December 31, 2012

The Edge of The Miraculous

Henry Miller once said "We live at the edge of the miraculous" 

Twenty thirteen is poised to be our edge of the miraculous.

The edge of the future.

This past year has seen a great shift of cultural change, economic turmoil, environmental revenge and the rise of communal commoditization.

Tides shifted everywhere and 2013 will be year 1 in this shift.

If you didn't spend 2012 consumed with some level of creating, inventing, writing, designing, dreaming, hacking, making shit or breaking shit or all of the above anything below this line is probably not going to make a whole lot of sense to you.

For those of you who were busy with all of the above then you know 2013 will be a year that will bring about the type of change that we can only call "miraculous".


A term often associated with religion or faith.

Not often something an industry hangs it's hat on.

Miracles are not something that can be fabricated or measured, they have no control, no longitudinal approach. There is no way to isolate their impact or to understand their perceptual dimensions.

Blasphemy aside. The word "miraculous" in this case is not a single divine event, it is a description for the order of magnitude of our particular shift in time.

The printing press, radio, TV and even the Internet were just the foundation for what 2013 will begin to make available to us.

2013 is the year that introduces us, the people, as the channel, the main channel, the most important channel. The channel we are always tuned into.

Social Networks will become the filters in which we express our lives, the access points to reporting and then consuming where we go, what we eat, things we like, people we love and the jobs we do.

Networks are the channels in which we tune into to consume ourselves, our family and our friends, each-other.

Social scientists can codify the rules and analyze behaviors, I am not smart enough to get into the specifics. But what I can do is help explain what this means to us as marketers and inventors.

Marketers and Inventors.

2013 will finally converge two worlds, two factions that make up the core of what we do.

Two factions that have been on a collision course since 1994.

Advertising & Technology.

Those who make channels, filters, lenses in which people can express themselves and those who figure out ways to identify, spotlight and communicate the context in which brands play in those expressions.

It is the year brands become part of the context of our lives rather than just the content we consume.

We will be the stars of the commercials, the focal point of the story-lines and our lives will be the context in which brands will be forced to make themselves known.

In Latin, ad vertere means “to turn the mind toward.”

Brand value exchange will become the way in which we as ad professionals will turn those minds and in return give people back those moments that were captured, shared and broadcast in ways that are richer, more fun and more robust.

Brands will rely on agencies to figure out how to insert and inject brand DNA or what may be referred to as Brand API into personal story-lines so that we may better communicate value in which brands lend themselves within the context of personal lives.

2013 has been a long time coming.

We will finally see innovation and technology becoming the primary method of how we inverse personal events and highlight brand values within those events.

Our jobs will become focused on building and enabling audiences to share and tell more stories so that the details inside of those stories can be highlighted on behalf of our clients and become implied endorsements that cross pollinate each others lives.

In 2013 privacy will start to be completely redefined and the public will be forced to make more informed choices about what they share and how they share while learning to be more in tuned to who is looking at the details and what those details really say about them.

2013 will draw the line in the sand and define where and when it is appropriate to disrupt or intercept.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks will have to make tough decisions around business models and their approach to advertising as primary sources of revenue.

Users are going to become more vigilant around the tactics used by the networks they are on and will threaten revolt if networks don't back off and find less devious ways to exploit user context. The example of Instagram made sure those floodgates were opened early in the year.

The word mobile will start to go away in 2013 because everything will be mobile. We live in a world where it is not the screens that are mobile but it is us the users who are mobile.

Where content once reigned context will be king.

2013 will usher in other advances. 

The term responsive will finally have a single definition. A renaissance of content strategy where context decides what content is delivered.

Digital design will no longer be set creative schemas with strict user interfaces. Digital design will become an amorphous container that will change based on context not content.

We will see the demystification of technology.

Utility will be the new big idea.

3D printing will arrive. 2013 is going to be the year we start to see big brands leveraging the 3D printer to enhance the products they sell.

Twitter will become the first Social Broadcast Network.

Banks will start to allow people to "bank" social currency.

Your dollar (when linked to your social accounts) may be worth more than your friend's dollar.

Hard currency will be coupled with social status and the two will become forever intertwined.

I welcome 2013.

I welcome the new year with open arms and I am excited about the opportunities that will be made available to us as marketers.

The new channels to explore and the new areas in which to innovate.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and a successful 2013!