5 things that won’t happen in 2010.


Every ad publication in existence has been busy with its predictions for 2010. They all want to seem like they know what’s going to happen. And why not? No one ever goes back at the end of the year to see if they were right or not. It’s kind of like working for Fox News – say whatever you want and no one (except maybe Jon Stewart) will ever check. But instead of the Dog & Pony Show predicting what will happen this coming year, I’m going to predict 5 things that won’t.

1) Once again, mobile marketing won’t live up to the hype. It seems like every year for the past half decade, mobile proponents make their breathless prediction that mobile will make the big breakthrough. It never happens. Currently, only 1 in 5 Americans even own a smart phone. If only 20% of America had cable, do you think advertisers would be hyping it like mad? And if you look at the iPhone demographics, it’s basically rich 20- and 30-something men using it. Sorry mobile, another year as an afterthought.

2) Advertising jobs won’t make a comeback. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We all know agencies shed jobs like crazy in 2009. We also know that agencies are pretty risk averse when it comes to bringing people on full time. So in 2010, look for a repeat of what happened in 2002 after the dot.com bomb – clients will slowly start spending, but because agencies dumped everyone last year they’ll need someone around to actually do the work. Since they’ll be too scared of a double-dip recession to permanently hire people, the freelance market will be booming.

3) Clients won’t stop asking for “viral” videos and agencies won’t stop pitching them. For the last time, you cannot make a viral video. You can make a video, and it may or may not go viral. But neither the client nor the agency actually has any say if it will or not. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or an idiot.

4) Agencies will not devise an alternate method of compensation. Oh they most certainly should. And everybody talks about it constantly. But no major agency has truly figured it out and they won’t in 2010. Yeah, a small shop or two will try something like this or this. A few more well-known shops will start taking equity stakes in products they advertise and a few more will be forced into other types of terrible results-based compensation. But no one will solve the puzzle of how to get paid not just for hours worked but for what we really produce – ideas.

5) TV won’t die. I know that was the advertising meme of 2009 – that the :30 spot was dead and blah, blah, blah. But Americans are watching more TV than ever and television remains the single best way to reach a mass audience. With the economy still causing people to hole-up in their homes instead of going on vacation, to the movies or out spending money elsewhere, TV is where we’ll turn for entertainment. Sure, DVRs and the Internet will eat into television’s effectiveness as a medium, but not nearly as much as everyone thinks.

Now feel free to bookmark this page and come back in 12 months and tell me if I’m wrong.


3 Responses to “5 things that won’t happen in 2010.”

  1. 1 Dennis

    My prediction for 2010: You will be right on all 5 of your predictions.

  2. 2 Dan

    Another thing that won’t happen is the banning of scam ads…from what I just saw on page 106 of the new CA Advertising Annual.

    Ogilvy Singapore has a series of 3 pathetic ads for Land Rover in them…which is bizarre considering that they don’t even have them as a client….as usual the client credit is some parallel importer dealership not even the official Land Rover dealer.

    Secondly, you’d have to be one of those superior beings in Avatar to figure out what these ads mean….they all feature an extinct dinosaur trapped within the outline of the landrover….WTF does that say…Im not quite sure.

    Terribly disappointed with the jury which consists of not a single known scam sympathiser, to my knowledge.

  3. 3 BabyNewYear

    Dan, I had the same reaction to most of the ads in the CA annual. Highly suspicious. Or at least not very thoughtful or strategic. Very studenty one off style.

    I suspect that CA (or their) judges are reading too much Archive.

%d bloggers like this: