Grand Jury Forum

Grand Jury Forum Exploring 2023's Future Forward Trends and Innovations

New York, NY | November 06, 2023

AME's Grand Jury are industry innovators and dedicated creative mavericks renowned for their commitment to effectiveness. These globally recognized leaders are award-winners who consistently deliver distinctive and effective results for prominent brands. Join AME for a Grand Jury Forum with this panel of creative and strategic powerhouses. 

For AME’s Grand Jury Forum we reached out to some of the strategic trailblazer's on AME's  2023 to weigh in on future-forward trends. The Panel includes:

  • Nina Bailey, VP Strategy, Biolumina
  • Venkata Bhonagiri, Sr. Partner, Group Director, Strategy & Analytics, Mindshare
  • Fabio Medeiros, Head of Strategy, VMLY&R Dubai
  • Juie Shah, Strategy Director, DDB Chicago
  • Shingo Suzuki Strategic Planning Director, McCann World Group Japan
  • Dissara Udomde, Chief Creative Officer and Founder, Yell International Thailand

AME: What future-forward trends and innovations are brands currently embracing?

Fabio Medeiros: The first one is how brands are re-prioritizing brand building by focusing on trust, credibility, and authority. In a world filled with options and a multitude of opinions (most being considered universal truths) it seems brands are finding the need to speak up and clarify who they are, what they do and, recently, also, why they do things.

The second is the obvious rise of commerce, and more specifically, social commerce. Mostly as the evolution of micro-influencers, A.i bots and creative commerce within social. As shopping online becomes more natural and almost a natural conversation between two “people” brands truly need to ensure content, mission, tone of voice and the influencers chosen to partner with are relevant and don’t sound at all as a pitch. It cannot seem to be forced, otherwise it will fail.

Shingo Suzuki: Brands are likely to continue to focus on personalized marketing campaigns and products. Personalization has become a key factor in customer engagement and loyalty.

Fabio Medeiros: Two more points I’d mention are, A.i supporting brands to drive trust and honest relationships with customers through more accurate engagement and secondly the seamless mix of digital and physical experiences ensuring more connected brand experiences.

Juie Shah: I have been noticing four phenomena rising to the top – The comeback of nostalgia, the powerful application of AI & Machine learning, immersive branded experiences, and social accountability.

Shingo Suzuki: Artificial Intelligence: The use of AI technology in marketing, customer service, and product development is likely to grow. AI can help brands analyze customer data and develop targeted marketing campaigns, as well as improve customer service and automate processes.

Juie Shah: From a tech innovation standpoint, the unprecedented success of ChatGPT has opened new realms for personalization and customer satisfaction. AI definitely feels like the next big thing after the industrial revolution. Brands like Shopify and Carrefour are starting to scratch the surface by using AI generated content to provide better services, more competitive products, and unique inspiration to consumers. I am excited to see innovative brand applications of AI over the next few years.

Venkata Bhonagiri: Top-of-mind is certainly a meaningful metaverse brand strategy. Several brands are already ahead of the curve e.g., the well-known athletic apparel brand NIKE launched NIKELAND, an interactive world where visitors get to play mini-games and indulge in a lifestyle centered on sport and play. Gucci, Coke and Forever21 are some of the brands that have been winning in the Metaverse. Metaverse has absolutely been a platform for innovation, experimentation, and opportunity. Brands are at different stages of maturity when it comes to adoption of metaverse, some of them are still struggling to get started but 2023 is a year for most of them to get a clear idea of what’s already working vs. not.

Juie Shah: Emotionally, nostalgia is winning. Brands are reinventing legacy taglines and simple brand identities for modern times. The US Army brought back their “Be All You Can Be” tagline from the 1980s but redefined it for a new generation of Americans.

The post-pandemic world has a fierce craving for true immersive experiences. In the last year itself, brands like Cheetos, Tinder and Airbnb have shown up in unexpected facets of pop culture with tactile, tangible, and emotionally involving experiences. Immersive experiences allow brands to go beyond the limitations of traditional marketing.

Nina Bailey: Brands involving the community and taking a stand on societal inequalities are key in 2023. While customers have been asked to contribute to product development and advertising efforts, corporations are now inviting customer perspectives into initiatives that benefit society at large. This may include asking customers to return and recycle gently used products, donate their time, and advocate to help create a more equitable store experience.

Target has committed to doing such that, with its Target Forward strategy, which involves their partners and customer communities in elevating sustainable brands and creating a more inclusive store experience. While some of these are still plans, Target’s website lays out the specific actions and KPIs that are tied to the company’s bottom line – which I believe is key to creating change.

Other examples include brands supporting Ukraine, such as Airbnb inviting hosts to offer stays for free and giving people the option to book rooms in Ukraine that they won’t use, to support locals. Brand leaders that involve their communities in developing sustainable initiatives will see greater success in taking steps to a better future.

Venkata Bhonagiri: The looming extinction of 3PD cookies and restrictions on specific types of targeting, brands are preparing for an evolved ecosystem of customer experience and their engagement with the ad tech stack. Brands are trying to be more responsible than before as they are in their journey of connecting and creating experiences with customers whose information availability is receding. Audience engagement will be a lot more reliant on 1PD and contextual environments.

Shingo Suzuki: Sustainability: Brands may increasingly focus on sustainability initiatives such as reducing waste, using eco-friendly materials, and minimizing their carbon footprint. This trend is already gaining momentum, and it is likely to continue in the future.