Three Trends I See for 2023: Rachel Kennedy – Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore

We ask industry leaders to give their take on what’s to come in the year ahead and reflect on the year passed.

As 2023 starts to gather its stride for another sprint around the sun, we asked industry leaders to offer up their take on the year passed, and what they predict might be on tap for the year ahead.

Next up is Rachel Kennedy, Creative Director at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore.

Looking ahead to 2023, Kennedy says that brands will say less and do more, exclusivity will reign, and  we will see the end of demographics.


 

Three trends I see in 2023

We’re all about creating work that shifts culture at Forsman & Bodenfors, so I thought it would be fun to start with some of 2022’s most interesting cultural trends and talk about how they will shake up creativity in 2023.

1. Say Less Do More

In the age of unlimited access to information, people are digging deeper and getting to know brands beyond the products they sell. People want to know about a brand’s production methods, sustainability, and leadership before they click “buy”.

Trust in organizations, governments, and brands has drastically fallen, and people ultimately just don’t believe what they say anymore. In 2023 brands will need to say less and do more.


 

Think Patagonia, whose founder made headlines after donating the entire company to fight climate change. How can we help brands practice what they preach? Creatively this means moving from brand ads to brand acts, stretching our legs beyond communication and impacting the inner workings of the company.

2. Exclusivity Will Reign

With the world flexing everything from cat jewelry to floating holiday homes on social media, the hunt for truly unique experiences to boost clout is on. Almost everything seems to be “limited edition” nowadays, but “limited” does not necessarily mean good.

“Defining who we are speaking to as brands means swapping traditional elements like gender and age for more meaningful identity constructs like values and personality.”

Take the highly anticipated Nike x Tiffany & Co collab – a plain black shoe with a blue swoosh, seemingly the bare minimum. The underwhelming design even sparked a wave of consumer-made designs reimagining what the shoe should have looked like. Limited Edition is not enough.

Exclusive has become mainstream. Brands will need to level up and offer something truly creative, innovative and one-of-a-kind that brings integrity back to the word “exclusive”. Creatively, there is a big opportunity to dream up exceptionally unique products and experiences that no one else can own.

3. The End of Demographics

Today, identity is fluid, unlabeled, and untethered. Defining who we are speaking to as brands means swapping traditional elements like gender and age for more meaningful identity constructs like values and personality.

Gone are the days of “male, mid-thirties, father”. Look at how the beauty industry has transformed in Asia, with China’s emerging male beauty market having double digit growth last year.

What this means for creativity is that we can rethink how we cast, what pronouns are used in our copy, and what elements actually resonate with this group of surprisingly diverse people. And we can have fun with it – check out F&B’s campaign for Crocs “Where Cool Came From”, which united Gen Z with a surprising cast of dads, store clerks, and dog walkers who all wore Crocs with socks way before anyone thought it was cool.

Looking Back:

Your favorite trend of 2022:

The resurgence of flip-phones and Anna Delvey.

Your favorite campaign(s) of 2022

Dole’s Piñatex: Dole and Ananas Anam – Piñatex

There is so much I love about this Dole’s Piñatex. Whoever thought of making clothing from pineapples is a genius and I would totally wear a pineapple skirt. This is a creative idea that goes far beyond advertising communications.

Dole actually created a new brand, a new business venture, and a sustainable solution that is impacting clothing manufacturing in more than 80 countries. This is saying less and doing more. I hope Piñatex continues to grow and replace more leather in the fashion industry. Long live the pineapple skirt!

What was your 2022 New Year’s Resolution? Did you keep it?

Every year I make several New Year’s resolutions and then promptly forget about them in the days after.

That happened again this year.

Picture of Rachel Kennedy

Rachel Kennedy

Rachel is Creative Director at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore

 

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