Wunderman publishes predictions for marketing in the roaring ’20s


Wunderman Thompson Intelligence has published “The Future 100” report, tipping what the big marketing trends could be in the decade ahead.

Wunderman Future 100

The Future 100 helps readers prepare for emerging consumer behaviour with 100 original trend predictions from the Innovation Group.

Split into 10 categories, each trend delivers a digestible snapshot of movements so far, while clearly explaining why brands and marketers should pay attention.

Complex cocktails to digital spas

Tech innovations range from complex cocktails and digital spas to subscription insurance and scientific expeditions. The report predicts 2020 will usher in an era that’s realistic yet imaginative. Even the health care industry seems to adopting these massive changes in technology, with the likes of optometrists looking for optometry consulting to help improve operational efficiency and marketing efforts. Implementing some of the tools predicted by the trends below could vastly redefine healthcare and usher in a new paradigm.

It will also be leveraged by tech innovation and a redefined experience for shoppers on the high street, said Wunderman.

CREDIT Machine Hallucination by Refik Anadol
Optimism: WTI’s predictions for the 20s. Photo: Refik Anadol

The report is full of insights and fresh takes on the year ahead and beyond.

“A real cultural change has taken place, with purpose and transparency leading customer loyalty, while imagination is trumping data for consumer appeal”, Emma Chiu, Global Director of Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, said.

‘The Future 100 is a way of keeping up with the big shifts and smaller fast-moving trends. Offering marketers an opportunity to get ahead.”

Trend segments

The report’s 10 trend segments are: Brands & Marketing, Culture, Tech & Innovation, Travel & Hospitality, Food & Drink, Beauty, Retail, Luxury, Health and Finance.

2020 highlights include:

Optimistic futures

Unsettling political, economic and environmental times have left consumers feeling anxious. From Pantone’s fierce Flame Scarlet shade of red for spring/summer 2020 to Lego’s challenge to “rebuild the world,” forward-thinking companies are brightening the gloom with a realistic and optimistic outlook.

The privacy era

Once seen as an aid to consumers, data collection is now viewed as underhanded and unethical. Consumers are at breaking point amid frequent and severe data breaches.

2019 initiatives were the first step on a path to redemption for some brands and the idea that consumers can control their own data is becoming a clear possibility.

Climate positive brands

As climate concerns remain headline news, brands are focusing on ensuring they have real sustainable business plans and carbon-neutral policies, and are transparent about their responsibilities.

This will not only build trust but also earn customer loyalty as consumers get wise to environmental impacts.

Untabooing in the East

A shift in openness around traditional taboos and gender straitjackets in Asia is initiating a fresh approach to the market.

Attitudes to issues surrounding mental health, sexual health and gender are changing, supported by technology and rapid economic development.

CREDIT - image courtesy of Fecal Matter
Old taboos: WTI sees ‘untabooing’ of the East. Photo courtesy of Fecal Matter
Into the multiverse

While reality points to a dystopian future, artists are creating alternative worlds that inspire infinite possibilities, offering tired consumers portals of escapism, adventure and a life less ordinary.

New payment gestures

Frictionless payment options, involving card-free and phone-free biometric systems that allow shoppers to pay with the wave of a hand, are getting creative and money is becoming more ephemeral.

While regulation still needs to catch up, gesture technologies in cashierless stores are already on the horizon.

New beauty playgrounds

Experiential shopping matches with a line of best fit for today’s beauty consumers, who still prefer to try out and buy cosmetics in store.

Spotting the trend, beauty brands are developing a veritable playground of experiences. They’re reimagining the beauty counter as a destination where consumers can spend time playing and, of course, purchasing.

Anti-Instagram dining

Restaurants are turning away from the predictable design vernacular fetishised by social media.

Moving away from bright hues to more intimate and darker designs that do not perform well on screen encourages intimate interactions and private glamour.

The 226 page report can be downloaded here.