge Analytica, accounts from friends who have been victims of identity theft, and even the phenomenon of ads seeming to follow you around the web. Data from Consumer Reports shows that in the US, 74% are at least 'moderately concerned' about their use of data, and that 30% of Americans say they have experienced a data breach. Parks Associates claim that 5.5m in the US experience identity theft every year. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 19
  • 20. RESPECTING PRIVACY These concerns have been rising over time, leading to new legislation, including GDPR in Europe, and CCPA in the US, but also prompting companies like Apple, Mozilla and Brave Browser choosing to actively position themselves as privacy first, with slogans like ‘What happens on the iPhone stays on the iPhone’. Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrupt technology is now being tested by companies and bodies like the BBC and the NHS in the UK to give individuals more control over their data. One proxy for the interest in privacy is the use of services like DuckDuckGo, the search engine that does not leverage its users' personal data for advertising. Usage of DuckDuckGo has risen by nearly 50% in 2020 so far, and while the number of searches is currently only 1% of Google’s it is growing much more quickly. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 20 Photo by Benjamin Lizardo on Unsplash
  • 21. RESPECTING PRIVACY The pandemic is leading to a privacy trade-off, where people are agreeing to use their devices and details to ‘check into’ places when they go out to benefit from being able to live a more normal life. This may soon include a ‘health passport’ to prove that people have been vaccinated. We will also see more people try to actively control and monetise their own data, for example, through companies like Tim Berners Lee’s Inrupt, which gives people more choice over what gets shared. The key here is to create a value exchange for respecting privacy, with specific benefits in exchange to access to data. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 21 Photo by Cory Checketts on Unsplash
  • 22. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 22 IMPLICATIONS Be fully compliant with the latest regulations, and totally respect customers’ need for privacy. Find new ways to target in a way that will still understand their needs enough to be able to provide the best messages, products and services. Collect and manage first party data, and find the best partners to work with who have access to their own data. Make the best use of the new contextual targeting tools, that do not use any personal data.
  • 23. THE GREAT DIVIDE Society has never felt more polarised and divided. Disputes rage in the media, and particularly on social media, between different sides arguing seemingly irreconcilable differences on a broad range of topics including race and gender issues, religion, and the environment. Data from the think tank CSIS claims that the number of public protests around the world has risen by over 10% a year since 2009. This has come to a head in 2020 with big movements and protests developing around issues like Black Lives Matter, Transgender rights, and Extinction Rebellion. Brands are also facing pressure to become involved. Dentsu’s Digital Society Index found that 72% believe that brands should actively benefit society through their actions. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 23 Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash
  • 24. THE GREAT DIVIDE There are two main theories for the rise in polarisation. The fall of communism in the late 1980s meant that that the forces of tradition and the forces of change have become less well defined, and new, more complex battlegrounds are emerging. The increase in numbers going into further education around the world has led to a new, bigger part of the population with more diverse views and experiences, which clash with the views held by many older people. Social media and easier free expression have amplified the issues and disagreements. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 24 Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash
  • 25. THE GREAT DIVIDE Over the next decade, we expect to see greater levels of compromise and harmony. We can already see this through greater governmental consensus and cooperation over response to the pandemic and vaccinations, but inevitably divisions will remain for many. Brands can play a role in building this consensus, by backing causes, and explaining why they have decided to take a stand. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 25 Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash
  • 26. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 26 IMPLICATIONS Know where you stand. Be on the right side of history, without necessarily taking a public position on every issue. Transparency is more important than ever. If you take a stand you may have to defend previous leaders, statements, and campaigns. Work out which groups you are more comfortable offending or being boycotted by.
  • 27. Numbered Divider 27 Hottest media trends of 2021 27
  • 28. Section two In this section we look at the shorter-term technology & media trends that we have spotted, some of which have been accelerated by the pandemic and the lockdowns. These are less fundamental themes than in the first section, and may be short-lived, but they are still likely to have a big impact in 2021. 28
  • 29. THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE The time is right for augmented reality and QR codes – camera-based technologies built into our phones that help us to live more remotely. Millions of people already use AR for fun activities, like enhancing photos. Now it is also emerging as a way of shopping virtually, for example ‘trying on’ shoes or sunglasses, or seeing how new furniture would look in your home. QR codes are becoming ubiquitous as ways to check in to places for track and trace programmes. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT / 29 Photo by the Mitya Ivanof on Unsplash
  • 30. THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE This power has lived untapped in our phones for years. Only now we are discovering the benefits – just as most of us did not often use the cameras on our laptops until recently. The technologies aren’t new, but their time is now. They are useful and reliable technologies that allow people to live more distanced, contact-free lives. One example of the increased popularity of AR is that Pokemon Go has had a record year in 2020, partly as a result of adding an ‘at home’ mode to the game for people who could not leave their homes. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 30
  • 31. THE CAMERA’S NEW LIFE We are likely to see greater adoption of these technologies among broader audiences, which means that marketers will be able to use them in more mainstream campaigns. QR codes have had low adoption in the West for years, but now millions of us use them every week for track & trace, Research by MobileIron claims that over 35% of consumers in US and EU scanned one in the past week. As we get more wearable devices like smart glasses, the use of these technologies will become even more intuitive and automatic. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 31 Photo by the blowup on Unsplash
  • 32. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 32 IMPLICATIONS These technologies are now mainstream and millions more people know how to use them. What could you use them for? Both are very flexible technologies, and can be used to either trigger experiences, or generate quick responses to campaigns in other media, particularly in press and out of home, but also on TV. Think of current activities and publications – could AR and QR do the job better?
  • 33. SCREEN-FREE MEDIA Technology without screens also allows people to interact without touching. Companies like Spotify are experimenting with voice response to audio ads, using voice to make payments. Brands like Mastercard and Netflix are also creating sonic branding, small arrangements of notes that they can use in adverts and product features. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 33 Photo by Sebastian Scholz (Nuki) on Unsplash
  • 34. SCREEN-FREE MEDIA Use of audio assistants, through phones and smart speakers, has been rising steadily, for example, to nearly 40% of Americans, and voice recognition is getting even more accurate. Listening is also going up, and is increasingly digital, with the data collection and targeting that this brings. Podcasts are becoming big business as consumption grows. In the summer Spotify paid a reported $100m to exclusively carry US comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast. In November it spent nearly $250m on another podcast provider to get access to more ad inventory. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 34 Photo by https://ew.com/podcasts/joe-rogan-spotify-missing-episodes/ Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash
  • 35. SCREEN-FREE MEDIA Audio will become a very significant digital advertising medium; it offers a similar level of targeting as other online formats but can be considerably cheaper. There will be lots more inventory too; for example, YouTube has just started to offer audio-only advertising. Voice-based interaction will become more common and more creative. Use of voice will become more common in more devices, including TVs, in-car navigation and fitness equipment, as Amazon and others push for greater levels of integration with their technologies. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 35 Photo by Rasheed Kemy on Unsplash
  • 36. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 36 IMPLICATIONS Develop an audio strategy to cover voice (including voice search), music, podcasting, advertising, and identity. Use the full creativity on offer, including dynamic ads, targeting and response mechanisms. What new moments can people use to speak to, or hear from your brand?
  • 37. THE DECADE OF PAID More and more services are becoming paid or partially paid. More video content is becoming paid for, with services like Netflix, Disney+ and others, recording significant increases in subscriber numbers, making them able to put much more into their programming than national broadcasters. Newspapers like the New York Times have switched to subscription-first businesses. The NYT now has 7m paying subscribers, and ‘paid’ accounts for over 70% of its revenues, vs 25% 20 years ago. Independent writers and artists are increasingly funding their content through platforms like Patreon. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 37 Photo by Madison Kaminski on Unsplash
  • 38. THE DECADE OF PAID Ad blocking, iOS 14 and other factors are hitting ad revenues. Smaller publishers are having to charge directly for their content rather than using an advertising model. Facebook estimates that the changes that iOS 14 will bring will reduce ad revenue for its Audience Network partners by 50%. At the same time, many people are getting used to paying for content, and as payment is built into phones, it is now very easy. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 38 T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T /Photo by Eric Stone on Unsplash
  • 39. THE DECADE OF PAID In the next months and years, we will see the failure of publishers and services that cannot successfully balance the mix of subscription and advertising. There will be more consolidation towards the already successful businesses leaving late- movers in trouble. Quibi is one recent example that shows that the paid model will not work for everyone. We are also likely to see subscription fatigue – how many services will people be willing to pay for in the long term when you can swap with friends and colleagues. To offset this, we expect to see the emergence of new bundles of content from publishers. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 39 Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
  • 40. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 40 IMPLICATIONS The move to paid content means that the amount of high quality ad inventory will fall, and brands will need to find other ways to reach customers. Look for sponsorships, partnerships and ways to integrate messages into content. Find ways to support the good, small, independent publishers who are struggling. If ad revenues are going to fall for publishers as a result of iOS14, brands will need to actively help the ones that are the best fit with their values to ensure that they stay in business.
  • 41. RESPONSIBLE MEDIA There is a greater emphasis on brand safety in advertising, including ensuring messages avoid appearing next to some political views, hate speech and more. In addition, advertisers also care about societal safety; not just what content their ads is seen near to, but what content, and which points of views their ads are helping to fund. The rise of video within user-generated content sites and social media has made it harder for content to be moderated using simple tools like keywords. Therefore, brands need to take extra care to understand where their ads are appearing on these platforms. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 41 Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
  • 42. RESPONSIBLE MEDIA Programmatic advertising and real-time bidding have separated advertising from the media that it appears in, leading to brands having less control over where their ads are appearing and what they are funding. High profile campaigns from lobby groups like Sleeping Giants have made marketers aware of this and forced them to address these issues. The industry's response has become more organised with initiatives like GARM (Global Alliance for Responsible Media) from the World Federation of Advertisers. They have managed to get firm commitments from Facebook and YouTube over monetisation and moderation of content. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 42 Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
  • 43. RESPONSIBLE MEDIA Technology companies are likely to have to take much more responsibility for the content on their platforms in the coming years. We are also likely to see a change in the business model from ‘it’s free, but we will monetise your data’, to ‘it’s free, but you are responsible for what you post, and can share in the monetisation’. The response to the pandemic has shown that these technology companies can act like media owners and take more control over dangerous content to stop its spread. Artificial intelligence will help to spot malicious and harmful content, but AI will also make it easier for ‘bad actors’ to create more of this content, including ‘deep fake’ videos. Finally, we hope that the greater responsibility for content does not simply lead to more ‘bland’ content that no one could find contentious. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 43 Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
  • 44. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 44 IMPLICATIONS Make sure you know where your ads are appearing, what they are funding and to have a view on what is and is not acceptable to your values. Take the responsibility to fund a wide range of publishers and media owners, to ensure a wide range of views in the media is viable. Try to better understand the role of advertising within smaller, more niche content sites, as well as the mass reach channels.
  • 45. THE METAVERSE Gaming is evolving to become a much more immersive experience, taking place in never- ending worlds, where players express themselves in a more social way. The development is taking us closer to the virtual worlds that feature in sci-fi books and films like Ready Player One, where people’s characters ‘live’ in believable alternate worlds. As gaming becomes more mainstream, games should be seen more as places and spaces where people choose to spend time with friends. This helps explain why gaming grew so much under lockdown, when people could not meet up in real life. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 45 /Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash
  • 46. THE METAVERSE Gaming and social media have been converging for years. Just as apps like Instagram increased their traction by adding ‘gamified’ elements like competing with friends on the number of likes and follows that you could get, games like Fortnite have been getting increasingly social through features like messaging. For example, Fortnite now hosts regular events outside the game for its members, like gigs and films, and recently added a ‘no combat’ mode where people could just hang out with friends rather than playing the battle royale games. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 46 Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
  • 47. THE METAVERSE As games become more like social spaces, we expect there to be far more opportunities for brands to get involved. We are starting to see more in-game advertising, particularly in the free, streamed online games, through companies like Bidstack, where advertisers can target audiences through the same programmatic exchanges that they use with other campaigns. We also expect commerce to become integrated into the experience. Gamers already have payment set up to buy things within games like ‘skins’ and equipment, so why not purchase physical goods too? TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 47 Photo by Corentin Marzin on Unsplash
  • 48. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 48 IMPLICATIONS Embrace games and eSports as an opportunity to reach audiences – and potentially to sell. Gaming is now a mainstream medium for many, with usership likely to rise further as people spend more time at home. Develop a greater understanding of gaming culture and how your brand could fit in. Examine the increasing parallels with social media; could gaming play a part in social strategies?
  • 49. SOCIAL SCREENING Virtual watch parties are events where people watch content together in different locations as if they were all in the same cinema or front room, but watching on their own screens, with built-in channels of communication like voice or text. Of course, people have unofficially done this for years - ringing friends during sports matches (or tweeting along to reality TV shows) - but we now see the emergence of dedicated services for VOD. Data from Maru/Matchbox reports that 19% of US internet users have tried a watch party, rising to 33% among 18-34s. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 49 Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
  • 50. SOCIAL SCREENING Facebook introduced integrated video watch parties in 2018. Now the feature has recently been added to the video offerings of major players like YouTube and Amazon Prime. There are many similarities to what Twitch has done to make gaming a collective viewing experience - one person shares his screen, while others click on the link to watch, seeing all the action as it happens live. Intel reports that 4m people in the UK now watch eSports regularly. It is no surprise that Amazon is combining Twitch with Prime to offer watch parties as a service so that people can also watch movies and TV shows together on the platform. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 50 Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash
  • 51. SOCIAL SCREENING As people continue to live more remote lives, in more connected homes, we expect these watch parties to grow in popularity. These could well become alternative activities for separated families and groups of friends. Why have a long weekly call or a Zoom quiz when you could watch a new episode of The Simpsons together? To avoid piracy, content must be legally shareable. Everyone watching must have access; for example, any households watching Amazon Prime content via Twitch need to have a Prime account. SVOD companies could offer the ability to host watch parties as a (paid) extra feature to members. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 51 Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash
  • 52. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 52 IMPLICATIONS Find out if social screening is something your customers are already doing, and if they would let you join in. If so, investigate ways to enable events by helping with licences, making special content available, or bringing celebrities and influencers to be part of the party.
  • 53. CONNECTING THE DOTS As the big technology companies consolidate their power, they are each building more synergies between their different services. Google is putting payment into Maps, e.g. for petrol. Amazon has added Twitch’s live streaming to Amazon Music and has used the Twitch technology to create new services like Amazon Explore. Facebook is increasingly linking all of its services to offer unified tools for eCommerce. Facebook is sharing features between platforms, like commerce and stories, and is now branding both Instagram and WhatsApp as more obviously from Facebook. Apple is tying its different services together into bundles. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 53 Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash
  • 54. CONNECTING THE DOTS In last year’s report, we showed how these companies were increasingly competing with each other in areas like streaming video and gaming. Connecting the Dots is the next step: each is building on their strengths by linking more of their services together, rather than introducing new, stand-alone products. Integrating the services means that the ecosystems become more like ‘one-stop shops’ for all your needs, rather than a disparate group of apps and sites. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 54 Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash
  • 55. CONNECTING THE DOTS We expect these companies to continue to connect the dots in increasingly creative ways throughout the next decade. Google will build payment into more of its assets like Chrome, for example, and you will be able to talk to every part of Amazon. However, there are major stumbling blocks ahead in the shape of regulation and the possibility that these companies will be forced to sell or separate their different divisions. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 55
  • 56. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 56 IMPLICATIONS Growing synergy will increase the strength of the big technology companies, potentially at the cost of independent third parties like Spotify. This could mean very integrated ad solutions for brands, with multiple services seamlessly linking together. But it will also make the technology companies even more like ‘frenemies’, with control of many of the most valuable tools, and access to the most valuable data.
  • 58. SECTION THREE Now that we have outlined the main trends and patterns that we have noticed, we want to bring inspiration and help you to imagine the future by looking at some of the intersections between the two types of trends. Many of the trends this year are connected. By examining some of the connections, we should help create new opportunities in our clients' markets and for their audiences. For example, what happens when you look at the 'Donut Problem' trend in conjunction with the rise of paid content, or the 'Great Divide' with the rise of immersive gaming? TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 58
  • 59. 59 From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide Camera’s New Life Contactless Media AR app Hipster Bait combines music discovery and a Pokémon GO style location-based AR experience Why print installation instructions for products if you can access online tutorials with a QR code? Cyber security experts warn about QR codes’ data privacy hazards. Is your QR experience safe for users? AR can be a great tool for illustrating issues like diversity. Google used AR to replace the faces on dollar bills with notable women Screen-free Media Google istesting voice biometrics for payment. How does voice shopping affect brand names? Talk to the Ad Google assistant has introduced guest mode so that your questions aren’t saved. Whatis your brand’s version of the incognito mode? The Decade of Paid Disney reached 70 million subscribers in less than a year. Can even a vaccine stop the streaming boom spreading? LucrativeLocal Niches Several new devices now work on a paid service model. What could you learn from Pelaton? With paid content, there is less need to have ads, so less incentive to sell customers’ data. The secret behind the rise of Netflix? Is it true that paid content is predominantly left/centre learning? Responsible Media Quashing Conspiracies How can your brand support local communities? More devices can now carry programmatic advertising. How do your brand’s ads fit smartwatches or games consoles? Is Spotify responsible for what Joe Rogan’s guests say on his podcast, as the pod is hosted on Spotify’s platform? The Metaverse Nintendo’s profits tripled in 2020. Which games best align with your brand? Smart Sweat While people have identities in games, they generally don’t use their real names Political Battlegrounds Social Screening Amazon introduced the virtual watch party feature to game streaming platform Twitch, letting people watch movies from Prime Virtual Gigs Watch parties rely on people being able to watch on multiple devices, like phones, laptops, consoles and connected TV’s By taking part in virtual watch parties, you are creating a data footprint, including linking you with interests and friends Connecting the Dots Big Tech’s domination of business reaches new heights in the pandemic. What does your brand have that they cannot copy? Facebook talks about helping small local businesses in its introduction of shopping services Google, Facebook and Apple will soon launch their smart glasses. How could they enhance the user experience with your brand? Contextual Identity Google and Facebook have had to take proactive steps to stop content spreading on their platforms
  • 60. ‘FOGO’ x ‘AR’ = CONTACTLESS MEDIA This is one of the most obvious intersections – the idea of augmented reality as a technology that allows contactless experiences and shopping. Amazon used AR to bring Halloween to life for US customers by printing pumpkin shapes on their packaging in late October. Shoppers could scan the pumpkin to see it come to life. It also gave them a great reason to download Amazon’s AR app, and then (hopefully) use it for other things. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 60 Photo by Svitlana on Unsplash
  • 61. ‘FOGO’ x ‘RESPONSIBLE MEDIA’ = QUASHING CONSIPIRACIES There is a less obvious link between FOGO and the Responsible Media trend. Still, one example we see is the action that services like Facebook and YouTube have taken to remove false stories around the pandemic. For example, all social platforms have removed or stopped the spread of the ‘Plandemic’ video and its sequel, which gave dangerous and false information about the virus. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 61 Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash
  • 62. T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T / ‘DONUT PROBLEM’ x ‘PAID CONTENT’ = LUCRATIVE LOCAL NICHES Paid content works well for specific niches, including local networks. One example of this is KidPass, the subscription- based service giving parents access to a curated list of events to help entertain and educate their kids. It operates in 10 US cities and areas (although the events it promotes are mainly online at the moment). TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 62 Photo by Igor Starkov on Unsplash
  • 63. ‘RESPECTING PRIVACY’ x ‘SCREEN FREE MEDIA’ = INCOGNITO VOICE SEARCH The Respecting Privacy trend has many interesting intersections and examples relating to the other trends. Sometimes these trends contradict. For example, the rise of QR code usage is worrying for some as codes can lead to unsafe links (you can’t see in advance where your phone is being directed to). Another, more positive example is how Google has created a ‘guest mode’ for its voice assistant, where queries you ask are treated as separate to your other searches, protecting your privacy. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 63 Photo by Thom on Unsplash
  • 64. ‘CONNECTED LIVES’ x ‘THE METAVERSE’ = SMART SWEAT The Connected Lives trend intersects with many others, as it is all about the rise of multiple devices in our homes. Its connection with The Metaverse may seem quite obvious – most multiplayer games are accessible from many different devices, with gameplay optimising accordingly. What is also interesting is the home fitness element. Peloton and Zwift both benefit from aspects of gamification, including leader boards and points. Zwift even presents its workouts as game situations (riding your bike in different terrain, for example), letting users invite their friends to take part in the race. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 64 Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash
  • 65. ‘THE GREAT DIVIDE’ x ‘THE METAVERSE’ = POLITICAL BATTLEGROUNDS We can even connect The Great Divide trend with the rise of immersive gaming. In October, two US politicians, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar live-streamed a game of Among Us on Twitch, attracting a live audience of over 400,000, and reaching over 5m over the course of the whole game. Gaming worlds will likely become a significant ‘battleground’ for politicians to reach critical demographics with their messages. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 65 Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
  • 66. BUILD OUT YOUR OWN TRENDS SPRINT 66 We now want to inspire you to think about how you can use these trends in your own planning. The matrix we have built out can form the perfect tool for a 2021 Trends Sprint or workshop for you to prototype ideas to test in Q1. The background reading in this document will give your team the overall background to prepare for a session. Then the structure we are working with will help your facilitators get the most from everyone's creativity. From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide Camera’s New Life Contactless Media AR app Hipster Bait combines music discovery and aPokémon GO style location-based AR experience Why print installation instructions for products if you can access online tutorials with a QR code? Cyber security experts warn about QR codes’ data privacy hazards. Is your QR experience safe for users? AR can be a great tool for illustrating issues like diversity. Google used AR to replace the faces on dollar bills with notable women Screen-free Media Google is testing voice biometrics for payment. How does voice shopping affect brand names? Talk to the Ad Google assistant has introduced guest mode so that your questions aren’t saved. Whatis your brand’s version of the incognito mode? The Decade of Paid Disney reached 70 million subscribers in less than a year. Can even a vaccine stop the streaming boom spreading? Lucrative Local Niches Several new devices now work on a paid service model. What could you learn from Pelaton? With paid content, there is less need to have ads, so less incentive to sell customers’ data. The secret behind the rise of Netflix? Is it true that paid content is predominantly left/centre learning? Responsible Media Quashing Conspiracies How can your brand support local communities? More devices can now carry programmatic advertising. How do your brand’s ads fit smartwatches or games consoles? Is Spotify responsible for what Joe Rogan’s guests say on his podcast, as the pod is hosted on Spotify’s platform? The Metaverse Nintendo’s profits tripled in 2020. Which games best align with your brand? Smart Sweat While people have identities in games, they generally don’t use their real names Political Battlegrounds Social Screening Amazon introduced the virtual watch party feature to game streaming platform Twitch, letting people watch movies from Prime Virtual Gigs Watch parties rely on people being able to watch on multiple devices, like phones, laptops, consoles and connected TV’s By taking part in virtual watch parties, you are creating a data footprint, including linking you with interests and friends Connecting the Dots Big Tech’s domination of business reaches new heights in the pandemic. What does your brand have that they cannot copy? Facebook talks about helping small local businesses in its introduction of shopping services Google, Facebook and Apple will soon launch their smart glasses. How could they enhance the user experience with your brand? Contextual Identity Google and Facebook have had to take proactive steps to stop content spreading on their platforms
  • 67. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 67 STEP 1 Download from the team on which individual trends feel most relevant to your consumers, category, and brand. Rank the trends in priority order. First, which of the long-term trends are likely to have the most impact in the future, creating both challenges and opportunities? Then, which of the shorter-term media and technology trends could be used to bring advantage or create innovative work? Please note you also need to think about geography. You will need to take into account an understanding of the audience and the local market conditions to ensure that the ranking is based upon where the trends are likely to be applied.
  • 68. STEP 2 68 Build out your matrix and plot summaries of what you find exciting about each trend in the matrix we have built out for you. Highlight your priority hotspots based on your scoring. From FOMO to FOGO The Donut Problem Connected Lives Respecting Privacy The Great Divide Camera’s New Life Screen-free Media The Decade of Paid Responsible Media The Metaverse Social Screening Connecting the Dots
  • 69. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 69 STEP 3 Break the team into Creative Pairs or Trios to generate five quick applications/use cases of the trends in combination. Then bring the whole team back to share their ideas and vote on those to be taken forward to prototyping and building out ideas to test. Each team should present their use cases via a common format. For example: The name: The specific application of the trends: Scalability: Our right to play
  • 70. TRENDS FOR 2021 – CARAT 70 STEP 4 Final vote on the most exciting ideas and assignment of ownership of next steps.
  • 71. T R E N D S F O R 2 0 2 1 – C A R A T 71 ABOUT CARAT Most recently named a leader amongst global media agencies by Forrester, Carat is consistently ranked the #1 media agency in the world with over 12,000 experts, operating across 190+ offices in 135+ countries. Carat delivers an unparalleled capability to unlock real human understanding to connect people and brands by designing powerful and engaging media experiences. Carat is a dentsu company and privileged to work with some of the most storied and innovative brands in the world. CONTACT Dan Calladine Head of Media Futures dan.calladine@carat.com