Creative 2017 Predictions

December 13, 2016

Creative ,


It’s the end of the year again and it feels like only a week ago I was writing my creative predictions for 2016. But that means it’s time for me to predict what the future might hold for us in 2017 and, while creative is not the easiest thing to predict, I’m going to take a stab at it.

Once again, I’m looking at more technical developments of the past year and seeing how they will continue to rise into 2017.

#1 Live streaming

This year we’ve seen a massive rise in live streaming across all platforms. Facebook jumped on the live streaming bandwagon and, despite my protests, continue to send me notifications every time someone I know goes Live. BT Sports instantly comes to mind for me, live streaming a lot of coverage from pretty much every football match.

Broadcasters and publishers have been quick to jump on this. Buzzfeed are notorious for doing one of the ‘first’ big live streams, where they stretched rubber bands over a watermelon, which was weirdly hypnotic. The fact that it drew in more than 800,000 people counts for something too.

It’s only a matter of time before advertisers will start to take advantage of what live streaming can offer – as long as they approach it in the right way.

#2 Bots

2017 will be a big year for AI & bots, and will totally overhaul how we interact with products and services. This year we saw a massive trend towards using messaging apps, as well as an increase in thinking about machine learning. Bots are just the apex of these two technologies coming together.

So far we’ve already seen some brands successfully use bots on Facebook Messenger, such as Dutch airline KLM and hotel chain Hyatt. However, as the year progresses I think more businesses will come around to bots, as the technology becomes more reliable, reducing friction with customers, and brands see the cost savings to be had.

Eventually, I predict that messaging apps – helped by bots and AI – will become the main brand touchpoint for many customers.

#3 VR

I did touch on this in my creative predictions for 2016, but I really think this will be the year VR finally goes more mainstream. Both the Sony Playstation VR and Google Daydream launched at the end of 2016, and VR is set to top most gadget-focused Christmas wishlists.

This is still quite an emerging technology, but we have still seen marketers make the first steps into VR, with 360 content appearing on many sites, especially those in the travel sector.

But outside of the usual 360 videos, what can we expect from VR in terms of advertising and online content? That remains to be seen. Overall, though, I’m still not convinced. I think some kind of augmented reality tech will actually have more long-term uses than this.

#4 Boundaries

One of the changes I’m expecting to see in 2017 that will impact me the most is the boundaries between design and development continuing to diminish. Creative tools like Sketch are integrating more like services like Invision, helping creative departments to speed up their feedback loops and shorten the development process.

Personally, our creative team uses Invision a lot, so I’m really excited by the progress they’re having, especially when it comes to tools like Invision Inspect.

Hopefully, this will lead to less revisions, and less of those small, annoying but ultimately time-consuming requests coming through on a day-to-day basis.

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