As it's the start of a brand new year, we've curated some of the most interesting and exciting trends in media, technology and marketing for 2016.
From January 6th 2016, consumers will be able to pre-order Oculus Rift. This is unlikely to take VR into the mainstream immediately, but will certainly provide the biggest indication yet of the potential of the technology for in-home use.
“Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus initiatives are beginning to show us what in-home and in-store experiences could look and feel like in the near future."
We expect further VR launches in 2016 from the likes of HTC and Playstation.
In 2016 – the year of the Rio Olympics – there is an even greater opportunity than usual for brands to tap into moment marketing.
Sporting events provide brands with an opportunity to gain cultural relevance at a fixed point in time which can, in principle, be planned well in advance.
During the 2014 World Cup, adidas did just this, planning compelling, relevant content six months in advance, that could be executed in real-time. As WARC point out in their 2016 trends report, “this became the foundation of adidas’s seamless World Cup storytelling; reactive content was live on social within seconds, and in digital and out of home within minutes."
Of course, access to Olympics athletes will be vital to producing compelling, credible content around the Games, and as such we expect to see more high-quality branded content similar to this, produced for Oakley in December 2015.
The Future Laboratory expects one of 2015’s big trends – mindfulness – to do an about-turn in 2016, as consumers seek more surprising, exciting and exhilarating experiences.
As Dr. Read Montague, associate professor of neuroscience at Baylor University puts it: "The brain finds unexpected pleasure more rewarding than expected ones, and it may have nothing to do with what people say they like".
This "unexpectedness" was a feature of Three's #holidayspam campaign with Factory Media in 2015, which allowed holidaymakers to take photos with their friends in a tube carriage at snow resorts across Europe. We expect more brands to adopt this trend in 2016.
The era of Mobile Video
In 2016, as consumers shift even further from desktop to mobile, YouTube is being challenged as the market leader in online video.
In November, Facebook announced average daily video views of 8 billion and a 27% year-on-year increase in mobile daily active users. Ted Zagat, ad product lead at Facebook says, “a year or two from now, we think Facebook will be mostly video".
Mobile video, already forms a huge part of what Factory Media offers and in 2015 the following video achieved over 4.5m video views on Facebook alone.
A.I. is likely to develop significantly in 2016, according to media agency Carat. Using ever-increasingly complex datasets, devices and platforms will recognise faces, measure levels of sentiment and perhaps even 'telepathically' suggest ideal products for consumers by analysing brain patterns. “Wearable devices like smart watches are already collecting the data, and it’s likely that 3rd party services will find ways to interpret these cues."
Factory Media users are three times as likely as the average GB adult to own a wearable device (Source: YouGov Profiles, Factory Media , and as such we think this trend will have a significant impact on our audiences in 2016.