In 2011, you will win prizes for buying broccoli. You will seek help from a device to control your fetish for Eames furniture. And all that twee analog crap Urban Outfitters is always hawking to bed-heady undergrads? You’ll actually want it.
It’s dystopia! Wait, no, it’s something much scarier — it’s the future or, more to the point, today and the 354 days left of this head-screw of a year, as prophesied by JWT Intelligence. JWT Intelligence is the futurist arm of mega ad agency JWT, and each year for the past six years, it has released a forecast of consumer trends, presaging things like the effect of the bad economy on shopping habits (easing up) and how much technology will factor into our lives (a whole hell of a lot.)
The latter is the boldface theme of the year. (Watch the film above for a complete summary of the top 10 trends.) Of course, technology has already altered our consumer economy in a freakishly short period of time, but it’ll only accelerate as we start to entrust devices to behave like personal assistants, to tell us when we need to buy milk, and to make our shopping lives more like entertainment; instead of a boring trip to the grocery store, think, it could be like Saturday night on the Strip!
Which goes a long way toward getting us to buy more stuff and which all sounds faintly nightmarish to anyone who still has a home phone and a use for this website. The good news is that JWT Intelligence’s report also includes trends indicating that humans still matter. Among them: a move toward “de-teching” (hence the inevitable renaissance of UO’s apartment wares) and greater participation from brands in community affairs. That last point is especially noteworthy. As people flood cities, companies will work to improve urban areas, through outreach and environmental initiatives; in other words, they’ll invest in making cities better places for people to live — a rare glimpse of humanity in an increasingly electronic age.