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Our 2021 Predictions for the Creative Sector

19th February 2021

#Expertise #Featured

It’s nearly time for another of the government’s infamous updates, so we thought it felt like the right time to look ahead to what’s next for the world of all things creative - and to give our predictions for the rest of 2021.

What an emotional roller coaster of a year 2020 turned out to be. It’s hard to comprehend that we’re fast approaching an entire year of remote working and the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

Pretty much everything has felt like it’s been on pause, but in the world of marketing, design, web development and all things creative, everything has largely been business as usual.

Over the last year companies have had no choice but to make huge changes to their marketing approaches. Many have reassessed their overall approach and image completely. Imagine all the 2020 marketing plans that had to be scrapped just two months into the start of last year!

It’s nearly time for another of the government’s infamous updates, so we thought it felt like the right time to look ahead to what’s next for the world of all things creative – and to give our predictions for the rest of 2021.

Henry’s prediction: Experiences first

With light at the end of tunnel of the pandemic, I predict 2021 will be all about experiences. With last year marred by lockdowns, cancelled holidays and internet shopping sprees; people are dying to get out of the house and make some memories.

From a creative perspective, brands will be focussing more on how they make you feel rather than what they sell. Check out this mammoth two-minute advert for On The Beach that aired over Christmas.

The extremely emotive narration tells a simple story we can all relate to. I for one, can’t wait for that feeling of being on a warm beach!

Ellen’s prediction: Embracing digital

Throughout 2021 I predict that e-commerce will continue to grow in popularity.

Many businesses have realised the importance of giving their customers a choice as to how and where they buy products or services. Not to mention the positive knock-on effect of higher customer satisfaction rates, increased accessibility for customers, and of course an uptick in sales.

Alongside the increase in e-commerce, I also feel many businesses that wouldn’t normally advertise via digital platforms will turn to digital advertising as a way to reach new and existing audiences.

Dan’s prediction: Less is more

We can see minimalism becoming more of a trend across many creative avenues this year, from branding to websites and packaging design. This is largely due to customers’ changing relationship with technology and brands, the fundamental rule of this style is the fewer elements, the better.

From a website perspective with mobile devices accounting for now roughly half of global web traffic, more simplified menus and a reduction of unnecessary content is proving for a more intuitive journey which adapts well to smaller screens. From a branding perspective, the relatively recent rebrands of the likes of Nissan, Trip Advisor, BMW and BT all show a more minimalist direction.

Katie’s prediction: People focused marketing

I think businesses are now much more people focused, which will impact the type of marketing content people want to see. This year I feel like it won’t be uncommon to see content which has an overall less salesy feel.

I predict that digital marketing will continue to grow, whereas other forms of marketing and advertising will slowly get left behind, an example being out of home adverts, as we continue to adapt to the lockdown lifestyle.

Many businesses’ first instincts may be to cut their marketing budget if they’re struggling financially, as marketing isn’t something that always has instant gratification. And this is something I think will continue this year. It’s important that businesses consider their options wisely though, as investing in effective marketing strategies can have a hugely positive impact on the overall success of a business.

Erin’s prediction: Socially conscious design

Socially conscious designs are on the rise and I expect to see more throughout 2021. Many designers are offering their talents and skillsets in unity of global causes, using their art to deliver key messages and to challenge social norms.

This year I’m predicting an increase in the use of complimentary pastels, retro and vintage inspired designs, with a little mid-century modern feel as well! I’ve noticed and really like the look of flat, clean graphics, which are being seen more and more in the FMCG sector on a whole range of products including beers.

Jai’s prediction: Website animations for the win

I predict that 2021 will see the trend of animations used in websites continue. Website animations tend to fall into two categories. Small, animated elements that make up the interface have existed for a while for things like button and colour state changes and transitions between pages.

What we are seeing a particular growth in is larger motion effects to help tell a story of a brand or service in a much more entertaining way to the visitor than a static image or paragraph of text would. The technologies behind these effects have developed to the point where lagging is reduced to a minimum, which helps to explain the continuing uptake in their usage across the web.

Laura’s prediction: Adapting internal and external comms

Last year, businesses across the world found they were no longer able to communicate with their employees or customers on a face-to-face face basis. This sudden restriction resulted in huge changes to internal, external and customer focused communication. Changes including an increase in companies creating and adapting their overall digital image, social media presence and e-commerce offering.

For many businesses, 2021 will be the year of creating or revisiting existing crisis communications plans. It’s evident now that a thorough, effective plan needs to include how a business will continue operating and communicating, during a global, communication restricting event. No one could have prepared us for the events of 2020, but as marketing and communication experts, we’re able to shape the way businesses respond to such events.

Another thing I’ve noticed is a shift in tone and use of more emotive language in customer focused communications. I feel this shift is here to stay for the foreseeable future, as we all adapt to the fallout of Covid-19 and whatever comes next. I predict we’ll continue to see further increase in email and social media campaigns over use of traditional out of home and point of sale methods.