With a plethora of new digital tech changing the way we produce and experience content, marketers can deliver their message via ever more personalised channels. But as the tech races ahead, creatives have their work cut out to get the best from all the unfamiliar new platforms that are emerging.

Global spend on digital advertising will reach 50% of the total next year, much of it on video aimed at Gen-Z, who are currently estimated to watch 68 videos per day. Advertisers love the medium, and with companies like Mailchimp getting involved, video is on the up. Again creatives need to understand the tech to make the most of it.

Technology’s tools are intended to make working more efficient and speed up workflows. But these invariably mean shorter deadlines and more pressure on creative teams. Making creative ideas fit with new tech – and vice versa – could also dilute the campaign’s core message.

Mobile advertising, with a $93bn mobile-first ad spent in 2019 ($20bn more than TV), bring along shorter ads e.g. six-second bumper video ads which need to tell a story in next to no time.

Vertical video is another new challenge, with brands taking advantage of Facebook’s 8bn daily video views, shoppable Instagram stories and the popularity of mobile video apps such as Snapchat and Periscope.

Then there’s 5G. Besides giving us higher mobile speeds, longer battery life and increased responsivity, it could soon test creative ingenuity by connecting brands to their audience through smart watches, fridge doors and other new formats.  

Omnichannel marketing likewise brings new demands, for Instagram Stories and search ads, Gen-Z games and social media favourites like TikTok, Twitch, Discord and Fortnite. Creatives must tailor their ideas to the unique features of each new emerging channel.

AI has brought us advanced predictive personalisation, creating ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. Creatives will need to keep up as AI identifies new personas in increasingly defined segments. And who knows what Augmented Reality will throw into the mix, with revenues predicted to go from $428 million now to $2.6 billion in 2021.

Wieden+Kennedy’s head of technology, Michael Naman, says businesses will be unrecognisable in the next five to ten years as they continue to digitise what they do. He also thinks the industry needs to restrain the use of tech for tech’s sake or we risk undermining creativity.

Whatever new developments come along, the only way forward is for creatives and tech developers to work more closely together, with both sides willing to embrace new ways of working and be willing to see things from each other’s viewpoint.  

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