Vinicius Reis – Advertising 2020

Vinicius B. Reis, Group Account Director/New Business Director, Africa Propaganda

It’s always hard to predict the future. Some call it art. I call it guessing.

Ok. It’s based on knowledge, experience, feelings, know how, maturity and whatever else can help build an idea. But it is pure guessing. Despite the fact that we all try to guess based on certain patterns and established preconceptions.

It does excite me though to talk about Advertising in the year 2020, after all, the 21st century comes with a special ingredient – Revolution. And I’d like to say, an accelerated revolution. I used to hear in high school that humanity was evolving in the last 20-30 years more than it had evolved in one century.  Well, I’ve got some news for you, dear reader. Evolution has become revolution. Lately, we’ve been evolving in one year more than what we’ve evolved in a century. Think about smartphone apps. In the short term, there is no doubt we will evolve in one day more than what we’ve evolved in a century. So the task of thinking about the future has become more challenging and comes with a lot of responsibility.

Let’s focus on advertising.

2020 is the decade that will continue putting many things in check.

It will put Market Research in check. Many have done it. Even celebrity Strategic Planners, strong believers in Research. They have written books about it. But the market will truly put Research in check. Not as a whole, but whatever destroys outstanding risk taking out of the box advertising. Whichever research prioritizes average creative work. Average is what most consumer researches “approve” of.  Average quickly becomes mediocre. And our obligation as professionals in this market is to fight mediocrity to the death.

This decade will put in check what today we call “channels”. The new world won’t present mediums. Anything will be able to deliver a message. Yes, we are already on that path and doing some of that. But TV will leave being an object and will start being software. I mean, for real. No more marketing speech about the multiple screens in our routine. Content will flow through everything. Especially if by then holography becomes something anyone can have on a device in their pockets. We will truly have to be able to create formats for whatever exists.

We will need a Design Revolution for doing more with less. Design will have an even more fundamental role in Advertising.

2020 has to be the decade that will finally recognize that the more mature minds are the masterminds of advertising. Like in Medicine, Law, Engineering, and Architecture, gray hair should mean authority. You might think – well, it hasn’t always been like this. But yes, the market has become avid and hungry for younger talent. Yes, because Generation Y has amazing characteristics. But also, sorry for being so blunt, because this market is always looking to reduce manpower costs. Advertising is built with minds. And it is essential that the mature ones are part of this business that we are so passionate about. So let’s quickly think everyday about not only preparing the entry level professionals but also how to keep older guys updated and ally their experience, maturity and wisdom with new trends and the everyday evolution.

The next eight years, following last century’s trend, will probably change life as we’ve never seen before. But for sure, the apocalyptical predictions are not in fashion anymore. TV or radio won’t die. Magazines and Newspapers will evolve and continue to exist. Journalism will continue to be fundamental for society. The name of the game is Adaptability.

Every Advertising Professional will have to learn how to adapt. And adapt fast. Revolution style. This is exactly how the new generations are being born. With the Adaptability chip in-printed in their brains.

It will be tough, no doubt. But completely possible. And guess what? It will make Advertising and life more fun.