Part-dictionary, part-prediction - this week saw the launch of the 2023 ‘Predictionary
’, a unique trend report from US agency Day One Agency that breaks down a series of words to define the year ahead.
The Predictionary was born out of a desire among the agency to break away from what it saw as a sea of sameness in trend reporting. It offers insight into key trends around themes such as luxury and travel, AI, fashion and sustainability, platform innovation, and health and wellness, but in a digestible, easy-to-understand and entertaining format.
“Our creative insights team are experts in identifying trends before they hit the mainstream,” says Josh Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO at Day One Agency. “We kick off the annual Predictionary process by hosting brainstorms with an extended team, and then look to separate the signal from the noise, honing in on the core insights that we think will guide the year ahead. From there, we brief our design team to help us bring the words/trends to life in a fun, scroll-stopping way.”
The Predictionary research process involves the Day One Agency team cultural scanning, sleuthing and deep trend spotting on both emerging and established social platforms. They also closely follow rising opinion leaders, innovators and ‘editfluencers’, tracking changes they’re identifying and connecting the dots on new thoughts documented across Discord servers, newsletters, Twitter threads, and subreddits.
Some LBB favourites from this year’s report include:
Noun — Unease about the overarching ramifications of AI on human creativity and ingenuity. The sense of foreboding as to whether or not what you’re seeing is being created by man or machine.
Noun — A compressed trend cycle, continued supply chain disruptions and pressure to meet sustainability goals places second-hand goods as the primary driver for brand growth.
Noun – Franchise fatigue. Entertainment’s law of diminishing returns; when the constant and inevitable churn of franchise spinoffs fuels exhaustion instead of hype.
Trendflation/Trendscession [trend-flay-shun] / [trend-sesh-un]
Noun — Trendflation: The exponential rise in mass manufactured ‘trends’ met with decreased cultural value/impact
“Our 2022 Predictionary
was about not holding out hope for the return of the ‘pre-covid’ world - a full-fledged embrace of newer, wider and weirder territories that arose out of the pandemic,” says Josh. “Examples include: ‘Catch 2022’, the conflicted acceptance of an uncertain reality and ‘Supply Pain’, the feeling of frustration and defeat brought on by dealing with supply chain issues, which was top of mind at this time last year. 2023’s Predictionary is about putting together a creative toolkit to navigate those territories with a critical lens and optimism.”
One predicted term was 'flock market', the "mercurial and nihilistic investment patterns driven by online communities, usually at the whim of a Reddit thread or tweet by Elon Musk." And while Day One Agency didn't predict Elon Musk buying Twitter, it did come pretty close. He remains the face of the flock market movement, especially when a fiasco over Twitter verification wiped billions of market cap off from major companies like Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin and Nintendo.
Another, 'supply pain', is the "feeling of frustration and defeat brought on by dealing with supply chain issues". Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s gyrating covid-19 policy, and the ongoing climate crisis disrupted global markets and led to shortages in key industries like energy, medicine and silicon chips.
And 'psychiatrip', the mass acceptance of psychedelics and mind-altering substances as mental health treatments, came to fruition via successful ballot measures in Oregon and Colorado to legalise the adult use of psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic. This paved the way for more widespread use of psychedelics. And, as psychologists continue to espouse the mental health benefits of 'awe', psychedelics are coming to the fore as a viable and attractive outlet for introspection and transcendence. This has kicked off a race among startups to file patents on everything from treatment rooms with 'muted colours' to unique drug delivery methods.
So, if you’re feeling AI-nxious enough to ditch your smartphone for a Nokia 3310 or so fratigued that the mere thought of watching a re-re-re-remake of an ‘80s classic has you crawling back to bed, do so peacefully, knowing that you are not alone.