information, the premises of manipulation and the herd syndrome
Life without cash. Or smart homes. Or flat flowcharts. All have arrived in Romania, but have not yet become trends. What are they missing? In fact, the question is harder – how are trends born? Our managing partner, Ana, likes to compare social media with a „land of self-government” that transcends itself and tends towards shorter forms of content. Finally, „media” can be replaced with „medium”. In a world where information is spread at high speed and uncontrolled multiplication of sources, the solution remains critical thinking.
How trends are born
I will start by asking: who wouldn’t want to know how trends are born? Not the other way around, but in our field we would all like to give birth to a daily trend, if possible. So what I can say is I don’t know how, but I’d like one to come out.
Joke aside, trends start from insight – that is, someone (aka brand, person, system or any form of individual or collective organization) with a clear mind, sees a gap that can be filled – where? in the life of a critical mass of receptors – and „planting” what is needed in it. Then, it’s like in the field: the rain comes when it should or the snow when it shouldn’t, you have an irrigation system or you look at the sky, your day laborers come to work or go to the pub (everyone understands the metaphor according to their own experience)… Result: it’s a trend or a fake trend (a trend wannabe that never got to be)
If it’s a trend, we will realize how much – in volume and time – thrives in social media, the new universal forum. In theory, I would say that a year is about as long as it takes a trend for consecration, anything that doesn’t live on in a year is not a trend – as I said, it’s fake. In conclusion: if you see something that gets viral on social media for a year, it’s a trend and leave it that way.
Last year trends?
Social media continued to confirm that it has become much bigger than its own name: „media”
to be replaced by „medium”. Just as the internet exploded almost 2 decades ago in a new universe, parallel to the tangible one we used to live in, so social media has become a world, a land of self-government, a kind of Tolkien on steroids. And the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated us that it is so.
What would I have loved to see disappear? Those odious sneakers that look like crawler mini-combines and, implicitly, any form of visual representation that contains them.
Going down the timeline in 2019
Political hyper-correctness, in all its inexhaustible forms but also eco, gender equality, GDPR, global warming.
Brand involvement in politics
Brands are apolitical – in theory, at least. Their position, officially (I don’t even know another one, by the way), was taken in a strictly civic context, even if it was generated by a political situation.
Regardless of the options of each one, for us, the people in the brand, the civic involvement of the brands is an occasion of inner celebration. I think I’ve said it before, brands do help shape the world, and their involvement is a measure of the relevance of the subject.
In conclusion: I am glad that brands take civic positions, I am sorry when they end up taking politically generated civic positions. And that’s why I didn’t want brands to get involved in the 2020 election in any way. It’s like signaling a situation with major civic weight, a civic “crisis” that was born from a political substratum, and I think that we, Romanians, no longer need such a thing.
Burnout in Romania
It is called a trend in the making and although many deny it, burnout becomes daily business. It is approached more and more often, because it covers a gap, as I said in the beginning: in this case, burnout is this crazy demon that takes control of our lives and comes with the fastest and most efficient explanation for everything that does not work in our lifestyle. Like any trend, it starts from a concrete reality, but it becomes bigger than its own hat.
Influencers, date, podcast, budgets
Whoever delivers will live and prosper, whoever does not, will die, faster or slower. That means we will have fewer and fewer influences, but richer – who knows how to deliver on the brief and according to the objective is on the road to green nirvana.
|Big / small data – change of understanding: no more big or small data – just data.|
|Podcast – Yes! The change is that the audience will grow. It is another trend in the making – in our country, as in other parts of the world, there is a direct lifestyle.|
|Budgets – they will increase (yes, it’s wishful thinking; I just want them not to decrease, because they have nowhere to go).|
Trends from abroad
I really can’t think of anything that I can’t say didn’t reach Romania, period (except maybe the supercalifragelistic technological innovations). But I can identify a few that, even if they have arrived, at least for information, are not (yet) trends. Flat (ter) flowcharts, for example, are less hierarchical or hierarchical structures that simplify processes and accelerate company reactions, eliminating many middleman functions. Or smart home-ing – building an ecosystem at home to simplify our lives with the help of devices governed by applications of all kinds. Or simply life without cash.
I admit that here I asked Google what is with civil media. And I found out, I knew what it was, but I didn’t know what it was called … so, civil media is not a phenomenon, it’s a phrase that defines the increasingly strong voice of audiences in relation to brands, a materialization of a situations that deepen for years – bidirectional communication instead of monologue, fueled by the fragmentation and diversification of media and, of course, by moving an important part of our lives digitally, where we do not build community offline.
It is a joy to see in our country the authentic attempts – some less happy, which is true, but through exercise we improve – of the brands to activate this civil media. More delicate is the situation of those who do not understand that this civilian media is not a spokesperson, but a body – I recommend those to assume the shift of power from the brand to the community and learn to take their foot off the ball, if they want to stay in the game.