Since writing these predictions, over the last few days, Australia has burned, USA and Iran have started to shoot each other, the China Coronavirus has appeared, and Brexit has gained strength. Life is hard to predict. 

But we have to start somewhere, so let’s start from the basics.

  1. People hate ads. This will not stop the production of more and more annoying ads in 2020. The solution is simple. Don’t create ads that look like ads. Create only great ads. Creating content that is always remembered is more effective than creating always on content. The brands that do this are going to have a great year in this region.
  2. Ideas that suck will do the same in 2020. No matter how many times we see them in our feeds, it won’t make them suck any less.
  3. Technology and Creative Experience will become increasingly relevant. There is huge room for creativity in the region, if we keep thinking of relevant ideas and stop thinking too much about how they will be delivered.
  4. As 5G gains regional traction, we will find new ways to apply technology in a relevant way for people. I will not be surprised if some kind of autonomous vehicles also become available in the region during 2020. 
  5. Brands that genuinely care about people are going to win. There is no doubt it will happen because it has happened already in the past. And it seems that more and more clients are aware of it.
  6.  Brands that behave as friends instead of big cold corporates will win. Taking one’s self too seriously, hiding dust under the carpet, is not recommended. Think about when KFC became FCK in the UK. To be relevant among the younger generation, especially in the Middle East, brands need to show their weakness, with no fear of it.  
  7. Company culture is more relevant than ever. In the transparency age brands can’t underestimate it. And PR. 
  8. The request by clients for shorter content will increase. But the secret to gain peoples’ attention and engagement is not in the length. Create great content and nobody will care about the length. Games are not played because they are short, great movies are great not for their length. Who remembers the number of pages of War and Peace?
  9. The market and client are requesting deeper integration of media, data and creativity. Most agencies are not prepared yet. Hopefully this will change in 2020.
  10. The lines are definitely disappearing. Also in the region brands can now be, more than ever, genuinely part of culture. Games, movies, digital and the physical world are all spaces where people exist and should be a brand’s playground.
  11. Many will still tell stories but how the story is activated is more important. Brand purpose can be brought to life more powerfully with acts rather than generic invitations inspiring or inviting people to do something. You are the brand, don’t ask people to do something for you, do it yourself. Don’t follow a brand purpose just for the sake of it. This is crucial in 2020.
  12. Human behavior, brand purpose and acts are here to stay. But only for the bravest.
  13. More data and more personalized content will happen. It means more people get bored sooner, always seeing the same stuff. If a brand can’t surprise people and enrich their life with diversity and innovation, we will barely see any meaningful increase in their results.
  14. TikTok will increase massively. It’s already become an old story since I started to write this point, but Instagram will be more and more crucial for brands that want to inspire, educate and change behaviours.
  15. Brands will still jump on social trends just for the sake of doing so. I hope in 2020 they will do it only if it makes sense with the brand or its products. I don’t hold high hopes.
  16. Still in 2020, a good story well told is the best way to connect brands with people. It has been like this since the ancient Greek drama, nothing has changed yet.
  17. Following best practices in 2020 only because they are best practices, is the best practice to kill creativity and innovation.
  18. Globally, brands can do well in place of governments that are failing all over the world. Really caring about people and the environment. It is not only an opportunity, it is the only way to survive.
  19. we are going to produce more and more meaningless content that will interrupt peoples’ lives more and more, as before the digital age. The good thing is that we know this now and can learn from the past. Hopefully, every brief received will have the goal of adding value to peoples’ lives. It is in our hands, as creatives and clients. Nothing to risk, just do it.
  20. This is the end. No 20 points, only 19. Fake news will still rule.