Advertising trends from Paris

by Maud Largeaud , AdForum

The latest cultural trends impacting advertising were presented by the SNPTV (the French television advertisers’ association) at its recent Cultur’TV meeting in Paris. It featured contributions from trend tracking agency Beautystreams (represented by founder Lan Vu and creative director Michael Nolte) and sound research institute Sound Value (whose guest speakers were president Olivier Covo and associate director Alice Zoghaib).

On the sound front, inevitably, there was no escaping Gangnam Style. But while there’s likely to be a proliferation of similar “pop-up” trends, which rise and burst like colourful bubbles, there is a parallel movement toward more emotional and expressive formats, as well as those designed to touch specific audiences.

Consumers are growing ever more sophisticated – and this includes their music tastes, which in a globalised world are increasingly eclectic. This has led to a diversification of music choices by advertisers. Music is no longer anchored to a time, a place or even a style: classics are returning to favour, but in remixed or re-orchestrated forms (see Dim, which traverses eras and styles). Music in general is playing a far more prominent role in spots, even to the point of conflicting with the traditional image of the brand concerned. (Perrier’s fizzy optimism is nowhere to be seen in this spot.)

Indeed, these languorous soundtracks bear little resemblance to jingles. They are not designed to remind us of a brand, product or service, but to move the audience, to provoke feelings and emotions.

Meanwhile, Beautystreams reported three trends:

Iconomania: an urban trend featuring alternative religions incarnated by authority figures, preachers or celebrities. hyper-connectivity (the new Orange campaign is a good illustration); political activism; hyper-stimulation (linked to the speed of globalisation mentioned earlier) and mass versus elite (luxury products provoking mass consumer desire).

Enhance: characterised by a sense of poetry and spiritual minimalism; a futurist vision. Time and space are the new luxuries.

Lavish: the joy of the baroque, the quirky and the anachronistic; romantic and fabulous elements that stimulate the imagination; escapism; and a remixed punk that hijacks certain elements of luxury.

Finally, in periods of political and economic crisis, there is a general trend towards nostalgia (in this case the 60s, 70s and 80s) as well as science fiction. We turn to the past or the future to escape the present.