Epic ‘WTF’ moments of 2014…

TRENDAFRiCA December 18, 2014

Pic credit: CandidCaleb.com

By Louise Marsland

Another year is almost over – and it wasn’t what we hoped for. I expected ahellava lot more from 2014. It was a tough trading year for the industry and it seemed as if we lost far too many local and global icons in the past 12 months. But as always, there was levity, the WTF and the plain ridiculous…

Words of the year: selfie; storytelling; #bashtag; wearables; ‘internet of everything’; hipster; *amaze* or anything with *stars* to indicate wry humour.

We loved: being part of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 in which communities from the ground-up to the seat of city power, came together to design new ways to redraw boundaries and design a more inclusive city for the future. Apart from the numerous art installations and design convocations, the almost 500 projects exposed and promoted aspects of the city and the creators in our midst, and brought communities together that will ensure a legacy far into the future.

The memes that kept us LOL: 11million tweets immediately followed the #Suarez biting incident at the 2014 World Cup with a multitude of parodies – even brands weighed in; Apple scarf guy who became the meme that took a bite out of Apple and redefined the infinity scarf as an accessory; #bendgate referred to the fact that the new Apple iPhone 6 bends when you sit down with it in your pocket.. Duh! But it spawned some really interesting examples of when brands troll brands.

The meme we can’t unsee (however much we’d like to): Kim Kardashian’s oiled butt on that Paper cover #breaktheinternet. However, the interwebs are made up of comedians, as well as trolls, so to help you erase those pix from your memory, here are the best mashups of the twitterati’s attempts to recreate their own version of the infamous cover via Smosh. My twitterverse best: “Kim Kardashian’s ass is trending on social media. Can we have that Apocalypse now?” *Dead*.

The ad everyone wishes they had done: Coke Rainbow.

Worst ads: retail ads – “f*ck the formula”, be innovative, break the mould, disrupt, said the international Loeries judges this year.

Headline of the year: ‘Muppet sues puppet’ in reference to the Chester Missing/Steve Hofmeyr court parody.

Best trends: The Internet of Everything; the millennials – our first generation of digital natives, is going to move the marketplace and impact on the economy and potentially future systems of Government, like no other generation since the baby boomers.

We miss: Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Phillip Seymour Hoffman; Pharrell’s hat.

So much amaze: A heavily tattooed guy wearing an inappropriate girlie shirt probed a comet! Revenge of the Nerds! Geeks rule! And WTF, there were protests about his stupid SHIRT?! The man landed a space probe on a COMET! Who cares about his personality?! Where are the protests about Kim Kardashian’s butt and naked pix and what that means for the downfall of feminism? Then there was the beautiful bearded wonderwoman who won the Eurovision song contest this year, defying stereotyping and impressing with sheer talent and bravery.

Ones to watch: Mergers and acquisitions… how will the newly acquired agencies fare as the new powerhouses get down to implementation in 2015: Publicis Machine, Native VML, ‘WPP’ Quirk, ‘Super’ Gloo, now part of O&M; and Ogilvy & Mather, which has been on a massive talent acquisition drive in the past year to strengthen its leadership team; pending and mooted legislation which will affect advertising across the alcohol, fast foods, snacks and healthcare categories; Fast Company South Africa, launched in October; mainstream media downsizing, regrouping  and policy shifts at all the major media groups; the continuing effects of the poor economy on brand spend, which pulled back radically this year as consumer spend continued to slow and strike action affected retailers in peri-urban areas particularly, coupled with the crippling petrol price increases in 2014, and Eskom’s load shedding which creates a rather ‘dark’ prognosis for early 2015.

Agencies to watch: Joe Public and King James – will the independents be able to stay independent as the land grab continues by international agency and media groups desperate for a foothold into Africa?

We need to do more of: ‘hack life’ – find solutions, create solutions, upcycle, use what you need – be a maker, a creator.

Will be hearing more of in 2015: ‘Rise of unusualism’ in knowing how to plug into the current zeitgeist and be first with new ideas and concepts; storytelling; Generation Z – the younger Millennials/digital natives/post-Apartheid/African renaissance/aspirant/concientised/confident generation that will truly transform the world this century; Maker Economy as the Maker Movement gathers momentum; consumer wearables as testing with wearables at work is proving a success; Durban, host of the annual Loerie Awards for the next few years; and of course Africa, our own continent, which continues to get positive attention as the next untapped consumer resource for brands.

Favourite reality shows: Parliament, Independent Newspapers, Game of Thrones… oh wait…

Spaced Out: So proud of our own Elon Musk, chosen by the NASA to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

We love: The EFF for making red a popular colour again and for making Parliament more popular than Generations – when Generations still employed actors.

We hate: Pantone’s ‘colour of the year 2015’ – Marsala (Pantone 18-438). It looks like liver.

What we never want to see again: A Kardashian, fully clothed or not.

What we will probably see more of in 2015: Kardashians, they just keep multiplying; Velcro Vlad Putin; war; more red in Parliament and in design (thanks Pantone!); articles about how to save money; articles about Nkandla; more cartoons and memes about Eskom…

What we hope to see in 2015: World Peace. A President in Parliament.

Unlikely to see in 2015: World Peace. Peace in Parliament.

On our wishlist for 2015: Apart from World Peace and lovely handbags…  stupendous creative work; brands that really care for the planet and their consumers; a ‘Huffington Post’ SA launch from all those talented and retrenched journos out there (wishful thinking); an independent agency stay independent; fun times in Durban; really great work; investment in solar power; less complaining; South Africans continuing to rock amazing work, inventions, our cities, people, both locally and internationally; a positive attitude (we can dream).


SOURCE: Louise Marsland is Publishing Editor of TRENDAFRiCA.co.za. This TREND. Talk column was originally published on Bizcommunity.com.


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