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London Predictions 2016

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Where is this year’s mobile battleground? Will virtual reality become mainstream? Who will be catalysts of change? Let’s explore with Leo Burnett London’s annual predictions — a collection of thoughts about future trends of 2016.

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London Predictions 2016

  1. 1. éuM. .uT* PREDICTIONS 2016
  2. 2. PREDICTIONS 2016 Oh, hi there. Welcome to Leo Burnett London's 2016 Predictions. Yeah, yeah, it's yet another set of things to look out for next year, just like you're seeing from every other agency, trend house, newspaper, blah. So why should you read this one? Well, what's interesting about ours (we think) is the element of diversity and discussion. We've taken a set of forward-looking ideas from a variety of people within the agency, as well as one of our affiliate trend nerds, to compare and contrast. Three of them, for example, came up with Virtual Reality as a big thing for next year — although you'll note that some are rather less enthused about it than others. It's a mixed bag. So, we're starting it all off with a handful of ideas from the humming colossus of our Planning department. Then we're taking an outsider view, courtesy of our chums at Canvas8. After that, it's back into Kensington Village for some thoughts from our Retail experts. And to wrap it all up, we asked for some sparkle from the Sponsorship department. Lots to enjoy there. We've artfully distilled it all down into shot glass-size measures for you too - it's the pan—denominationa| gifting season, you don't want to be trawling through reams of lifeless data and convoluted neologisms. Absorb a few ideas, then pop off to bother some holly or poke about in a mince pie, go on. We sincerely hope you find this collection of thoughts interesting — and, indeed, useful. Keep an eye on reality through 2016 to see it all come true! Daniel Bevis Sen/ or Know/ edge Eo’/ ‘tor, Leo Burnett London
  3. 3. PREDICTIONS 2016 PLANNING AND FUTURES BRANDS WILL FLOCK TO MESSAGING PLATFORMS Messaging platforms will see a branded explosion in 2016 as companies race to be seen where consumers are spending their time. The key to success on these new, often one-to-one, platforms will be the additional value brands bring to the table as they provide more personalised customer experiences. China is leading the way in terms of platform functionality with WeChat, but the proliferation of Slack integrations proves the West is ready for more immersive — this time light—touch — platform functionality once again. The real game- changing moment will occur when Facebook successfully roles out its AI ‘M’ and teens start using it as their personal assistant. While E-7;}: -ny»1:I: fiI4.. o-';7;, Eniv. v:i: .E5~.7x. older consumers will be slow to adopt an Al assistant, teens will see it as the perfect companion to their digital lifestyle and start using it for everything. THIS YEAR’S KILLER APP WILL BE YOUR NOTIFICATION SCREEN Most people agree that the war for attention is being waged on mobile; the question is where the battles are now going to be fought. Research suggests most people don’t use more than a few apps regularly, so simply being on someone’s home screen won't be enough for brands to stay top-of—mind. The mobile battleground in 20i6 will be the lock screen, as everyone will want their notification cards to be the ones that you see. The most difficult part of notifications is getting the frequency correct as no one wants to be bombarded by undesired intrusions. 2016 will see an explosion of notification aggregators led by Facebook as it rolls out its Notify app worldwide. While most people will enjoy the correct amount of low friction notifications, privacy groups will ask
  4. 4. PREDICTIONS 2016 Serious questions about L‘ Sunny today. It's currently 3*‘; the whether algorithms SITOUICI be high Willbe-110_ controlling what pieces of information we receive, and if we need the equivalent to a Net Neutrality for incoming » lliw i. ii» ,1 communications to keep paid MCDOna| d'S advertorial at bay. ‘” lilll VIRTUAL REALITY ARRIVES BUT IS LET DOWN BY THE CONTENT Rarely has a product that is still in prototype generated as much hype as Virtual Reality. 2016 is the year when consumers will finally get their hands on the next generation of VR as all of the major manufactures are releasing their first mass market products. While gamers will fall in love with the immersion and will never look back, regular consumers won't understand what the hype is about. Innovative brands will try
  5. 5. PREDICTIONS 2016 to ride the hype cycle and produce some fantastic out of home experiences — winning a Cannes Lion along the way — but non—gamer content will fail to capture people's attention for more than a few minutes. Despite shipping several million units, low overall market penetration won't offer enough financial incentive for more than a few experimental filmmakers to explore what's really possible, meaning VR will stay a niche curiosity for at least another year. BEACONS WILL GUIDE CONSUMERS LIVES Beacon technology has shown promise for a few years now, but to date most consumers haven't seen the advantage of using the technology for a limited in- store experience or a few extra pounds off their purchase. With a more powerful xx _« /4 . ‘=2. T .0? 2- ’ 1» ‘ w I’O‘. '§’§= “—‘ . ,« EH7: r‘’ - l - . _ Bluetooth on the roadmap for next year, and the proliferation of Bluetooth enabled devices, the stage is set to actually do some useful things with the technology. Experiments around wayfinding for people with disabilities or foreign language speakers will capture people's imagination, but the technology will
  6. 6. PREDICTIONS 2016 really come into its own with Bluetooth tickets and the further adoption payment systems. Beacon—enabled queue—jumping will make consumers feel like rock stars as they speed past long lines of people waiting for admission, but it's simplified payment systems replacing cash or card transactions that will truly tip the scales. Apple Pay is already winning people over around the world and once enough small businesses get on board there'll be no going back. Once payments have well and truly opened the beacon doors, consumers will finally be ready to see the guiding light and brands will finally be able to do the | ocation—specific targeting they’ve been salivating over for years. ESPORTS WILL MOVE MAINSTREAM With video games now being played by seemingly everyone, 20i6 will see eSports taking their rightful place in mainstream popular culture. 2014 was a record year for eSports with the League of Legends Championship drawing an online audience of 27 million viewers (as a point of reference the combined TV viewership for the NBA finals and the World Series was 29.3m people); this explosive growth has led to eSports stadiums being created around the world — including London — along with a number of huge gaming celebrities. In 20l6 brands will harness this massive star power by signing eSports biggest stars to endorsement deals similar to that of traditional athletes and start to use them in their regular promotional materials. Chris Walts Futures Director, Leo Burnett London
  7. 7. PREDICTIONS 2016 CANVAS 8 ESCAPE FROM. .. EVERYTHING Austerity. Bad news. Overcrowding. Stress. Strikes. Terrorism. War. Again. Modern life is hard. Sure, not middle ages / pestilence hard, but the last twelve months have done little to distract us from the growing climate of fear and uncertainty. As a result, people want out — and brands will be happy to help. In 20i6 retailers will increasingly offer people the opportunity to unwind and escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. Celestine Eleven is bringing spirituality to the high street with its hybrid spa, Chanel have launched a day spa at The Ritz, and John Lewis have opened an in—store spa for weary shoppers, . -7:. ‘ 32.: .'. v . Taking time out is also at the heart of Walkonomics, an app that encourages users to take the long way round, soak up a little nature and see their environment through fresh eyes. And with the majority of the world living in cities, which dramatically increase the risk of anxiety and mood disorders, a little escapism can be good for our businesses and our health. Escapism might not be new, but it is more and more relevant.
  8. 8. PREDICTIONS 2016 LITTLE LEADERS Not Napoleon. Children. These Alpha Achievers are optimising their leisure time with extracurriculars, internships, volunteering and goodly fashioned hard work, and showing some of the grown-ups how it should, or could, be done. Why are they becoming role models? Well, on one hand they're still too young to have done anything really bad, but on the other hand they're also harnessing youthful optimism to give themselves the best chance of success. They are pragmatic and are prepared to make changes when necessary — such as leaving social media when they see it becoming overwhelming. This probably explains why the average number of friends that teens have on Facebook has fallen to a more realistic i45. This is a generation that is already planning for tomorrow, today. Just look at the numbers of little people flocking through the gates at Kidzania to look at life in the real world, understand the importance of teamwork and learn about the value of money.
  9. 9. PREDICTIONS 2016 And these little leaders are inspiring adults as well as kids. Nobel prize- winning teenager Malala Yousafzai is a fantastic example of what young people can achieve with bravery and conviction. So what does this mean for brands in 20i6? Stop treating them like kids and give them the respect they deserve. After all, they're earning it. ARE YOU TALKING TO ME? Brands and consumers have become closer, and with many brands now an integral part of our daily lives and routines, it's time to do away with the awkwardness and stiff formality that still frames many brand interactions. Juno, named after a Roman goddess, promises to be the first bank you'll ever love and, with a distinctly human feel, aims to be everything the likes of Barclays and HSBC aren't. Thinx is addressing the embarrassment surrounding ‘feminine hygiene’ and has decided to break the taboo and hushed tones that normally accompany that time of the month. While Hello is ditching the shame that is so often associated with personal care and engaging consumers with friendly, fun products that people are happy to put on display. In 20i6 brands will uuuu u continue to subvert the UNDERWEAR established and the F 0 R ___°; _‘; 'fl_‘ expected, and adapt their / tone of voice to speak to WOM E N people in a more , WIT H contemporary manner. P E RIO D S <l _. ' he| |othinx. com
  10. 10. PREDICTIONS 2016 NO COMPROMISES Next year will see the continued expectation for perfection. As Canvas8 expert and author of Mass Customisation Joe Pine succinctly puts it, "Customers don't want choice. They want exactly what they want. " I ~' ‘ . *’7'”»': i.. 6.} , . . ‘ L , , . , i. ,, ‘. ‘"5’ ‘IE ‘v- . '.‘~: s '~‘_‘r~; Ii . :‘I'ji" _ i-‘- ‘K , KIEZKAUFHAUS ’ . sh . ~ I Iokal Ilmm Iamn The criteria for choosing which brand to engage with has grown significantly more complex, but consumers are becoming fatigued with decision making. It's part of the reason we're increasingly willing to give agency to machines to take on those mundane tasks. In 20l6 people will gravitate towards the brands that make our decisions easy. Want to consume ethically but can't resist the latest fashion? Not a problem. H&M's Close The Loop capsule collection, made from recycled materials collected over the previous two years, allows shoppers to indulge themselves gui| t—free. Want a deal that suits you, not the deal that happens to be on? Waitrose's Pick Your Own Offers Scheme has got you covered. Need that product now but feel guilty about same—day delivery? German online retailer Kiezkaufhaus employ senior citizens to deliver local produce to residents in the city of Wiesbaden.
  11. 11. PREDICTIONS 2016 Customers don't pay more money and, vitally, there's no logistical difference to spending on Amazon. You just get to feel better about it. It's about having your cake and eating it too. And the really good news? A quarter of consumers are willing to pay more for products that have been customised and more than half will pay extra for products made by brands committed to making a positive environmental impact.
  12. 12. PREDICTIONS 2016 WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Today, 54% of the world's population live in urban areas. And the trend for living in the big smoke shows no sign of abating. Even Boomers are heading back to the bright lights, while children are disconnected from the natural world like never before with as little as 10% of kids in the UK playing in natural spaces. But as the natural world begins to vanish from view, crowded out by the synthetic, the man—made and the artificial, we're realising that we might just miss it. As Joni Mitchell sang, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. And with the ever looming shadow of stress impacting life in the city the benefits of ‘green exercise’ are becoming more apparent. With the word ‘natural’ splashed all over any product to which you can affix a label, cynical consumers have seen through the emptiness. So in 2016 we'll see a renewed determination to 'rewi| d' and people will embrace bacteria, body hair, native fauna, subnatural, raw, unprocessed and everything great- outdoorsy. RADICAL TRANSPARENCY People will share anything. Ideas, feelings, photos. Endless streams of consciousness that we're convinced others will be interested in. With the default setting for life firmly set to ‘open’, consumers increasingly expect the same from brands - and in 2016 we can expect the floodgates to swing wide open. The retailer Everlane is a leader in the open field and, in the interests of honesty, the brand from whom we stole the term ‘radical transparency’. They list everything from the profit they make to the provenance of their buttons to the name of their factory manager. And it's working - their sales have grown 200% since 2013. Brands don't need to reveal all though. Sometimes consumers just want their fears allayed. McDonald's opened up about their products with the ‘Our Food, Your Questions’ campaign and answered 20,000 questions about their food and operations. The results? Consumer trust in the brand soaring by 60%.
  13. 13. PREDICTIONS 2016 And it's not just high street brands that are opening themselves up. The workplace is becoming clearer as platforms such as Glassdoor and | nHerSight allow potential employees to find out what really goes on behind closed doors. While Slack's mission is to promote a more collaborative and trusting work environment by making all communications open. Brands can no longer hide, and empowered consumers will hunt out the truth — three quarters of Gen Y shoppers research a brand before they buy. In 2016, offering up secrets and allowing customers a peek inside will become a smart way to build trust and secure long-term loyalty. ': Rniiuom : I . > K ASK ’ ifihl 1. an cm: -;(»: iL5 A . , , , . « : ~. v JACOB z. ' v ARES ‘(II vi I“"A"4 ‘ - Y r H -« ‘ "A" he-iikvx 2‘. c. i«~1 “Du you pin siiigai Ill yum “WHAT IS IN YOUR , , lylcllappy lleals'(" BEEF" ul-Llxm . l -is Jlllij-I ‘ I 1" x ~ ANDREW P. _ 5' ' ASHLEY I. ‘ i JENNIFER H. ». -.c. ...4.. .u. .s " ~ _ ’H"lC¢Ijd7, IE(lI(id 71 ; .. - 1:‘ . «. ,.. ~ what spmm Ingxtdnenu are In yam mson= d<i~. i<y= n breun‘ opposed m regular uneven brush? ‘ “'xlI mg Canniiun McDonald: pail! l supply be Inrluded In the 10 yenrplnn m yhas: nu! gutntmn tutu? " much ul yo I11 loud" ii. ” i, rm. ‘ . r. 7 ’ ‘rm ‘ ‘ l CHARLES s. -'_ LILLY R. ~71 El" "2. . is ~. .c. ... .—. .m . , _ — —"~n. ..«mi . ilw: r. ‘. .'I| )' .10 W. |xlIi‘|0'. 'a'9 M. V l Ll
  14. 14. PREDICTIONS 2016 2016 PREDICT IONS FOR RETAIL AND SHOPPER MARKETING 2016 is set to become a tipping point year where innovations, ideas and technologies that have previously seemed niche will enter the mainstream. Consumer expectations will soar and patience will run out for the brands and retailers that can't keep up. So how will things shape up in 2016? Here are our top 5 predictions. ... 1. SOCIAL, E-COMMERCE AND MOBILE WILL BLEND SEAMLESSLY 2015 saw the first tentative steps into social commerce made by some of the well—known platforms. Throughout 2016 we expect to see momentum build as mobile, social and e—commerce become more integrated. Social shopping will become widespread with the increased use of mobile (tablet and smartphone) fuelling the trend. As marketers create TL 1 ‘(E 5&1‘, .11.: their own editorial H3 ’ : .13.‘ and video content :7“ in order to capture attention online, they'll . K / i// '. also seek ways to _)_ nudge people from reading and watching into buying mode. -— u-A. -.. Pinterest is particularly well placed for the commercialisation of curated collections, effortlessly moving people from browsing to shopping with their ‘buyable pins’. Brands such as Sephora and Kate Spade have already jumped on board and in 2016 we'll see integration with apps and e commerce offerings make this behaviour mainstream. In the future our most favoured social platforms will become commerce centres, ready for an explosion of online wish listing in Christmas 2016. f .
  15. 15. PREDICTIONS 2016 2. THE BIG 4 AS WE We KNOW THEM WILL ' CEASE TO EXIST The UK grocery sector is changing rapidly, dominance of the Big 4 is no longer a given. The popularity of convenience, online and discounter channels will grow throughout 2016, leading to a significant shift in the retail landscape. Morrison's recently fell out of the FTSE 100, something which would not have seemed possible this time last year. So what could happen in 2016? We expect shoppers to take a ‘pick & mix’ approach to grocery, convenience will be the key driver shaping our habits. Amazon Fresh will start to make an impact and the discounters will continue to grow, complemented by premium grocery (M&S Food / Waitrose) which remains largely untouched. The Big 4 will continue to bear the brunt of our changing shopping habits; how they adapt in 2016 will set the scene for the future and by the end of 2016 we expect to see the grocery sector fragmented even further. 3. HOW ABOUT SOME ME TIME IN 2016? The Internet of Me is revealing itself to be far more useful than the Internet of Things ever was. Rather than the connection of devices, this is about interconnectivity shaped around us. Wearable tech and mobile devices are set to make our lives easier by learning our daily routines and habits, anticipating our behaviour and providing highly personalized, attentive and predictive responses. The IoMe will know what you're up to; a camping weekend away or a dinner party at home — it will know your previous behaviours and start to compile lists, make suggestions and buy supplies in preparation. Maybe a new wine is on offer or it will see that a cold snap is predicted and suggest a change of plan to suit.
  16. 16. PREDICTIONS 2016 Technology that allows accurate reading of heartbeats and facial expressions will become more widely used in retail. State—of—the—art technology is being developed that can analyse a pilot's brainwaves to adjust the amount of data they're viewing to balance out stress levels, and this indicates a future where messages will be adapted to our circumstances, measured at granular, biological level. 4. BIG DATA WILL MAKE A BIG IMPACT New tools are coming to the marketplace that make mining and managing data easier. Throughout 2016 we'll see big data informing marketing decisions and influencing shopper behaviour. The means to analyse outputs will become more accessible and we will see widespread use. Highly personalised communication will be the expectation in 2016 — customised landing pages, taiIor—made discounts and promotions, easiIy—accessibIe shopping baskets and the automatic display of related recommended products for customers. The back end of retailing is going to benefit too: using smart sensors and connections, low stock levels will be detected and replenished, inventory tracked, data collected and insights gathered. This revolution in the way that retailers operate has one key benefit for shoppers — in 2016 the shift in effort will focus on customer experience.
  17. 17. PREDICTIONS 2016 5. VIRTUAL REALITY WILL ENTER THE MAINSTREAM Up until now 3D technology has largely been the territory of gamers, we believe VR will continue to evolve and adapt to the mainstream in 2016. Many new VR and AR headsets are due to be launched in 2016, including Facebook's Oculus Rift, set to offer a truly immersive experience thanks to the inclusion of hand controls. VR opens up a huge spectrum of opportunities, cooking tutorials, virtual tours of cultural space, virtual theme parks and historical experiences. VR also has the potential to become a truly useful part of the retail experience, playing a key role at the reassurance stage of the buying cycle. We will be able to virtually test drive anything in an immersive, instructed and interactive way. Thomas Cook has already adopted VR, showcasing resorts and hotels; the automotive industry is following, BMW and Lexus offer virtual test drives. In 2016 we expect to see VR used for property tours and for immersive experiences in the charity sector as well as demonstrating provenance and integrity of ingredients, especially in the luxury sector. Of course, in a world of new and exciting tech trends it's easy to get carried away. The factor that unifies innovation is creativity — tech innovation is no substitute for great customer experience. In 2016 the focus will be shoppers, and the winners will be those that can form meaningful and personal connections with their customers.
  18. 18. PREDICTIONS 2016 . n I. ll r_ r Itlnlla . v I . . . ~ L. ' n I ll . I I . . I I . .. I . I II. . . . p A w III‘ 7.: . I
  19. 19. PREDICTIONS 2016 SPONSORSHIP PREDICT IONS 2016 2016 is bound to be another exciting year in the sponsorship industry, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland attending UEFA EURO 2016 in France and Team GB competing for success in the Rio Olympics in August, so we expect to see an abundance of sponsorship activations. Read on to see how the sponsorship team at Leo Burnett London think the year is going to play out. .. SPONSORS AS CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE The year 2015 saw massive turmoil in the world of sports. The scandal around FIFA and the downfall of its most powerful man, Sepp Blatter, sent shockwaves through the world of football. Athletics was shaken to its core when the World Anti—Doping Agency (WADA) presented evidence of an elaborate doping system in Russia. On top of this, the former president of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) was accused of taking bribes to cover up these offences. While these occurences are not new per se, the reaction of sponsors is. FIFA sponsors Visa, McDonald's, Budweiser and Coca—Cola all united in calling for Sepp Blatter's resignation as well as wide-reaching reform, while Russian bank VTB decided not to prolong its partnership with the IAAF. Never before have sponsors been so outspoken in demanding radical change from the organisations they partner with.
  20. 20. PREDICTIONS 2016 However, it is not only amidst scandals that brands find their voice. With the rise of consumer advocacy, sponsors and rights holders must also be more transparent about their partnerships. The Tate Gallery came under pressure to reveal the value of their partnership with BP. And the Science Museum will not renew its deal with Shell after it was revealed how the petrol company tried to influence the museum's programme. As brands become closer associated with their sponsored properties they are exposed to increased risks, ranging from negative PR to calls for boycott. In 2016, we expect even more sponsors to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility and leverage their sponsorship commitment to drive change. THE RISE OF GRASSROOTS SPONSORSHIP The sports industry has looked to address the funding gap between grassroots and elite sport during 2015. With The FA announcing they would invest an additional £260 million into grassroots football in August, and The Sport and
  21. 21. PREDICTIONS 2016 Recreation Alliance launching their #GetYourKitOn campaign in November, these are two examples of uniting the millions of people involved with sport at local level to combat the proposed budget cuts to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. We predict that this will be a call to action for brands to join the fight against cuts to central funding and help the UK continue to play the sports we love in a welcoming and safe environment. Sponsorship is no longer a boring badging exercise, and sponsorship of grassroots sport gives brands the opportunity to tell heart—warming stories and make a difference to people's lives. Existing grassroots campaigns show us that brands increasingly want to give back, and demonstrate the difference they are making. McDonald's Better Play programme, O2's rugby participation programme O2 Touch and Barclays‘ Spirit of the Game campaign are all great case studies of how to activate grassroots / CSR campaigns over a long period of time. The appeal of undiscovered rich content hidden within local sport leads us to predict that more brands will navigate towards grassroots and community sponsorship in 2016.
  22. 22. PREDICTIONS 2016 ACTIONS TO SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS IN WOMEN’S SPORT Over the last three years we have seen some incredible results from women across an array of sports including rugby, cricket, football and cycling. However, statistics highlight the vast gap that still exists between men and women's sport with only 0.4% of sports sponsorship being invested into women's sport, and the top five women's sponsorship deals totaling £1.4 million in 2013 compared to a staggering £590 million for the top men's deals. We are, however, starting to see more sponsors waking up to the opportunities that women's sport creates, including being a great return on investment. In 2015 we saw SSE sign a seven—figure deal with The FA to sponsor The Women's FA Cup and to create a countrywide programme for gir| s—only football. Additionally Kia and Investec continued their sponsorship of women's cricket and hockey respectively. In addition, we continue to see a number of sports clothing brands including Nike, adidas and Reebok signing up inspirational female ambassadors. R JEANIIJCIIAIID u4n7:~lI ‘ER ‘.5; p . .NY Ml-I imi Maxie Scheske, Anastasia Chitty, Shelley Pearson. Lauren Kedar, Maddy Badcott, Emily Reynolds, Nadine lberg, Caryn Davies, Jennifer Ehr
  23. 23. PREDICTIONS 2016 One sponsor really leading the way in gender equality is Newton Investment Management, who sponsor the Women's Boat Race. Helena Morrisey, CEO of Newton IM, was a key figure in getting the BBC to cover the women's race live in addition to the men's, which has been covered for 87 years. As we move into 2016 we expect to see more brands starting to realise the huge opportunities that exist within women's sport and taking more responsibility for their role in raising awareness of the inequalities. Although it will take many years to achieve any real parity in terms of men's and women's sponsorship, let's hope 2016 is the year we start seeing strides instead of baby steps. SPONSORS GET TECHNICAL With the ever—growing use of ‘ 1!, ‘ technology in professional sport, ' I’ sponsors are clamouring to ,5,;4_/ ‘;L. ‘%$. ;$: ‘ ‘ get involved. as-, ,.; f__i ‘ 1'‘ Any rugby fans out there will ‘ . " I fir‘ _ , have noticed the exciting addition ’ » '~~ L/ ’) " I «xx ‘ VI of the ‘ref—cam' to the 2015 World ’ ’5 7"” I '-N’: I Cup. Viewers were immersed in the game thanks to footage captured from a camera strapped to the referees’ chests, giving first—person view of the most intricate parts of the game. The use of the TMO (video referee) during the tournament was also a rugby-first, and although stunted to begin with, became widely recognised as an essential part of '. the game by the final match. ,. -4 However, both of these entities I remained un—sponsored during the tournament.
  24. 24. PREDICTIONS 2016 By contrast, when you look across the pond you can instantly see the huge sponsorship opportunities that this new technology can offer. In January 2015, GoPro signed a partnership with the NHL for the use of referee helmet cams‘ in certain games. This proved hugely successful, with content going viral on social media. Another example is Bose; the headphone brand who, upon signing their partnership with the NFL, designed bespoke headsets to be worn by every NFL coach in the league to facilitate their pitchside experience. Bose transformed the two inches above an NFL coach's head into prime advertising space. So, whilst the American equivalent to the TMO still remains unsponsored in all four major sports, other innovative sporting technology is offering exciting sponsorship and partnership opportunities for brands. Back in the UK, given that this technology will inevitably become increasingly visible in high—profile sport, we can assume that it's only a matter of time before multiple new sponsorship properties become available and brands try to outbid each other for those coveted sponsorship rights. NEXT LEVEL VIRTUAL REALITY FOR SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATIONS We have already seen some impressive Virtual Reality (VR) case studies in the sponsorship/ partnership space — such as AIG's Google Cardboard experience to see the haka up close and personal around the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The ‘Case II‘ . — I . .v, I At. _ . iI. §: E?*: ' T , -- l ‘-I. » ». uI. ('>. «il_. X.i‘ml. .I . 4: l. nl I 533 ‘ .
  25. 25. PREDICTIONS 2016 Coca—Cola‘, which allowed visitors to be taken through a mock locker room in Brazil's Maracana Stadium via a VR headset, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is also worth a mention. However, those in the know will tell you that what we have seen so far in terms of technological advancement is still only scratching the surface, and the VR experience is going to move from something that merely looks cool to something that makes you feel like you are actually there! Marriott Hotels have been doing some pioneering work in the travel industry by offering 4D experiences that gave people the feeling of being teleported to different destinations, including beaches in Hawaii and downtown London.
  26. 26. PREDICTIONS 2016 With huge strides planned from tech companies in 2016, we believe that we are going to see VR taken to the next level by more brands playing with other senses, such as touch, smell and sound. Some devices can already mimic force via VR linked vest packs! The VR revolution is of course driven by the gaming world, but we believe more brands will be going further than they ever have by using groundbreaking VR within their sponsorship activations in 2016. Watch this virtual space. FESTIVAL CONNECTIVITY TO TAKE A LEAP FORWARD Moving out of the sporting arena, we predict that festival sponsors will become even more savvy in connecting with festival goers, taking on board a ‘win win win’ sponsorship ethos. We have already seen payment system providers (MasterCard, Visa) provide festivals with cashless payments, and mobile networks help their users charge their phones and access the internet. However, with over 90% of festivalgoers owning a smartphone, we predict sponsors will look to develop this further. Indeed, Apple are rumoured to be on the verge of launching an indoor survey app, whereby dropping ‘points’ on a map within the app indicates your position within the venue as you walk through. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware. Similar to iBeacon technology, this app could enable sponsors to connect directly to fans and engage with their products.
  27. 27. PREDICTIONS 2016 Continuing to improve the fan's experience is of vital importance to sponsors, and we predict seeing increased engagement through technology such as radio-frequency identification (RFID). At USA festival Bonnaroo, this technology was used through ticket bracelets allowing Microsoft to promote its cloud- based OneDrive software for attendees to check in and collect photos from live performances. With 80% of Glastonbury's line up already confirmed, sponsors will already be planning the next steps in festival technology and how they are going to improve the experience for fans even further.