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Trends and Insight

dentsu Reveals a ‘New Worlds Order’ in 2022 Creative Trends Report

This year’s annual report explores how virtual worlds and a climate in crisis are redefining culture, commerce and community from the ground up

dentsu Reveals a ‘New Worlds Order’ in 2022 Creative Trends Report

‘Dentsu Creative Trends 2022: New Worlds Order’ was developed with strategists and futurists from across the globe, and the report brings together dentsu’s most senior talent and rising stars from Generation Z across DentsuMB, Isobar, 360i, and dentsu agencies to make sense of a rapidly evolving cultural and commercial landscape.  

The 'New Worlds Order' theme reflects a profound shift away from traditional models of community, work and ownership towards new, decentralised and democratised models. It represents a shift towards networks of choice, passion and mutual reward powered by gaming engines, crypto-currency, distributed workforces and personal autonomy.   In this new landscape, brands have an important role to play both in creating points of cultural connection and in empowering users to come together in new ways to share, collaborate, reuse and repurpose.  

The report contains case studies from across sectors, markets and dentsu Inc’s world-leading innovation teams, to uncover the forces driving and disrupting the industry.  

This decentralised New Worlds Order has been explored within five key themes:  


Alternate Realities  

The rise and rise of virtual economies creates the potential for entirely parallel universes with identity, currency and assets no less valuable than those in the real world. 

We see the rise of what we call “Virtual Signalling”-a luxury economy shaped for the virtual world as luxury brands embrace gaming, virtual products and virtual stores.  

We explore the idea of Meta-Morphosis; the ability for young consumers to play with identify in safe spaces with increasingly sophisticated synergies between real and virtual personas and the rise of virtual streamers and YouTubers.  

Meanwhile the Mis-Information economy compounds our ability to live alongside one another with entirely different perceptions of reality.   


Redistributed Ownership  

Accelerated by cryptocurrency, and powered by fan communities, new models for ownership emerge blurring the boundaries between fans and creators, owners and players.  

Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) have created a new model for governance, transparency and collective action.  

Cryptocurrency engages a new demographic of investors as the only financial vertical which over-indexes on younger vs more mature investors, while the adoption of NFTs by mainstream brands may make entering the world of digital asset collection accessible to the many.   

Meanwhile the unstoppable rise of Live Streaming creates individuals with the ability to sell billions of dollars’ worth of product in a single day, reminding businesses everywhere of the need for a more human and content-driven approach to commerce.  

 

Conscious Decoupling   

Another significant factor driving the great shift from centre is the ever-increasing urgency of the climate crisis.  

A generation of marketers are asking how they can decouple economic growth from environmental damage, with 81% of CMOs agreeing that their business will undergo a fundamental pivot in response to climate change-from access to ownership, or from automotive to mobility for example.  

The need to shift from a consumption-based economy to a circular economy has seen rental models and recycling platforms gaining a popularity never seen before, across categories such as fashion and interiors. 

We also see a generation of talent rethinking their future and the primacy of work in an unpredictable climate; in August alone 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs.   


Generation 'Also Me'  

The fourth trend within the great decentralisation concerns the decentralisation of identity. 

Identity is Fluid. Coming of age as the most diverse, multi-cultural and non-binary generation in history, this generation comfortably play with identity, genres and formats.  

Boundaries are effortlessly blurred; 44% use YouTube as a channel for investment advice, 77% see TikTok as platform to engage with political activism, gaming is used as a space to navigate important social issues. They navigate with ease from serious to silly, profound to playful, mixing and matching culture with the fluency of a generation raised on memes. 

Within this context no collaboration or co-creation seems too unlikely, we live in a world where it seems entirely desirable for Gucci to partner with North Face, Balenciaga with the Simpsons, Oreo with Pokemon. The mis-match is the message.  

 

Personal Bubbles  

The last trend in the report is the rise of Personal Bubbles.  

While some react to an anxious climate by building virtual connections, others retrench into smaller and smaller personal spaces; we see an increased focus on the body, the home and the neighbourhood in a daunting world.  

The body, and the data it generates becomes a source of truth and security; we see new players entering the wellbeing space, bringing with them a host of sensitivities to navigate, such as privacy.  

Though live experiences are returning our homes have become established as our offices, gyms, bars and movie theatres. We see increased investment in in-home experiences alongside an anxious desire to make the home self-sufficient.  

Deprived of the opportunity to travel we have rediscovered the power of the neighbourhood and the joys of local. New platforms are accelerating and reviving old neighbourhood customs, such as the food sharing app Olio-creating a Digital Neighbourhood where users can borrow a real cup of sugar from a virtual neighbour.  

Fred Levron, global chief creative officer, dentsu international said: “The future of creativity is collaborative creativity. What we see in this report are the incredible things that can happen when people come together in new ways to form collectives, collaborate and co-create. This is resulting in amazing alliances on new platforms that we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago, creating things that have never been seen before.   The world has changed, and centres of gravity are shifting. The future will belong to the best connected and most agile, not necessarily the biggest.” 

Patricia McDonald, head of strategy and consulting, creative, dentsu international added: "In a year when we have wrestled with a climate in crisis, a global pandemic, and rising inflation it is unsurprising that we see a profound desire for escape. That escape takes many forms; an immersion in virtual worlds, a step away from the corporate world, the creation of new, decentralised models for ownership and governance. Yet in this great decentralisation we see some vital seeds of hope and opportunity; opportunities to drive the fundamental pivots needed to create sustainable change.” 

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