Julian Kynaston – Propaganda chairman

2018 will be the year brand and digital finally fuse together after a decade of failed dialogue. The term digital agency will end; an agency should now be ‘assumed’ to be digital – there can be no other type. 

Sophie Honegger – Senior designer 

Generative design is one to watch in 2018, in other words, using algorithms to generate one-off designs. Nutella has just used it to create seven-million unique jar designs – although each one features a uniform colour palette and style, no two are the same. Not only does this have the potential to turn the design industry on its head, but is a nod to the huge trend for personalisation – consumers can choose their jar of Nutella like they’re selecting a piece of art for their home.

Joseph Hughes – Head of creative

As communication channels become increasingly diverse and target audiences get smaller and smaller, in 2018 we’ll see an accelerated move from tactic-driven creative to creative-driven tactics – brand ideas that can travel between outdoor, digital and personal messaging, or wherever, without losing their impact.

Claire Anderson – Social account director

This year I’ll be keeping a close eye on the mobile messaging app space; platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and Kik… While Twitter continues to fall out-of-favour, particularly with the all-important generation Z-ers and their increased buying power, it’s crucial brands get to grips with intimate, one-to-one communication through messaging apps – combining smart, creative and engaging ideas with the emerging functionality, like artificial intelligence and promoted chats.

Tom Fowler – Senior planner

2017 gave us Juicero, the ‘juice lifestyle platform’ that asked you to spend $400 on a Nespresso-like machine that prepares an $8-a-piece juice pouch ordered online and delivered via subscription. But people found you could just squeeze the pouches using your hands. Or eat an apple. Unnecessary complexity is everywhere. It’s also infected the way we speak to each other. On the train this morning I heard someone bellow into their phone “Do you really need me to explain the difference between ‘integrated’ and ‘built-in?”. Errr, yes please. In 2018 we’ll do well to remember that products and brands must answer a need, not just provide us with more options, and could clarity resume normal order over techno-babble please?

 Richard McMurrough – Director

If 2017 was the year of fake news, then 2018 is set to be the year of honesty. It’s more important now than ever before that brands are built on truth – consumers demand it, and what’s more, they deserve it. 

Julian Pearce – Corporate PR account director

The shifting dynamic between consumer and brand is nothing new, but whereas we’ve seen the rise of the consumer, particularly through an increase in the importance of social media, 2018 will be the year that businesses really capitalise on personal brand. Businesses are often led from the top, but thrive on knowledge from every level. Corporate comms and thought leadership can really benefit from this expertise and insight that exists throughout good businesses, to show an authentic and rounded view of a company.

James Winfield – Digital director

One of the main challenges for the digital industry this coming year is the deadline in May for companies to ensure they comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). One of the key areas is how personal data is collected and for what purpose. When it comes to e-mail marketing, the days of assuming implied opt in will not be acceptable and a physical opt in process must occur before these individuals can be marketed to… let the fireworks commence.