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2019 Will Be the Year of Engagement and Entertainment



INFLUENCER: Agencies and brands will have to put their money where their mouth is in the coming year, writes Sid Lee's Stephane Soussan

2019 Will Be the Year of Engagement and Entertainment

These days, brands can’t expect to be loved just for the innovations they come up with. They have to take a stand on a multitude of subjects plaguing our society. Take a position on climate change, equality between sexes, sustainable material… Like Volvo, who announced their goal of having zero fatalities for drivers of its new generation of cars between now and 2020. 

And then there's Patagonia, who’s committed to finding solutions to the environmental crisis. And auto manufacturers doing everything they can when it comes to electric cars - not necessarily for philanthropic reasons, but so as not to lose market share once all the oil is gone.

In 2019, agencies should carry out messages, but that won't be enough - they will have to prove that brands are taking actionable measures. Content marketing and activation are great vectors for this. North Face’s 'Walls are Meant for Climbing' and REI #OptoOutside are terrific examples, and more recently, Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign showed that taking a stand increases loyalty and desirability for the brand, as well as action on the stock market. 

2019 will also be the year when brands have to get involved in the life of their community. The most important criteria will be authenticity. A brand will be judged on its utility and its capacity to speak to its audience and that’s why influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. Yard is an entity here at Sid Lee, which specialises in influencer marketing. They’re close to their audience, thanks to the parties they throw, interviews they conduct with artists and musicians, the events they host - and that’s how they’re able to be both a media and agency at the same time, and credible to its target as well. They’ve developed content like 'Concrete Football', a documentary about street football, on Netflix. They’ve bucked tradition to go into disadvantaged neighbourhoods outside city lines, in 'Grand Paris', for the launch of the Nike Air Max 270. They speak directly to their audience, they go directly to their audience – that’s credibility.

To be able to develop content like their 'Concrete Football' documentary, or to launch events like Nike Air Max 270, where they bucked traditional trends to go to the people directly, you have to be credible. 

Another trend that’s been growing is entertainment in advertising, and I think that will continue. Brands like Old Spice and Skittles use it very well in their communication as a way to talk about what their products have. Our digital studio recently redid Sobieski’s website, giving it a no bullshit approach, with a quirky tone, and beer pong for people to fool around, just pure entertainment. I also think those key periods, like the holidays and sports events like the Super Bowl, are when agencies’ creativity and brands’ audacity always exceed creative limits. Those are golden opportunities for entertainment and it will be interesting to see how far the limits extend in 2019 and the years beyond. In my view, the big campaigns in the coming year will be all about engagement or entertainment. 

Stephane Soussan is creative director at Sid Lee Paris

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Sid Lee Paris, Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:18:25 GMT