The Future of Man-machine Interfaces
The Power of Living in the Moment
Extreme Sensory Stimulation
Creative Fuel 2014
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Trendsetters: Lowe Counsel’s Zoe Lazarus Shares Cultural Shifts that will Impact 2014
London-based trends expert and futurist Zoe Lazarus, Founder of cultural insights consultancy Lowe Counsel and the author of the Future Signs reports, has outlined four key cultural trends that are set to impact in 2014 and beyond.
She calls them:
- Cyborg Futures: The Future of Man-Machine Interfaces
- Generation Now: The Power of Living in the Moment
- Hyper-sensory Culture: Extreme Sensory Stimulation
- Creative Fuel 2014: Visual Trends
“At Lowe Counsel,” she says, “we predict and analyze visual and cultural trends as far ahead as five years. The Future Signs reports pick out several new trends that will impact how culture develops, how consumers will think about brands, and how they will use channels and new forms of marketing.”
Zoe Lazarus’ understanding of trends is far deeper than a simple analysis of top buzzwords. For example, her definition of “Generation Now” is not a reference to Millennials, but a recognition of today’s extraordinary shift in people’s perception of time and their interaction with the world. With so much happening in the “now,” she believes we think less about “past” or “future.” A technology-enabled 24/7 world with instant access and on-demand delivery affects one’s perception of time and of waiting.
She adds, “We have a massive love affair with the present. Look at Vine or SnapChat. The question is—will there be a backlash? If there is such excitement about what’s possible in the moment, will we ultimately find ourselves banning smartphones at meetings to force a collective experience?”
According to Zoe, “moment marketing” and “rapid response” are here to stay. “We’ll see more examples of the Oreo Blackout campaign. We have become instant gratification media junkies, continuously scrolling on to the next bit of information.”
Of course, today we recognize that there is a sea change in the way people think about technology, new wearable and ultimately embedded technology will transform the way we interact with the world. Zoe has no doubt that car insurance apps will be the norm in 5 to 10 years. She expects that they will monitor your driving and affect your insurance premium accordingly. Certainly, healthcare is seeing more “life logging” and self-monitoring as witnessed by Nike’s Fuel Band and now smart watches to improve your behavior.
As we experience more of our world through technology, she believes there will be a parallel demand for intense real-time experiences. “As all in life is accelerating, we want to be moved emotionally, and in a social-sharing world offline feeds online.” She cites what Disney is doing with immersive sensory experiences. The next generation of IMAX theaters will have motion sensors under seats. Sonic branding or fragrance branding—as fragrance triggers emotion—may be the next new frontier to explore.
Zoe Lazarus is one of the best-known and well-regarded trend experts in the industry, advising international brands on the future direction of their marketing campaigns, online and off. She curates inspiring content that provides a window on the future direction of mainstream visual culture, six months to two years ahead.
Lowe Counsel is part of the Lowe and Partners Global ad agency network and Zoe advises clients, including Unilever megabrands and Swiss Luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet.
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