As we lived through the pandemic in two-week increments in March, hoping that we would soon return to ‘normal life’ and all that quarantine was a failure, our newsroom began filming a daily TV show called Adweek together. Dozens of guests came to share their thoughts, frustrations and triumphs at the start of what we today call a global crisis.
In one episode, I asked Tiffany R. Warren, Executive Vice President, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Sony Music Group and Founder of Adcolor, for advice on keeping DCI initiatives at bay, and I’ll never forget what she said: “I have to live it first.”
We have lived it, reader. More than 300 days. And while there are still many unknowns, our editors have come up with smart answers and predictions to questions like when businesses will bounce back, what they will look like, and what consumers will expect from us in the long run. I promise that you will want to read and share this information from our agencies, brands, TV publishers, media, creativity and ad tech.
To write this issue up for you, we first logged into Zoom (what else?) And asked questions for a full hour. If we had a crystal ball, what would we want to know about the year ahead? It was a long list. Then we got down to work looking for answers with the goal of giving you some direction for 2021.
In seeking answers and polling our community, several themes emerged: the pandemic has not created any trends, it accelerated them“Trade accelerated for up to five years. Although contested, creativity always finds a way. Now that we’ve embraced technologies like AR and video chat, we’ll never look back. And every type of business needs to obsessively focus on its customers: brands, for one, are listening to buyers like never before, and agencies are finally adapting to brands.
Look for data, tips and forecasts in this issue, on Adweek.com and on our Outlook 2021 Live Virtual Summit January 26-28. And please drop me a note with your own thoughts on the New Year! I would love to hear your opinion because nothing is set in stone and we all learn as we live it.