Catch up on ‘The Last Thursday Club: New Year, New Trends?’

Posted on Wednesday 31 January 2024

For January’s Last Thursday Club, we looked to the year ahead with guests from Mindshare UK, Carat Global and OMG UK

Individuals with mics having a discussion


Opening January’s edition of The Last Thursday Club, Jon Mew, IAB UK’s CEO, spoke about our newly updated IAB Compass report, which focuses on the potential of digital out-of-home and includes actionable recommendations for how to start advertising in each area.

He then went on to welcome our guests - Sophie Harding, Head of Futures and Innovation at Mindshare, Dan Calladine, Head of Media Futures at Carat Global and Phil Rowley, Head of Futures at OMG UK - for a fascinating look at what ad land can expect in 2024. Here are our top five takeouts…

A comeback for social commerce

“Last year, a lot of the social platforms were downplaying or changing their social commerce offerings”, announced Harding. “But I think this year, with TikTok shops in the UK and Amazon doing deals with Meta and Pinterest, it feels like it's been revived again.” Harding also spoke about the impact influencers and content creators are having on social commerce, a trend only likely to grow and grow in 2024 as they are now “absolutely” folded into the media mix.

Levelling the playing field

Calladine pinpointed the furthered democratisation of technology as a major trend for 2024, citing Open AI’s recent unveiling of an app store for people to share customised versions of its popular chatbot, ChatGPT, as evidence. “You suddenly get all these people not necessarily connected with big tech, who can suddenly turn their ideas into real technology.”

The proliferation of gentle tech

“I think that gentle tech is this idea that companies are putting humanity at the centre of their solutions.” Another exciting trend came from Rowley, who made the case that whilst we are living in very tough times - a pandemic, the cost-of-living crises, wars - there are companies who are staying ahead of the curve and dreaming up solutions which haven’t even yet quite been articulated in society. A trend set to only grow in 2024, says Rowley.

Tech will spot our needs before we do

Harding made the point that something to look out for in 2024 is that new tech can sometimes come out of nowhere, and yet consumers take to it immediately. “Look at TikTok coming along”, said Harding. “No one had a TikTok-shaped hole in their lives before it existed. Now it has over a billion users - sometimes that need state is there but people just don’t realise that they need it.”

Short-form video might dominate online interactions

Finally, Rowley put forward his suggestion that 2024 may be the year short-form, presenter-led video become the standard of all interactions on the internet. A recent meeting with a Finnish start-up that was aiming to use TikTok-style videos to replace “walls of text” had got Rowley thinking: “I think short, vertical, visual - whilst it’s not a niche technology like SMS was - might be the dominant form of interaction on the internet moving forwards.”

Listen to this instalment of The Last Thursday Club via The IAB UK Podcast.


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