2024 Creative Trends: Lead with impact

2024 Creative Trends: Lead with impact

Website_Blog-Creative Trends 2024

Every year, key figures in the advertising industry curate reports outlining the latest trends that will attract, engage and influence youth audiences in the upcoming year.
This blog showcases the 5 popular trends and themes that will have the greatest impact with Gen Z in 2024 – these have all been identified by leading marketing experts.

We’ve also explored how these trends will work in the education sector, so your comms can influence student behaviour and achieve standout.

TREND #1 MORE JOY REQUIRED

In a nutshell:

  • ”MORE JOY REQUIRED” highlights the significance of joy, softness, and play as antidotes to a stressful world. In the age of AI, humans will have to be more human, and successful brands will need to build on that humanity.
  • Barbie’s cultural impact in 2023 symbolizes the embrace of positivity. Experiences like Dopamine Land and the Balloon Museum promote playful, escapist joy, aligning with fashion’s surrealist trends.
  • Gen Z turns to skincare for self-soothing, forming a Peter Pan marketplace where play serves as therapy amid daunting adulthood.
  • Humour is identified as a coping mechanism, with a surge in appreciation for joy and happiness in everyday moments. The importance of comedic moments is recognized, with humour making a strong comeback in 2024.
  • Brands are advised to create meaningful pauses and rituals for consumers, emphasizing the value of optimism linked to actionable change.

EDUCATION – STRATEGIC STARTERS

  • Look to integrate more humorous content within the university social media channels.
  • Position the university as a facilitator of meaningful human moments by promoting campus events, traditions, and activities that provide respite and relaxation within comms.
  • Think about creating a campaign that highlights stress-relief resources on campus, including relaxation zones, workshops, and mental health support. It’s these little things that have a big impact on this audience.
  • Showcase real stories of students, alumni, and faculties that have and are having a positive impact on the world.

TREND #2 GAME-CHANGING MEMES

In a nutshell:

  • ”GAME-CHANGING MEMES ” emphasises the role of storytelling, particularly through platforms like TikTok, in addressing climate change and complex topics.
  • Virtual collaborations like Nike x Fortnite and Saba x Roblox are highlighted for their educational impact. The influence of gaming culture extends to real-world initiatives like the CHI 311 site and guerrilla gardening. Brands are urged to take responsibility for climate action, and the power of storytelling is emphasized in envisioning a better world.
  • Memes, especially on TikTok, are recognized as potent tools for communication, with a focus on making them specific to issues like climate change.
  • Gaming is positioned as a catalyst for behavioural change, and brands are urged to amplify new voices and perspectives, aligning with the evolving creator economy and generative AI.

EDUCATION – STRATEGIC STARTERS

  • Utilise the influence of gaming culture in campaign work to shape attitudes and behaviours, e.g. building new worlds.
  • Create a suite of ‘new memes’ that focus on delivering a positive impact on the world. These can dropped into various influential social conversations positioning the university as a leader amongst competitors.
  • Highlight programs, events, or societies that amplify underrepresented voices, celebrate diverse narratives and genuine inclusiveness within the university community.
  • Potentially, look to empower students with campaigns/social posts that bridge the gap between gaming and key courses, e.g. medicine. Emphasise how surgical precision shares traits like accuracy, focus and visual-spatial skills.

TREND #3 RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW

In a nutshell:

  • ”RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW” highlights a cultural shift towards valuing local experiences, amplified by the aftermath of Covid.
  • Brands recognize and normalise the power of more diverse voices, with a focus on authentic storytelling. Initiatives like Canada’s “Original Original” and Corona’s Native Sportscasters showcase this trend.
  • The pandemic has driven a preference for local goods, with a strong emphasis on community belonging.
  • The “Cosy Web” phenomenon that is less about creating things to go viral but more about creating slower, niche content for a private audience.
  • Authenticity is paramount, with a growing hunger for genuine humanity. It’s Important to let authentic and emotive imagery breathe.
  • Promote local connections, support local businesses, and reveal hidden gems in familiar cities, benefiting global brands through cultural embrace.

EDUCATION – STRATEGIC STARTERS

  • Highlight campus initiatives that promote exploration, community engagement, and a balance between the new and the familiar.
  • Showcase partnerships with local businesses, community projects, and events that uplift the surroundings and offer students a sense of belonging.
  • Illustrate within comms how the university embraces global perspectives while respecting and integrating local cultures and codes, e.g. KFC China.
  • Lead with nostalgic visuals from diverse communities in street art and music. Graffiti-style lettering, striking colour choices, and VHS-like post-production all deliver authenticity.

TREND #4 TECH NO LIMITS

In a nutshell:

  • ”TECH NO LIMITS” explores the profound impact of AI on human experiences. We will benefit from following innovative creators rather than brands and marketers.
  • Embracing Gen-AI, people marvel at its potential, from ChatGPT’s content creation to Snapchat’s myAI chatbot for diverse purposes. In Japan, AI is seen as a spiritual companion for the elderly.
  • Despite digital immersion, the emotional power of physical interactions persists.
  • AI-driven technologies like Amazon One’s palm payment, AR in commerce, and image recognition revolutionize sectors. The narrative advocates for seamless online-offline commerce, emphasizing innovative brand experiences with touch and image recognition.
  • Generative AI sparks limitless creativity, though 2023’s balance of safety and innovation anticipates further contemplation in 2024.

EDUCATION – STRATEGIC STARTERS

  • Emphasise the university’s commitment to digital innovation, e.g. using AI software as well as interfaces like gesture, touch, and image recognition.
  • Look to create a campaign that incorporates AI. This is to present the university as a current, relevant and forward-thinking institution that prepares students for a future with AI.
  • Stylistically look to use minimalistic text-only communication inspired by ChatGPT’s prompt popularity. Play with unexpected word-based designs. Experiment with expressive letters to grab attention.

TREND #5 ME AND US

In a nutshell:

  • “ME AND US” explores the dual dynamics of individual and collective needs in an uncertain world, reshaping our understanding of identity and shared experiences.
  • Emphasizing the evolving relationships within generations and communities, the narrative delves into the rise of virtual personas and digital doppelgangers.
  • Gen Z’s engagement with avatars illustrates a desire for individual expression and connection. Here personality comes before gender.
  • Challenges arise with AI-driven identity issues, exemplified by deep fake concerns.
  • The narrative encourages brands to tap into the wisdom of older generations, fostering multi-generational marketing and innovative solutions for the evolving landscape of virtual commerce and digital identity.

EDUCATION – STRATEGIC STARTERS

  • Feature real stories of successful individuals who worked within exceptional university teams
  • Create stories that go beyond demographic stereotypes, showcasing diverse yet interconnected experiences as individuals and within groups.
  • Highlight the university’s commitment to empowering students in managing their digital identities, preparing them for future virtual services, and workforces.
  • Benefit from communicating to prospective students through personality rather than gender.

Staying on top of the latest trends is something we do religiously at Cubed as it gives our clients an advantage to stay current and relevant to an ever-evolving audience.

George - Education Cubed

GEORGE BELL

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

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