JWT Lists 100 Things to Watch in 2014

The global marketing-communications agency JWT has released its annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead. The list spotlights developments around major events such as the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and across sectors such as technology, television, food, spirits, retail, health care, and the arts.

Many items on the list illustrate some of the 10 broader cultural shifts that JWT identified in their 2014 trends report. Some those trends included: the end of anonymity, the movement toward mindful living, the appeal of imperfection, the remixing of tradition, immersive experiences, and the continuing shift to more visual communications.

[slideshare id=29427719&doc=jwt100thingstowatchin2014-131222091452-phpapp02]

Many items on the 100 Things to Watch list will interest creative professionals. Here are few items that caught my eye.

Art Incubators. Museums and other arts organizations are launching in-house incubators that explore the intersection of art and technology and stimulate creative thinking.

Community-Supported Everything. Now that communities have recognized the benefits of supporting local farmers, consumers’ interest in supporting local businesses is spreading to other categories, including art and design.

Digital Art. According to JWT, “Art that relies on digital technology, from GIFs to websites and beyond, is coming into its own…While the art world continues to grapple with details related to ownership, the auction house Phillips held its first digital art auction in 2013 in partnership with Tumblr. Another is planned for 2014.

Estimated Reading Times. Online publishers have started posting estimated reading times next to their articles. 

Glanceable UI. Interfaces will use symbols and visuals to tell impatient consumers just what they need to know. For example, the dating app TInder swaps lengthy profiles for images that users can swipe through. 

Photoshop for All. The popularity of selfies and the pressure to look good in social media has led to the development of easy-to-use tools to make photo subjects look their best. JWT points to apps such as Facetune that let users white teeth or remove acne or Layrs, which allows users to move photo subjects into different backgrounds.

Speaking Visually. According to the report, “At a time when consumers are shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets, and other imagery, brands will communicate with images more than words.” JWT believes that in the digital world and offline, visual cues will complement or replace text on everything from packaging and menus to instruction manuals.

Survival of the Focused. JWT analysts observe that people who can shut out distractions and focus on what’s most important will be both healthier and more successful. They observe that all the multitasking we’ve been doing has made us “frazzled, jittery, and unable to do any one thing particularly well.”

Other items on the list include 3D printer retail hubs, “techno-paranoia,” telepresence robots, unconventional models, cocktails on tap, sports mashups, makeup salons, equal rights for men, edible packaging, verified reviewers, divorce parties, digital grieving, tablet-first TV, and “beacons” that allow retailers to precisely track shopper’ mobile phones and send highly targeted content tied to their location and shopping habits.

This is the eighth year JWT has published a “Things to Watch” list as a complement to their annual trends forecast. Things that JWT has spotlighted on past lists include drones, crowdsourced learning, variable pricing, mobile money, and crowdfunding.  JWT Intelligence focuses on identifying shifts in consumer lifestyles and preferences that can be leveraged for business gain.

If you read the JWT list at the beginning of each year, you will notice dozens of different ways the trends and “things to watch” are taking shape throughout the year. You can use the ideas in the report to help refine or promote your own creative-services business.


JWT: 100 Things to Watch in 2014

JWT: Ten Trends for 2014 and Beyond





JWT Report Describes Ten Trends That Will Influence Consumer Behavior in 2014

JWT Intelligence has released its ninth annual forecast of ten key trends that will significantly affect how consumers think and behave in 2014.

If you look at similar reports from previous years, it’s clear that JWT has remarkably keen insight into how our preferences and lifestyles continue to evolve. You will also notice that some of the trends identified in this report are outgrowths of trends that have been spotted in past JWT reports (such as “embracing analog” and appreciating physical objects.

According to JWT’s Ann Mack, “In this year’s report, we see how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy.”

Among other trends, the JWT forecast discusses

  • the growth of immersive experiences
  • the accelerating shift to a visual vocabulary
  • the new appeal of imperfection
  • the rise of telepathic technology
  • the remixing of cherished traditions with new ideas
  • the appeal of mindful living

The authors of the report noted that “Trends don’t happen in isolation. They tend to intersect and work in tandem with each other.”


You don’t have to be a brand owner to appreciate the insights in JWT’s Trend Reports. As a freelance writer, I use the reports to help me find timely and relevant story ideas and angles. Photographers, designers, and copywriters, can use the information in these reports to either create new services or tweak how they market their services.


Executive Summary: 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond

YouTube: 10 Trends for 2014

JWT Report: 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond


JWT Lists 100 Things to Watch in 2013

JWT Lists 100 Things to Watch in 2013

JWT LogoJWT has released their list of “100 Things to Watch in 2013.” It’s a fascinating read, especially if you are a solopreneur seeking to create or market new products or services.

While things such as 3D Bioprinting seem a bit far out, the JWT report starts with a recap on the accuracy of previous “things-to-watch” forecasts. For example, the 2012 list included anywhere/any way shopping, smart clothing, and crowdsourced, online learning.

Here are 10 items in the report that might be of special interest to creative pros:

Patchwork Earnings
Sites such as Etsy and Kickstarter are enabling individuals to turn side projects into profitable ventures.  Non-traditional career paths will become the norm and Millennials (and others) will cobble together income from a variety of sources.

Serialized Digital Fiction
JWT predicts that serialized fiction (which was popular in the 19th century) will experience a digital revival through sites such as Byliner and Amazon’s “Kindle Serials” program.

Prime Time for the Second Screen
JWT believes that this may be the year the Internet gains true legitimacy for its original programming.

Flexible Screens
Screens that bend and curve could begin entering the market this year, initially on phones and wearable devices. They are forecast to be common within five years.

Consumers increasingly value the authenticity of imperfect-looking products (such as homegrown vegetables). Marketers may begin showing more real people instead of models.

Ambushed by Amazon
JWT predicts that Amazon.com might ultimately prove to be an extremely disruptive force.  They point out that while Amazon.com started out as a threat to booksellers, “it’s fast becoming Enemy No. 1 to retailers of all stripes now that it sells everything from high-end apparel to win and has shrunk its delivery times.”

Live-Streaming Life
People will use super-compact video cameras to live-stream their memories in real time.

Media that Gets to Know You
Media (video, audio, e-book content) will be tailored to individual consumers based on real-time data about each consumer.

Mobile-Optimized Goes Mainstream
Now that a growing proportion of smartphone users are accessing the Web primarily through their mobile devices, most marketers will strive to have their websites optimized for mobile by the end of 2013.

Responsive Web Design
More marketers will seek cross-platform web designs that adapt to different screen sizes and devices.


Super Stress Era
If 2012 left you feeling stressed out due to too much information and/or concerns about too little online privacy, JWT says you aren’t alone. In the “10 Trends for 2013” report they issued earlier this year, their experts contend that we’re entering “The Super Stress Era” and predicted that governments, employers, and brands will ramp up efforts to prevent and reduce stress.

In this “100 Things to Watch” report, JWT predicts that more people will seek the JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) by slowing down, savoring the moment, and focusing on what’s really important.

To filter out online annoyances, you will be able to use Web browser extensions to block social-media bores. If you dislike seeing political rants or baby pictures in your social-media news feeds, you will be able to have them automatically replaced with content that is more to your liking.

You will also be able to use stress-monitoring apps, buy products that earn the “Quiet Mark” seal of approval, and enjoy “privacy etiquette” rules to avoid over-sharing on social media. JWT also expects more people to retreat to nature to avoid the stresses of city living. We might also see more natural, organic elements in décor or more nature-themed entertainment.

JWT is a marketing communications firm that employs nearly 10,000 marketing professionals in more than 200 offices in over 90 countries. The JWT Intelligence group helps clients make sense of the chaos in a world of hyper-abundant information and constant innovation.


JWT 100 Things to Watch in 2012

JWT 10 Trends for 2013: Executive Summary

JWT Intelligence

JWT Identifies Ten Trends to Watch in 2012

JWT, a global leader in marketing communications, has released a report entitled “10 Trends for 2012.” Many of the trends are driven by continuing economic uncertainty, the idea of shared responsibility, and new technology.  Some of the trends identified in the report are extensions of trends that started in previous years and are gaining weight and momentum.

You can view the executive summary in the Slideshare presentation below. Four of the trends that we will be highlighting in more detail on this blog are:

The Entrepreneurial Mindset of “Generation Go.” Many twenty-somethings are finding opportunity in economic adversity. JWT notes that “Out of continued joblessness or discontent with the status quo will spring an unprecedented entrepreneurial mindset, enabled by technology that obliterates traditional barriers to entry.” For example, according to a JWT survey, more than half of Millennials in the U.S. agreed that if they lose or job or have trouble finding one, they will start their own businesses. The percentage is up significantly from 25% in 2009.

Reengineering Randomness. As the types of content, experiences, and people we are exposed to become narrower and more personalized, JWT predicts that greater emphasis will be placed on reintroducing randomness, discovery, inspiration, and different points of view into our worlds.

Screened Interactions. More flat surfaces are becoming screens, and more screens are becoming interactive. Marketers will create new ways to use these screens to inform, engage, and motivate consumers.

Objectifying Objects. As objects get replaced by virtual counterparts, people will place new value on the physical and tactile. JWT predicts that we’ll start seeing the creation of motivational objects, that increase the perceived value of digital property. We’ll also see more digital tools that enable the creation of physical things.

Mid-career creative professionals who are figuring out how to re-invent themselves for the latter stages of their careers can take heart in one other trend that  JWT identified: Celebrating Aging.  JWT notes that “popular perceptions of aging are changing, with people of all ages taking a more positive view of growing older.”