Yay or Nay: Creative Trends for 2023
Between the latest TikTok dances and trends, brands pivoting their content to be more authentic with user-generated content (UGC) and social media influencers, and new apps like BeReal popping up and taking social media by storm, it can be hard to keep up with what trends are most likely to stick around long-term versus just a fleeting moment.
Bamboo Creative Studio is on the frontlines of knowing (and participating in) some of the top trends for our creative clients. Below, take a look at some of this year’s most noteworthy trends and see if our team of creative experts gives them a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ as we approach 2023.
Trend 1: Creating AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) experiences
At this point, you’ve probably used, or at least encountered, some kind of virtual reality experience. These can be anything from clothing try-on filters on Facebook, something like a NARS virtual store, or Wendyverse. Brands like Nike use AR and VR in their physical stores so customers can scan shoes or apparel items to view more information. Warby Parker customers can even use AR to try-on glasses from the comfort of their own homes to pick out the perfect pair of frames. What does our team think of AR and VR experiences?
“My prediction is that we are going to see a lot more users and Enterprise companies adopt AR technology to showcase and sell products. Many platforms are already betting on augmented reality such as Snapchat AR Studio, Meta AR Studio, and Brands like IKEA have already seen huge success with their augmented-reality shopping app. Augmented reality offers a unique way to interact with consumers by allowing them to easily swap out how a different chair might look in their living room, or how a different lipstick might look on themselves. AR is going to be huge for try-before-you-buy items as well as larger purchases that users would like to visualize before buying. Pinterest, for example, is rolling out an AR shopping tool for some of its larger retailers like Wayfair. This allows users already using the mobile Pinterest app to take advantage of their iPhone’s natives facial recognition technology. And enables it to overlay 3D models of products into their own space.
This is a very powerful tool as it allows consumers to find the right fit for what they're looking for as well as provide a powerful visualization tool for the final product. I believe that users will become more familiar with AR shopping workflows like this. And as users adopt more of this tool into their buying process, we're going to see a lot more purchase success in the spaces that enable this technology as time goes on." - Kathleen Darby, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
“I think that it’s important to make a distinction between AR and VR in terms of accessibility. AR is a more accessible market, as all you really need to experience it is a smartphone. VR still requires hardware to experience, and with Meta’s new quest pro being priced at $1,499, it certainly costs to access the full breadth of what VR can offer. I think something else that inhibits VR from being as accessible as AR is the fact that VR requires you to have the physical space and time to put a HMD (head-mounted display) on and disconnect from your immediate surroundings. With this in mind, you lose access to people with busy schedules, parents, or people who don’t have an open space in their home where they could safely use the headset. That being said, the Quest Pro has vastly improved its passthrough optics, your ability to see the real world through the HMD, over predecessors. But I’m still convinced that, until the hardware becomes more accessible, we’ll see a greater increase of marketing success with AR than with VR in the near future.” - Aedan McHugh, Creative Producer
“Yay – More often than not, you want to see a product in your space before you buy it. Whether it be a dining table, a lamp, a bed, a top you can try on, sunglasses on your head—if you see it online, you wish you could have it in front of you to see it—and AR and VR can help bridge that gap. As technology continues to progress, it can bring accessibility in various ways. In ways that it brings products to our view, it can also allow us to view spaces that we’ve wanted to experience in some capacity. If technology gives us access to view and experience things at our fingertips, it will be hard not to use it. Let’s show off the technology, show off the product, and show that it fits in your space!” - Mark Banaag, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
Trend 2: Focusing on user-generated content (UGC)
Bamboo Creative Studio is big on UGC! They’ve created UGC-style ads that have been highly effective for increasing customer engagement and lowering cost per app registration for brands like Providers. Some other notable brands that leverage content from their customers include Starbucks, Glossier, Aerie, and Parachute. How does Bamboo Creative Studio think UGC trends will play out?
“Influencer marketing and UGC are uniquely connected. Influencer content gives you top funnel access to their audience and grows the awareness within that audience. I think the crucial next step is to have UGC, which could even have been inspired by your influencer campaign and natively produced by that audience, to then follow and have those clicks to convert to purchases. Influencer content is a must for brand awareness, and UGC is a must to drive home conversions. And there will inevitably be audience members who are fatigued by #ad content, and you’ll need UGC to gain the confidence of these consumers.” - Aedan McHugh, Creative Producer
“Yay – UGC provides multiple things for a brand: a testimonial, a product demonstration, and a product result. These are all things that can help make our decision to try a product. UGC adds a face to a brand and allows that brand to showcase important features and talk directly to a consumer. Facebook and Instagram feeds are made of user generated content, and when UGC style ads are delivered it can feel as though you forget you’re watching an ad. You’re delivering ads in a format that a consumer is already used to seeing on that platform. You’re speaking to a consumer in a way that they’re accustomed to be spoken to on that platform—you’re making specific ads for the channel and that speaks volumes to a user.” - Mark Banaag, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
Trend 3: Prioritizing short-form video like TikTok and Instagram Reels, over long-form
TikTok usage has grown tremendously since October 2019 at an average of 442.9 minutes per month! The scalability, authenticity, and untapped potential of this channel can be enticing for brands. TikTok is quick, it’s trendy, and short form videos take priority here, unlike channels such as YouTube or Instagram. What does our creative team have to say about short-form video?
“Yay – Short form vertical video is taking off more than ever. With Snapchat’s early platform success, and the revitalization of this format with TikTok finding new success, other platforms have been swift to adopt. We see this across the board from Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. All of these larger platforms have a version of short form vertical video: YouTube has YouTube Shorts, Instagram has Story and Reels placements, and Pinterest is rolling out Idea Ads. Short form, vertical, and sound on-content is here to stay. And whether you run media on one or all of these channels, adapting to that channel’s specific needs is more important than ever. It’s crucial to lean into overall best-practices for these formats while also looping in channel-specific elements. Take advantage of each platform’s unique user interface, widgets, typography, safe zones, and interactive elements that make content feel at home.” - Kathleen Darby, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
“Yay – In the world we live in today, there’s a lot to consume and a lot to get done. People are on their phones, streaming and texting—they’re constantly consuming media and information. When ads are delivered, we need to be efficient with that time and deliver shorter videos that explain the product in 15 seconds or less. Long videos are great for when someone is trying to look deeper into a brand and its identity, but shorter videos are great to get that attention and introduce those features to a consumer. We see users post short videos of their lives, therefore it makes sense to create shorter videos for something they may need in their lives—create something in the format the viewer is accustomed to. We see bumper ads before and after watching longer videos on Youtube, and it’s a 6 second introduction to a product or service. An impactful 6 seconds can push someone to go to the company’s website and that will be where they learn about a company and a product too.” - Mark Banaag, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
Trend 4: Pivoting to more influencer marketing
Influencers these days range from macro to micro, social media stars to smaller community builders, but influencers, nonetheless. Statista reported that the size of the global influencer market has grown from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $13.8 billion in 2021 and from the mere looks of it, there’s no sign of influencer marketing and brand partnerships slowing down. What does our team think, though?
“Yay – However, I think it’s important that brands give whatever influencer they’re partnering with room to be themselves. Their audience is there for their personality and presence, and too much pressure put on the creator to fit into a brand specific mold can deflate the results. Just speaking anecdotally, I feel more compelled to support businesses that allow content creators and influencers to have fun and inject their own uniqueness into their ad briefs.” - Aedan McHugh, Creative Producer
“Yay – If you share enough of the same passions, perspectives, goals, and choices of someone, you’re likely to try out a product they endorse. Influencers share aspects of their lives including products they swear by. If you feel similar to those thoughts, you may feel the same about the product they are trying. Similar to UGC, it helps to watch someone use a product or service in the decision making process—and with influencer marketing there is so much more reach. Their familiar face with the product, their own social media presence, and audience can create a lot of hype, buzz, and influence you to try a product.” - Mark Banaag, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
Trend 5: Testing more modular content
Modular content takes various individual components and combines them to form numerous creative variations to be tested. This allows for quicker testing to gather insights and helps us better understand what kind of content performs best against each other. From there, even more content can be designed to mirror the winning assets. Our team has created a lot of modular content for our clients, are they still prioritizing it?
“Yay – Messaging is a key to conversion and in order to find the right messaging, you need to test with modules. Creating an ad concept with a specific variable, changing that variable in each version, and testing them against each other can provide data to inform decisions for future creative. Likewise, launching that ad concept in various audiences can help inform how you speak to certain audiences in certain campaigns. Each piece of a campaign can resonate with a consumer and adjusting those pieces can really deliver a message.” - Mark Banaag, Sr. Motion Graphics Designer
If you haven’t jumped on board to test any of these trends for yourself, consider giving them a go as we enter 2023! Elevate your strategy, don’t be afraid to test new tactics and campaigns to see what might work for your brand and resonate best with your audience, and be willing to try something different. You never know what kind of success (or learnings) could come from it. Learn more and reach out to our team if you’re looking to bring on a partner to help you scale and test out some of these exciting trends.
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