Op-Ed: D&G’s Colin Jeffery Talks 2013/14 Faves, Trends

By Kiran Aditham 

As we roll into December, let us continue the gathering of industry folks’ observations on the year that was/the year that will be. Up now is a quick and painless 2013 recap/2014 what lies ahead piece from Colin Jeffery, executive creative director at El Segundo, CA-based David&Goliath. No need for any further preamble, just take it away, sir.

Trends by their very nature are familiar and formulaic. The work that really stood out to me went against category trends or formulas. Here are a few of my favorites. “Dumb Ways to Die” – It did not feel like any PSA campaign we’ve ever seen before. Nike “Find  Your Greatness” – This commercial made greatness accessible and redefined it’s meaning. Southern Comfort’s “Whatever’s Comfortable” – Instead of using beautiful bikini clad women to sell spirits they opted for an overweight greasy dude. Incredible.

Here are a few trends.

2013 seemed cluttered with product demonstrations and stunts.

We saw lots of tech brands opting for simple product demonstrations, often throwing in a side-by-side comparison and overtly bashing the competition for good measure.

We also saw a lot of product demos turned into hi-tech stunts. Cutting-edge technology connected to the featured product that then emits a cool sound or visual or something.

There’s a continuing trend in the gaming category. When the COD “There’s a soldier in all of us” commercial came out a few years ago, it felt fresh and a welcome change from all the game footage commercials. Since, it seems like almost every first shooter gaming commercial is trying to do the same. Lots of 20-somethings running around in combat gear, blowing things up to a great sound track.

One more thing, why does every anthem ad have a scene with someone holding a hand held flare? What’s up with that?

2014 Trends

These days everyone has the tools to be creative and a platform to share their ideas with the world. Therefore, we’re not just competing against other agencies for eyeballs and attention, but rather every person out there with a camera, computer and the urge to entertain. There’s no shortage of “down and dirty” online video, crazy stunts, demos or funny apps.

This is forcing us as an industry to evolve. How do we separate our creativity from everything else out there?


Next year I believe we’ll see a resurgence of Craft. Beautifully art directed executions, finely crafted copy, thought provoking, smart solutions. As experts, these are the things that can make our work unique and timeless.

Somewhere over the last 15 years craft got lost. We can blame compressed deadlines, auto kern, consumer behavior and reduced budgets, but my feeling is we just got lazy.

Lets bring it back.