, Newburyport, MA


December 27, 2013

What will 2014 be like?

Trend spotter predicts 'mindful living,' telepathic technology


Blemished fruits and vegetables are touted as best over the waxed-up grocery kind, and “ugly selfies” are the new selfies across social media as authenticity makes a comeback, Mack said. We’ve got celebrities without makeup, books on imperfect parenting and the anti-Photoshop movement leading the way, she added.

“Increasingly,” Mack said, “we’re not equating perfect with good, or good for us.”

Other JWT predictions for 2014:

Immersive experiences: Nabbing the minds and attention of consumers will be an increasingly multisensory affair. Outbreak Missions in Manila is among the companies offering zombie runs, in its case a 5K called Zombie Apocalypse, where victims must find a cure for an outbreak or un-die trying. In New York, lines were hourslong at the Museum of Modern Art for the chance to experience the Rain Room. Falling rain paused when a human body approached. Watch next year for Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that makes players feel like they’re inside the game screen.

Speaking visual: With the rise of photos, emojis and video snippets, “visual” has become a language of its own that savvy companies will embrace in a big way. Taco Bell and the frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles have sent disappearing 10-second coupons and new product teasers using Snapchat, JWT said. And Sony took to Pinterest for “Pin It to Give It,” where the company donated a dollar to charity with every re-pin.

The end of anonymity: Big Bro has technology on his side. Look for things to get even dicier, shopper-wise. The snack food behemoth Mondelez is testing a “smart shelf” with sensors to figure out the demographics of people choosing certain products and brands. A company called NEC has come up with a facial recognition system, NeoFace, for salespeople to identify VIP customers. Accessories are proliferating for people who don’t want their data mined. OFF Pocket, for instance, blocks GPS, Wi-Fi or cell signals from reaching a mobile phone.

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