1. Unique vending machines.
We are used to vending machines that spit out Reese’s, greasy chips, and Coke. So when marketers embraced the degenerate vending machine, we found that dollar bills weren’t necessary to get tricks and treats.
2. Activity for Reward.
Apparently Mrs. Obama isn't the only one trying to motivate people to get some exercise. Marketers are using unusual motivating techniques to raise heart rates and promote their products (or the Olympics). Go ahead, watch them all. You'll either want to dance along or take a guilt-trip to the gym tonight.
3. Scary Prankvertising.
Prank advertising is a newer trend over the past decade. Scaring people into experiences with a brand sure makes a strong memory - not necessarily a positive one, though. This year, brands really made an effort to frighten their consumer-base by showing off their products and scaring the wits out of people at the same time. Genius or cruelty? Depends on your sense of humor I guess.
Social media managers have really been stepping up their game lately. Banter between frenemies and comparators have been popping up all over Twitter this year. Sometimes these chats are funny and nice while others poke and prod a bit uncomfortably. Here’s a compilation of the best from 2013 by Cotton Delo at AdAge. And this back and forth started with a tweet to Tesco Mobile and turned into an epic conversation between a bunch of British brands.
Unless you’ve been living under a boulder, you know pictures and video are the trendy social media content shares this year. Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other visually-oriented social media pages are blowing up mobile phones around the world. People are drawn to visuals more than ever now that there is so much content on the web - think of that old adage ‘pictures speak a thousand words.’ If you don’t believe me, read Jeff Bullas’ article about why you should be including images in your marketing. His statistics are quite convincing...
6. Embracing Technology Integration.
Though this is kind of a broad topic, I just want to point out how marketers are (FINALLY) realizing the importance of digital technology integration. If a brand’s website and social media pages aren’t living up to expectations or aren’t functioning properly, perception of the product decreases and can even damage a brand’s image permanently. The effort it takes to streamline all marketing efforts - from traditional to digital - is worth it in today’s hyper-connected world of consumers. Brand managers are beginning to get the balance right. I’m so proud.
Based on my experiences and research this year, these are the top topics in marketing and advertising. Be on the lookout for my follow-up post: 'Reading the Crystal Ball - 2014 Advertising Trends.'