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.

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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