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The magazine Stratégies celebrates its fiftieth anniversary through the publication of a special issue, available on the magazine’s website. Fifty communication and media personalities draw the contours of their new worlds there. Gilles Wybo, director of Strategy Writing, returns for ETX Daily Up on the latest major trends that are shaking up the media landscape.
For half a century, Strategies has been observing the evolution of the media and advertising. In your opinion, how is the 2020 decade shaping up for these same sectors?
Influencer marketing is a trend that has been growing steadily in recent years. Brands are now embodied by a single person. This phenomenon has gained momentum during the lockdown periods. We had to spend a lot of time behind our screens and therefore be influenced by what we saw online.
The avatarization of our lives is probably the next step. We are observing a rise in the power of the virtual, which is not without raising many questions. For example, if we follow a virtual dog on social networks, we do not know exactly the values that he carries. This problem has already been raised with the rise of influencer animals which are followed by millions of Internet users.
With Horizon, Facebook will open a new virtual reality world in 2020
We are taking yet another step with the avatars. These virtual characters are specially created to federate a community around them. We are only at the beginning of this trend but it will undoubtedly be very promising.
“ View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shudu (@shudu.gram)”
This mannequin does not exist. But Shudu Gram, the first digital supermodel, now has 210,000 followers on Instagram. © Instagram
Apart from virtual avatars, there is also a craze for NFTs and the metaverse in the media. Do you think this is a perennial trend?
It is still difficult to say, but there is no doubt that this is a real phenomenon. Luxury has very quickly positioned itself in this booming NFT market, as have certain media and communication agencies. The same rings true in gaming, which is not surprising given that video games are precursors in this field.
However, it is the social networks that show the most interest in these new technologies. We have seen this clearly with Facebook which announces its desire to rename itself Meta and recruit 10,000 people in Europe to work on the metaverse. The tech giants see it as a real project for the future.
Why is Facebook becoming Meta?
We still lack perspective on whether NFTs are just a gimmick that allows brands and the media to make “a marketing coup” or a much deeper change.
What are your reservations about NFTs due to?
They are due, in large part, to the lack of pedagogy around these digital tokens, digital tokens. There is a very technical side behind this new technology, which represents a brake on its adoption by the general public. In addition, I wonder about the marketing impact of NFTNFTS and the imprint they leave on consumers. Do they create a real link with a brand? I am not convinced of this yet and I find that we are almost switching to events with these digital objects.
Another big trend in the media: audio. How do you explain this strong comeback of sound in our media consumption habits?
This is a response to the feeling of visual saturation that many consumers feel. Although we spend more and more time on social networks, we are not abandoning radio and podcasts for all that. Quite the contrary. We listen to them more and more, when we are busy doing a household task or just to pass the time.
Podcasts, and more generally audio, can also arouse a certain nostalgia for the stories we were read as children. It’s a very memorable memory. These audio formats make it possible to revive it. This is the strength of audio.
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Brands must use it intelligently to tell us stories that interest us and make us grow. They have to step back: they cannot put themselves forward as they do in traditional advertising spots. They can perfectly accompany podcasters in the creation of new programs, of which they guarantee the content. This attitude allows them to create a certain bond of trust with the listeners.
The year 2022 will be marked by a new presidential election in France. What changes will this bring about in the media world?
I think we will pay special attention to social networks. And above all, to see if they don’t somehow interfere with the outcome of the presidential election, as may have been the case in the past. The public authorities will be particularly vigilant to ensure that there is no interference or hacking attempt from abroad.
The issue of preserving online democracy is also a paramount issue. Social networks are playing an increasingly important role in candidate communication, and many creators no longer hesitate to offer content about politics. This is the case of Jean Massiet, a streamer who hosts live “questions to the government” on Twitch.
These are topics that interest Internet users, and even the youngest of them. Those who started using social networks during their teenage years are now of voting age. They’ve grown up so it’s no wonder they watch more serious content.