Marketing trends: what’s hot and not

Shorter videos and native advertising are deemed in, as hashtags and prankvertising are considered to be on their way out.

As attention spans get shorter, along with the shelf life of marketing trends, it can be hard to keep up with it all. So to break it down, we asked Jason Dubroy, VP managing director at Shopper DDB; Rebecca Shropshire, director of digital sales, CBC, and former VP director of digital communications at UM; and Jeff Vermeersch, creative technology director, Zulu Alpha Kilo, to weigh in on what’s hot and what’s definitely not.


Rise of the short vids: Thanks to pre-roll ads you can skip after five seconds, not to mention Instagram and Vine videos, agencies and brands are getting much better at condensing messages into super-short clips, Vermeersch says.

Shops are getting hAPPy: It seems like every single major store got an app this year – all tied to a loyalty program. Alongside Amazon’s long-awaited Canadian app and way-finding apps already on the market, Dubroy says get used to seeing shoppers with their heads down, faces buried in their phones. It just got a whole lot harder to stand out on the shelf.

Native advertising: While the buzzword has been around all year, Shropshire says native ads really heated up in the latter half of 2013. It’s the perfect storm of brands wanting to be content producers and traditional media seeking new revenue streams.


Hashtags: Maybe it was Jimmy Fallon’s “Hashtag” skit, but those numerical Twitter symbols in ads are on the outs, according to Vermeersch. Just like brands don’t say “Google us” anymore in creative, hashtags are going downhill from here. #Prediction.

Social media communities: Stay with Shropshire here. She says with the proliferation of so many social sites, brands are re-evaluating the cost of maintaining all these communities, especially as sites like Instagram start rolling out ads. Why pay for content managers when you can just send out targeted ads that look the same?

Prankvertising: We’re predicting that the practice of scaring folks to earn buzz is on the outs. John St.’s “ExFEARiential” Agency of the Year video lampooning the practice may have been its death knell.

Smartphone image via Shutterstock