TBWA’s Backslash Predicts 2018’s Biggest Trends

By Erik Oster 

TBWA’s cultural insight studio, Backslash, unveiled its 2018 Pre-Trends report today, with input from 250 TBWA creatives and strategists from around the word.

According to the report, the five big trends you can expect in 2018 are: genetic activism, “vapourware” or fictional fashion, bot-manufactured content, the rise of block chain and meme money and a social media leader starting a cult.

The agency walks through its top five predictions in a video featuring two Backslash employees, as well as the implications for brands.

After watching the video we still have a few questions, such as: Why is what appears to be an old truck with a pair of surfboards on the roof parked in what we assume is the middle of Backslash’s office? We also have to admit we still don’t completely understand what Blockchain is.

In regards to genetic activism, the agency summarized, “As DNA technology empowers people to predict and manage their healthcare, they will rise up to demand solutions and pharmaceutical investment for conditions they may not yet have.”

The idea is that as people have more access to genetic information through services like 23andMe, they will “demand action, treatment and recognition based on their DNA profiles.”

The agency coined the term “vapourware” for the predicted phenomenon of “computer-generated goods like lenses, filters and virtual designs created purely to be worn for social media.” Kids these days.

Bot-manufactured content isn’t hard to explain, nor much of a surprise in the wake of AI-CD β, McCann Japan’s AI creative director. As you may recall, creative director Mitsuru Kuramoto defeated his artificially intelligent counterpart in a subsequent creative battle and AI-CD β went on to make some, uh, questionable decisions when asked to create a music video for Kawaii pop girl group Magical Punchline. Still, Backslash predicts that “human made” tags may be required in the near future.

The idea of a social media influencer starting a cult, sadly, is all too believable.