Unruly / Blog / Agencies, Brands And More Weigh In On Unruly’s 9 Predictions For 2018

Agencies, Brands And More Weigh In On Unruly’s 9 Predictions For 2018

Unruly recently looked into its crystal ball and gave 9 predictions for AdLand in 2018. You can read them all here.

While doing our annual bit of future-gazing, we reached out to thought leaders from across the ad and tech industries in order to get their opinions on each of our predictions.

The insights we got back were too good not to share, so we’ve gathered them up here for your viewing pleasure!


1. Brave Brands Wow Fans

Unruly says: Brave and bold marketers will wow fans with unconventional, agile campaigns and messages attached to the year’s upcoming sporting tentpoles like the World Cup and Winter Olympics.


Jan Harling, Global Media Investment Director at Huawei, says:

“The best marketers will find new ways to fully leverage this opportunity through originality and stunts. Social will continue to play a major role, and brands will create huge amounts of content around all big sporting events, specifically enabling consumers to review the activities. Brands who are not directly sponsoring the events will try to hijack them, like we saw for the Super Bowl, to get their share of the awareness. There will be more ‘real time’ activities going on around these tentpoles.”


2. AI Gets Personal

Unruly says: Increased machine learning capabilities mean that 2018 will be the year that smart video marketers finally use AI to harness data and create more personal ad experiences.


Deirdre McGlashan, Chief Digital Officer at MediaCom, says:

“Data and AI enable deeper consumer understanding and faster delivery of the right message at the right time, but there has to be a brand story to tell. Machine plus human is the winning combination.”


Michael Brown, Insight Director at Universal McCann, says:

“The (rightful) focus on data in global business has put a greater-than-ever emphasis on the need for qualitative research. While hard numbers can tell us what’s happening, these need to be put into human context, considering the emotional and attitudinal context around behavioural data. There’s nothing quite like having a cuppa with consumers and delving deep into their behaviours in order to get the full picture. The huge growth in demand for focus groups amongst UM clients certainly attests to this.”


Matt Harty, SVP Asia at The Trade Desk, says:

“In 2018, personalised, targeted marketing will move from “maybe” to “mandatory”. There’s simply too much evidence of its effectiveness and cost efficiency for marketers to ignore. However, it’s important to remember AI is just a marketing tool, albeit a powerful one. Skilled marketers making strategic decisions informed by logic, experience and innate knowledge – with the assistance of AI – will result in the best campaign outcomes.”


3. The Battle Against Brand Bypass Begins

Unruly says: As smart devices focused on auto-replenishment increasingly make purchasing decisions for us, advertisers need to act smart and fast to find new ways to keep their brand on the tip of consumers’ tongues and avoid being ‘bypassed’.


Meabh Quoirin, Co-owner & CEO of Foresight Factory, says:

“We embrace the algorithmically, convenience-driven, idea of auto replenishment and we absolutely want that. But it would be remiss not to acknowledge the trickier side of that for brands.”


4. Blockchain Begins To Block Ad Fraud

Unruly says: Blockchain looks set to revolutionise the fight against ad fraud in 2018.


Miranda Dimopoulos, CEO of  IAB South-East Asia, says:

“Blockchain looks set to continue to be a game-changer in 2018, not only by putting the emphasis truly on the customer, but also by improving transparency and efficiencies across the ecosystem. By allowing advertisers and publishers to interact directly, we will see many businesses in the middle rise to the challenge and adapt.”