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Guest Column: Digital & Technology Trends 2016: Prasanna Kulkarni

28-January-2016
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Guest Column: Digital & Technology Trends 2016: Prasanna Kulkarni

2016 is expected to witness an extension of the key trends that set their foundation in 2015 to take the advertising paradigm to the next level writes Prasanna Kulkarni, Head, Creative-Digital, Cheil India.

Advertising is a dynamic industry and keeps on evolving with time. Every year unfolds new platforms, new tools, new opportunities and newer technology to create an impression in the minds of our audiences. The preceding year sets the tone for the subsequent year, and it is up to the advertiser to set new benchmarks and exploit the opportunity or be exploited by one who has the first mover advantage.

As 2016 opens its doors to a promising year of creativity and technology, it is expected that we will see an extension of the key trends that set their foundation in 2015 to take the advertising paradigm to the next level.  Let’s see what would be the trend setters for 2016.

A Year of VR

As witnessed at the end of the year 2015, this year indicates lot of promises in the emergence of Virtual Reality (VR).

Many VR devices are scheduled to launch next year, and at the same time we already have VR devices available (online) such as Google Cardboard, Gear VR, Procus to name a few. The highly anticipated VR headset – Oculus Rift is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of year 2016.

Some devices are built for specific application such as games, where others are for more general use to create immersive experience with videos, gamification, 360 photos and possibilities are endless. This opens a whole new world where the user is transported to different environments. And the best part is ‘Go nowhere’. 

Rise of Wearable Technology 

Wearable is no longer a ‘concept’ state or a buzz word.  With innovation in technology being infinite, watches, fitness bands, glasses, clothing, and more will join this list with the ‘smart’  label.

The Apple watch, a first generation smart watch was released in 2015, Samsung introduced its third generation wearable innovation the Gear S2 and Motorola has Moto 360.

Other competing brands will also have their wearables scheduled to launch in 2016, and this trend will continue to gain momentum. This certainly calls for marketers’ attention to think how to offer applications, information on-the-go and relevant content. 

More video and engagement with live streaming

As the mobile connectivity and technology improves, video content will be an integral part of marketing strategy. Video ads is a vast category already. Google includes video content in its search engine algorithm, Bing and Facebook have started providing video options to advertisers.

Another space in video content, which will rapidly expand is ‘Live video streaming’. Brands have been exploring this to create unique experiences for their target group. Live video streaming has already become a digital marketing tactic.

Apps like periscope give you an opportunity to live stream videos from your mobile and share it on Twitter for users to interact. This really has a potential to create some creative content around live streaming.

Pinterest is not behind in the marketing segment. It has started letting brands target audiences with new type of promoted Pin - an Animated Cinematic pin.

Dominance of Mobile

This second screen has already taken the top spot and has become a primary screen for most users.  As we have already witnessed, the mobile usage has gone up in the year 2015 and will continue to grow rapidly in the years to come. Things that are currently happening: more search queries from mobile, progress in mobile ads and outbreak of apps. Many business owners are adapting apps and this will continue to grow.

Brand stories/experiences and content creation will be seen in these four key areas in the year 2016. New platforms come with limitations and challenges. However, they undoubtedly open a whole new world for innovations and creativity.

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