The Seven Forces of the Future. Are you ready?

The Seven Forces of the Future. Are you ready?
August 25, 2017 Richard Brett

Richard Brett, Deputy CEO, OPR Australia

Do you ever find yourself wanting to take a break from technology and celebrate the ordinary? Maybe even the dull and the boring. Well, if you do, the good news is that you’re on trend.

This was one of the findings we presented to key clients at the launch of Futures #3: The Seven Forces of the Future at a breakfast event in Sydney this week. This in-depth report – featuring 18 insights organised into seven forces – is gathered from leading industry events including Cannes and SXSW. It’s available now. So what are these seven forces?



    There’s a growing trend for people to revel in the ordinary, embracing the humble and everyday as a way of finding short-term shelter from technological progress. Gillette has set the bar high when it comes to marketing in the age of social media – abandoning its quest to be ‘the best a man can get’ to focus on family and caring for each other. We dare you to try watching this video without shedding a tear. It’s humanity at its very best.

THINK: “People want to escape the complexity of modern day life and celebrate the ordinary.”



    Is it just me or does everything in the world feel very polarising lately. First it was Brexit, then Trump and now the marriage equality debate here in Australia. People are tired of this constant battle so it’s worth remembering that effective communication often places community at its heart. Think about an alternative to The Culture Wars – and let’s call it The Culture Peace. Brands should look for ways to bring people together – like this golden retriever in the US election campaign.

THINK: “In a politically divisive time, organisations should look for ways to bring people together.”



    Our world has become increasingly visual. In a content bubble filled with ever more distractions, look for ways to cut through the clutter with a single powerful image that tells your story. The challenge is to find a symbol that summarises your campaign. The Victorian Government’s Transport Accident Commission nailed it with its campaign – Meet Graham: The only person designed to survive on our roads.

THINK: “In today’s highly visual world, think about a visual narrative instead of just text.”



    Location-based data is becoming incredibly powerful for governments and councils. It has great potential to improve everything from how we use roads to how we manage our health. Governments are looking for and finding opportunities to use geolocation as a way of improving the services they deliver. AAMI’s Smart Plates campaign shows how brands can work with government to improve services and government interactions – here they tackle the social issue of young people dying on our roads.

THINK: “The power of ‘where’ is opening up a world of new solutions for government.”



    Access to data has the power to improve the machinery of business no end, but also presents some serious challenges around the ethical use of data. For example, what impact did data analytics have on last year’s US election? And does Facebook know you better than your family? In this, the second age of the cipher, how can business unlock this incredible potential without destroying the concept of privacy? This analysis of using big data in business shows the potential opportunities and dangers.

THINK: “Data brings huge benefits to companies but individuals may begin to feel more threatened.



    Smartphones have helped us make sense of our lives for the past decade. But now we are entering a new chapter – our merger with machines has started, with wearables devices that alter our senses and improve our minds. Some people are even implanting devices into their bodies and minds to add new senses to their repertoire.

THINK: “How can our senses be enhanced by a new generation of devices.



    Nowhere are the rapid advances in technology more obvious and life-changing than in healthcare. Scientists recently announced that they’d successfully edited an embryo using CRISPR technology to remove a faulty gene that causes sudden infant death syndrome. But where do we draw the line? Are we setting out on the road to designer babies and super humans?

THINK: “Tech is powering health’s great leap forward as Silicon Valley declares war on death.”

Whatever the future holds, technology will continue to shape how we communicate. If you’re interested in learning more, get your copy of The Seven Forces of the Future.


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