Every year and for the last 16 years, the trends firm Peclers (WPP Group) has tried to decipher the great “artetytyles”, the groundswell which shape trends in the years to come in terms of attitudes, desires and aesthetic preferences of consumers. The main task of the firm is to define scenarios and to restrict the territories of innovation on which to concentrate by proposing a true content curation of trends. This some corns to grind to advertisers, for whom these new “insights” and “weak signals” can be subject to “business ideas” and new strategies.
This year, Emma Fric, Director of Research and Prospects at Peclers, talks about our common aspiration to shape the future but also about our difficulty to navigate in these troubled times, choosing a direction and formulating clear answers. “Reconquering one’s inner self”, “drawing on resilience”, “liberating one’s personality”, “searching for hyper truth” … These micro-insights forge some of the major aesthetic and socio-cultural tendencies which will have to be monitored in the next five years.
Our plural identities
The social networks allowed the staging of the “Ego” and gave birth to multifaceted and transformable Internet users. At the same time, the relationship to the other is facilitated and becomes more spontaneous. The inhibitions fall and the self-construction is more oriented towards the emotional, the desires and the “feeling”. Nothing is permanent. Thus, barriers between the sexes tend to crumble and leave the field open to a new approach to gender. “In the United States, one-third of 16-24-year-olds do not recognize themselves in the binary distinction between men and women. “Explains Emma Fric.
If this does not mean that we are all destined to become transgenders, the impulse and the instinct take precedence over our biological endowment. Finally, the connection to real life is more authentic, more basic. As shown by the instagram tags “no filter” – “no make-up”, committed feminism that gives room to armpits and period on social networks or certain popular and 100% realistic cinematographic techniques, such as the found footage, sequence shots with an over-the-shoulder camera.
Surf the multiverse
In the field of science, the multiverse designates the multiplicity of possible universes. This definition applies today to the different universes that can be found online. Virtuality itself offers us several filters or narrative schemes, several emotional experiences with impressive immersive ability. If we have spoken for a long time about the attention economy, we must also speak of emotion economics and our fascination for the limits of the real-world restrictions and the human.
Netflix is the perfect archetype. From West World, to Black Mirror going through The OA, the dimensions are multiplied, exacerbate our emotions and titillate our senses. Likewise, the interactions between virtuality and reality, online and offline, are always more versatile, intertwined, until they become one. Pokemon Go, but also (and more seriously), the adoption of the dynamic “See now, Buy now” to the detriment of more traditional marketing techniques.
Looking for hyper-truth
From the mistrust of traditional media and political institutions, to the need for transparency and the need for reassurance concerning the traceability of the products we consume, the search for hyper truth is not news. However, it seems that this search for truth is also a search for authenticity. There is indeed a need to take the time to come together and reconnect with the present moment. The video format or the live streaming are also privileged channels for these new voices.
At the same time, the development of immersive technologies (3D, virtual reality) allows artists and information professionals to tell the sometimes brutal reality of what surrounds us. Emma Fric takes the example of The Displaced, a virtual reality documentary telling the story of three children from Syria, Ukraine and Sudan. Much more than seeing, we want to “feel” this uncompromised veracity.
Introspection and resilience
Two values to which we seem to aim for. Facing with the hubbub and the instability of our environment, we denote the need to reconnect to one’s inner self, to return to the essentials and take the time. Many brands are already surfing on the trend of returning to the roots, from the slow (slow living, slow food, slow fashion, slow design…), to disconnection, like Volvo, who recently invited us to be a recluse in a cottage in the north of Sweden.
How can we exorcise fear of new technologies which, in our most dramatic delusions, seem to take precedence over the human? How to set limits? How to decide what is “good” and what is “wrong” in terms of technosciences? Questions that are not ready to dry up. But if we are constantly torn between dystopia (Black Mirror, HER, Ex-Machina …) and concrete advances (exoskeletons, connected objects …), some brands, like Oxford in its last campaign, put aside these anxieties.