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JJ’s 2017 Predictions

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Here, the JJers make their forecasts for the New Year. See if you agree.

Marketing predictions


In 2017, we’ll see significant advancements within the Internet of Things, driven and enabled by companies such as Google, which has just announced major updates to its IoT developer platform – taking us one step closer to a world of connected objects. We’ll also see increasing numbers of brands becoming broadcasters, delivering ‘always-on’ streams of content to audiences across multiple channels. Finally, we’ll see exciting developments within social media, in the form of new advertising formats and targeting possibilities – enabling brands to run highly engaging, cost-effective campaigns that reach the right audiences, in the right locations, at the right time.

– Tom Hunter, Senior Account Manager

Voice Search

I predict that voice search is going to sneak up on us in a big way next year. We’ve already seen the introduction of Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo with its introduction of Google Home. We’ve also written about how we think voice search might affect SEO moving forward – but this is just the beginning.

With voice activated home assistants becoming mainstream, there are a lot of questions arising over how they’ll be used, who they’ll be partnering and, most importantly, who owns the data the assistants gather.

2017 will be the year these questions begin to be answered, but will it be in time for the next round of voice search developments? I’m not so sure.

– Emily Bray, Account Manager

Personalisation and data

I think personalised/targeted online advertising will continue to develop to a new level of sophistication, so much so that you really won’t mind adverts appearing on your favourite websites. The amount of data and insight available through services offered by Facebook, Google and Twitter means advertisers have more tools than ever to ensure their messaging is getting through to the right people. No (well, very few) excuses!

However, I think pre-roll video advertising (online or on-demand) still has a long way to go in terms of being relevant and enticing enough to prevent the user from clicking the ‘skip ad’ button on YouTube or installing an ad blocker. There’s certainly a place for it but advertisers need to be more creative, and perhaps transparent, in order to grab the attention of viewers in those first five seconds. Unless it’s clear from the start what’s being promoted, I’m clicking skip.

– Gaetan Staples, Account Executive

I think that serious questions will asked about the audience delivery, targeting claims and effectiveness (or otherwise) of social media and online advertising and in the longer term we will see a transition of budgets back toward more traditional high impact channels for larger brands. This will be coupled with a more pragmatic approach to audience selection and targeting, leading to a demise in the trend toward ‘big data.’

– Simon Meakin, Planning Director

Automotive Marketing

This car could be responsible for blowing open the executive saloon market. It’s an electric car that doesn’t look like it’s been designed by someone who was visiting on work experience.

Sleek lines, self-driving, great performance, decent mileage, zero emissions and a reasonable price, what is there not to like?

This could be a serious challenge to BMW, Mercedes and Audi, who have in recent years dominated this sector with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4.

Pros: Let’s face it, unintelligent combustion engines are SO 2016.

Cons: Tesla may not be able to get them out of the factory quick enough.

Making it a game changer for not just the automotive market but the automotive marketing market.

– Mark Thomas, Creative Artworker

Simplicity and a tech rebellion

Sixty years ago, the No1 Christmas hit was ‘I’m Walking Backwards for Christmas’ by The Goons and that’s what’s going to happen in 2017. We’ll be going back in time as the rampant rise of technology into every aspect of our daily lives begins to meet resistance as we seek a more simple, analogue existence. It’s already happening. In music, vinyl is making a comeback while the no-frills Dacia range of cars grows from strength to strength. You can’t continue to force technology onto consumers who never realised that they either wanted or needed it.

2017 will also see the growth in popularity of KISS. Not the rock band but ’keep it simple, stupid’. Marketing is becoming too smart for its own good as creative operatives disappear up their own brand values and campaigns become more and more obscure and less relevant to most consumers.

– Andrew Andersz, PR Director

People powered marketing

This has been written about across the industry many times over the past couple of years but with the proliferation of new tech, 2017 could potentially see a greater realisation of PPM. The emphasis is on the consumer – we’ve heard that before. We can glean so much from consumer insight and analysis that we think, as a brand/agency, we know what they want to see, hear, touch, engage with. However, in this digital, tech-led age, consumers are more savvy and not so swayed by the old traditional model of ads served to them on a plate.

They want something that feels real to them. Rather than brands marketing to consumers, it’s evolving into people talking to people through generated content which can be created in a flash through the devices in their back pockets etc. Consumers are not so much influenced by what a brand tells them but by what their peers have an opinion on. This needs to be leveraged by brands.

– Andi Holbrook, Account Director

AR and VR

We’re going to see a push in powerful and more immersive experiences, which will be led by live video and augmented/virtual reality. We’ve seen it this year with Pokémon Go and the release of VR gaming with PlayStation, but next year we’re really going to see it take off, giving the user the opportunity to really share content that is “in the moment”.

– Jai Raja, Account Executive

Promotional Pens

2017 will see hipster values reaching new heights as the desire for millinery and tailoring from a bygone age continues to outstrip irony and taste. The exponents will continue to strive for handmade goods in the belief that its more “real” and things were definitely better years ago. They will also continue to ignore the cures for rickets and diphtheria whilst telling us that it was much better in the good old days.

All of this will lead to a Facebook backlash. FB will implode in August 2017 during a simultaneous gathering/protest/coffee morning of hipsters throughout the western world. It will, obviously, be arranged on Twitter.

At this point a host of FB replacements will spring up and marketing spend will be spread far and wide. No one will be able to recommend a replacement as none of it will work properly, but it will be astonishingly expensive to run any marketing campaign across multiple formats, all promising to reach an audience of millions. In reality most of it won’t be seen outside of Shoreditch.

So the hipsters will get a social media experience that is “better” than what we currently have. That’s “better” in that it will espouse the values of their own output – being more expensive, not working as well, using crap old technology that died because everyone realized it was rubbish years ago, and is exclusive.

In October Mary Portas will make a series of programs over consecutive nights following the Channel 4 news. In it she will flounce around deprived areas of Britain asking people to join her and take back control of social media. Sir Richard Branson will ally himself and launch a social media experience with the backing of Theresa May as she makes a desperate bid to capture the zeitgeist and return to power as the hideously fractured country demands a General Election following a muddled summer of Article 50 promises. By December the world will have unified in their love VirginBook, which will have proved surprisingly popular with a number of previously closed religious orders around the world who may have misunderstood the promise. Mark Zuckerberg will then buy it.

Promotional pens – they might be big in 2017, but I can’t be sure.

– Ed Howe, Production Director

See you in the New Year

So, there you have it. Tech, cars and promotional pens, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

We can’t be certain of much in the New Year in light of the year we’ve just had but we can be sure it’s going to be another interesting one for marketing as we enjoy yet more digital and cultural innovations.

See if we’re right by checking in with us again or let us know if you agree via our Twitter page.