Looking Back, Looking Ahead and Looking like a Busy Year for Advertisers

Article excerpt

The advertising industry wishes an organic, interactive and tranquil New Year to you and your neighbourhood personal servant.

Adland's trend-spotters expect 1999 and beyond to be characterised by simplicity, balance and future-oriented science fiction.

There will be a breakthrough in the effectiveness of Internet advertising.

Imperfect beauty will replace supermodel glamour. Kickboxing will lose its appeal. Backrubs will become more popular.

And people will pay for peace and quiet.

The $300 billion global advertising industry prides itself on being able to predict the future and help advertisers to profit from it. A straw poll of top agencies threw up a mixture of market predictions, consumer forecasts and blue sky aspirations.

"One of the key trends that's going to be around in 1999 is purity and simplicity," said Sarah MacKinlay of Red Sky, the innovations unit of ad agency Leo Burnett.

"I think organic ready meals would fit perfectly with this theme. It's a balance between health and speed, and anything which simplifies people's lives will continue to be important."

Marian Salzman, director of the Brand Futures Group at agency Young & Rubicam, predicted that the future would be increasingly service-oriented as busy consumers hired people to do the jobs they had no time for.

"Community personal assistants will be hired by neighbours who will pool their resources" to pick up dry cleaning and carry out other domestic chores, she said.That theme was echoed by Peter Brown, a senior account planner at agency Lowe Howard-Spink, pa rt of the Interpublic Group of Companies. …