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2024 crystal ball

What can we expect from brands in 2024?

January 9, 2024
by Brittany Sinde

Please God, let there be laughter. 

Everyone feels some type of way about 2024, right? For this article, we’re simply sharing our feels when it comes to brands in 2024, from the good to the scary (and fingers crossed, funny), check out our predictions below. 

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts, too.

Mary Church Cornette, CEO + Head of Creative: Many Adweekers, including my husband John Cornette, predict that humor and emotion will be central ingredients in traditional advertising in 2024. Going into an election year and surrounded by devastating wars, I certainly hope so. I’m also hoping to see more work like Collin’s clever Figma brand campaign the Fast Company’s 2023 Innovation by Design Award Branding category winner. It’s fresh, oh-so-smart, AND dynamic… a beautiful combination.

I’m personally craving thoughtful, creative ideas that are grounded in a clear insight COMBINED with signs of life. I want to see elements of a human touch, like handcrafted type and hand-drawn illustrations. I love AI but I want to see traces of who is in control. I want to see the meaning and the reason why something was created and what it’s trying to say to the world. Shops Like From Form fill my soul with a love of analog and imperfections. I want purposeful, perfectly imperfect, and flawed. It just can’t be gratuitous.

Ally Dodge, Head of Account Strategy: There’s so much, it can be overwhelming. Everything you read is about AI, a doubling of ad spend in 2024 vs 2023, the mandate to be omnichannel but stay personalized, etc.  

For budget-conscious marketers, marketing spend can be daunting – how do you pull all of this off? They can’t afford to make a mistake with a campaign or bad content plan. Where is their insurance policy that their agency’s idea will work? I recently ran across Pinterest Predicts. 482 million people use Pinterest to plan what’s next in their lives, which gives Pinterest “a unique insight into the future – what’s going to be really big, really soon.” They have had an 80% accuracy rate with this report over the last four years! As content creators, I was fascinated with what’s ahead for consumers in 2024. From Jellyfish to Western Goth to Grandpacore, there’s a ton of inspiration in this report.

Kendel Conklin, Head of New Business: I think this year we can expect to continue down a path of more light-hearted and fun advertising/marketing content as a whole, as the economy stabilizes and technology continues to emerge. Applying to most industries but especially hospitality, storytelling marketing is in, bringing with it more personalized experiences and specifically curated content, as being customer-centric is becoming easier and easier with new tech innovation.

Meredith Kinsey, COO: And as far as trends, one thing that was interesting is the number of older ads that made revivals this year. I’m curious if nostalgia will continue to be a trend, particularly targeting the Millennial audience. And it was interesting to see a handful of classic Christmas ads make a return to the screen this year. Obviously, brands and messaging evolve but when an ad resonates, there is nothing wrong with bringing it back for an encore.”

Nora Carson, Head of UX: When it comes to web, I imagine there will be more of a shift to progressive web apps (mobile websites that feel like native apps) than native apps. Mobile sites can feel and function almost exactly like native apps now thanks to this technology, they’re easier to update and maintain, AND they’re discoverable by Google so there are many upsides for brands when it comes to their online presence and engaging with their users in the digital space.

Amy Cronin, Account Manager: In 2024 we expect (and hope) to see a commitment to authenticity and storytelling – with most industries facing oversaturated markets, storytelling becomes an important tool for brands to stand out and succeed. Brands will (and should) leverage personalized content and experiences to reach their audiences. This means using data and AI to deliver content and offers tailored to the person.

Catherine Crandall, Senior Art Director: I think authenticity and transparency will be huge this year as we figure out the right balance of allowing AI a place at the table. Incorporating AI has to make sense, and benefit the day-to-day of the brand and marketing leaders, and of course the brand long term, as well. I’m interested to see what brands pull off the balancing act without falling into trend and hype only. 

Brittany Sinde, Associate Creative Director – Writer: I’ve been dreading 2024 since 2020, so now that it’s here and we’re facing the music, I think there’s no other possible prediction than: it’ll be a year of gut wrenching extremes. Brands will either try to make us laugh or cry, there’s no in between (and that’s oddly very 2020 of them, too). Not that I ever want to hear this phrase again, but entering a new stage of “unprecedented times” on a weekly (daily?!) basis proves a few things: the entire world is in a period of flux (politically, economically, psychologically) that demands a lot of uncomfortable change, courage to embrace that change, and essential levity to get through that change. So I’m interested to see what brands will bring focus to the heaviness, and what brands will distract from it. 

Another trend that smacks of 2020 besides day drinking is the push and pull of practical, effective marketing vs. taking chances and leaning into creativity. I certainly hope brands will learn from the past and lean into their agency support systems instead of slashing spending and resources.

Christina Strayer, Head of Production: I’m paying attention to AI replacing actual people/influencers to sell products – or just in general. Ha! From a production standpoint, of course, we know it’s a fraction of the cost of producing an old-school ad. But will it be a flash in the pan that then triggers more interest in “real” ads featuring “real” people, made by “real” people? I think it will come down to the brand and its most loyal audience. 

And you? Predicting your brand will need some strategy, branding, or marketing support this 2024? We’d love to discuss. Contact us today. 

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