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Creative trends: Our top creative trends of 2018, and what to look out for in 2019…

With technology advancing every day (and consumer expectations with it), it’s never been more important to keep up with the latest and greatest creative trends. As the days grow shorter and with the new year just around the corner, we’re rounding up our top creative trends of 2018, and peering into our crystal balls (read: shiny MacBook Pro Retina displays) to make our predictions for the future…


Becki Crossley
The rise of interactivity and animation

Way back in February, when we were shaking off the snow and looking towards spring, we declared that the days of static web pages, emails and designs were behind us. Immersive content is here to stay, and agencies need to offer richer experiences for consumers, with interactive designers proving to be more effective and engaging. Visit-to-lead conversions have shown to be as much as 400% higher on websites with a better UX design, while a more appealing user interface (UI) has raised conversion rates by 200% in some cases – not something to be ignored!

Read more about interactivity and animation


Programmatic, the adverts that learn about you

Programmatic advertising (or simply ‘programmatic’) already represents 79% of all UK digital display ad spend, so if you’re not already utilising this particular technique, it’s time to get on board. Programmatic uses data and AI to make decisions in realtime about the content advertisers want to target at specific customers. O2 successfully created repurposed ads using programmatic, using customer data to personalise more than 1000 versions of an advert which referenced information about the user’s phone, and offered upgrades at the nearest store, resulting in a 128% increase in click-through over generic video advertising.

Read more about programmatic advertising


How Blockchain can shake up the design industry

Blockchain, the promising technology behind internet cryptocurrency Bitcoin, could potentially revolutionise the way creatives protect, distribute and monetise their work, giving them greater control over their content. Creativechain, a platform launched this year, allows users to reward each other’s artwork, shared via peer to peer distribution, using Creativechain’s own cryptocurrency Creativecoin. This allows freelancers to not only sell their content, but also to receive a donation every time someone ‘likes’ their work.

Read more about Blockchain in the design industry


Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are offering it, but what is a social media story?

Since social stories first launched in 2013, they have gone on to become one of the most popular features of social media sites and are used by over 450 million people daily. Users are getting smart to advertising and want to interact with content that makes them a part of the brand. According to Sprout social, Instagram mobile ad revenue will hit nearly £5 billion in 2018, and Our Social Times found that Instagram Stories ads had a 220% upturn in year-on-year ad spend in 2017.

Read more about social stories


Apple and Adobe are bringing AR to iPhone with the usdz format

Over the summer, Apple and Pixar announced their collaboration on developing the usdz format to bring AR to the iPhone, with support from Adobe in Creative Cloud. Usdz is a new file format for augmented reality content sharing, and is a zero-compression, unencrypted zip archive of the USD (Universal Scene Description) format, making USD optimised for sharing on mobile devices. We are just beginning to see the potential real world uses of AR – with the enhanced mobile AR capabilities that the usdz format enables, these apps are only going to get better.

Read more about the usdz format


How savvy ad agencies are tapping into experiential marketing

According to the Event Marketing Institute, 77% of brands now see experiential marketing as essential to their marketing strategy, and for good reason – roughly two thirds of brand marketers see increased sales thanks to their experiential campaigns. A combination of innovative, out-of-the-box ideas and emerging technology, experiential marketing directly engages consumers to make them active participants in brand experience, no longer passive message-receivers. The successful marketers of 2018 and beyond will be those who recognise the rise in the desire for an experience-driven lifestyle.

Read more about experiential marketing


Sharing stories, not shouting facts

Storytelling is the original form of entertainment – from our earliest beginnings etching stories onto cave walls, to gathering around a campfire to share a tall tale. The stories brands tell need to create connections with consumers in the same way people connect person to person, with emotions, personalised interactions and realtime events.

Brands need to strike the right balance between entertainment and information; pure storytelling doesn’t say much about your product or services and could be a waste of money and resources, but an onslaught of aggressive marketing isn’t likely to yield results either. One Spot reported that a whopping 92% of consumers want brands to make ads feel like a story – that kind of demand is hard to ignore.

Read more about video storytelling


Creative trends to look out for in 2019

With huge steps being made in natural language processing and sentiment analytics, chat bots look to be the latest way to gather insights and improve services. It’s been predicted that 40% of large businesses will be using chat bots by the end of 2019! And while it’s important to keep up with the latest technological advancements in AI and automation, losing that all-important ‘human’ element could cost you. Forbes reported that one consultancy company using automated marketing still made it a rule to personally visit clients once a year – which resulted in clients staying longer and spending more money.

It’s also becoming more and more clear that consumers trust their peers far more than a pop-up ad on their various screens. By the end of the year, as many as 30% of all internet users are expected to be using ad blockers – that’s a hefty chunk of audience if agencies don’t keep up with the times and deliver more value to their customers. Embedded customer reviews and influencer partnerships continue to be vital for advertisers to keep up with the consumer. Keeping up with how your customers want to be communicated with is also vital – it’s been predicted that nearly 50% of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020. 


Keep up with the latest tech to tap into the latest trends

This year brought some exciting new releases from our favourite tech giants, including kit to help you take advantage of the latest trends…

ARKit 2 in iOS 12. Back at WWDC 2018 in June, Apple announced iOS 12 would be faster and more responsive. ARKit 2 improvements include improved face tracking, realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent and shared experiences, including multi-user games taking place in the same environment in real time – all ideal for creating AR and VR marketing campaigns.

All-new iPad Pro. In October, Apple debuted the revamped iPad Pro range featuring the A12X Bionic chip, described as “a monster”. Alongside that chip is a 7-core GPU and an 8-core CPU that’s 35% faster than its predecessor at handling single-core work and 90% faster at multi-core work. GPU performance has doubled, and your graphics here should be 1000 times faster than on a first generation iPad. All that processing power means your devices are more capable than ever of processing customer data and allowing you to better target their needs.

Creative Cloud updates at Adobe MAX. Adobe have announced massive new updates to a whole host of your favourite Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Premiere Pro CC and Adobe XD. They also introduced Premiere Rush CC designed specifically for online video creators, which allows users to quickly and easily create compelling video projects optimised for social distribution, across any of their devices. Creating engaging social stories to capture your audience’s imagination has never been easier!


Want to know more about how we can help you upgrade your kit to handle all the 2019 trends? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 204 or at To keep up with all the latest trends, news and events, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebookand Twitter.


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