Blog : music

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

2016 is the year of the consumer. Through all platforms, across all trends, the customer is claiming back their mind and their body and is in full control of their media space. So adapt or die.

Digital comes of age. It’s still the media juggernaut, but this year we’re digging deeper into the analytical matrix.

The consumption of digital content is through apps and is fully mobile. Our desire for portability and our rejection of always digesting information in real time is set to continue, so we must continually maximize content to match and strive to work out where, how and when.

What’s new this year is the way we’re evaluating our digital data and its impact on strategy, which aims to make social more viable and valuable. Businesses want ROI and so ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ aren’t enough. Although they demonstrate awareness, in 2016 we’re looking for love.

Creative virility is super for vanity, but advocacy now reigns supreme. Excellent consumer experience converts consumers to brand activists and thus maximises social connectivity. The focus is on follow through, so perpetuating the circle of client happiness and truth. Even our beloved emojis, (now used more than not) are to be scrutinized for the data they can yield. (Insert happy face with wrinkles, drinking a nice Riesling).

Content will see a further move away from static to video. Interactivity will keep your customers clicking in the appropriate direction. Understanding the right degree of personalization and making content relevant is crucial too. Know your platforms, be ready to pounce on the new. But the big technological trend that will impact content is virtual reality, already popping up on Facebook and YouTube with the emergence of 360 Video.

It’s an Olympic year, so sport and our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle are on the podium. Keep up with the gurus and influencers in this spectrum; the frontrunners will be worth their weight in gold. And let’s not forget there’s an American election in November so corporate and financial businesses should be on high alert with their spin on this.

Creativity, our stalwart, is always about the story leading the customer through the media jungle, entertaining and delighting them on the way and delivering them a happy ending. A campaign with a conscience is a seasonal vogue, but if there’s one thing that’s always in style, it’s an honest to goodness, strategically grounded, fantastic idea.

Our affection of all things seventies has been turbo boosted into the stratosphere with the sad death of David Bowie. As music is fashion and fashion is music and Bowie’s creative brilliance is the embodiment of both, never has he been so culturally pertinent. See his genius penetrate through both artistic mediums and long may it continue.

And that’s it, health and prosperity (with a bit of strategy, innovation, creativity and integration) for 2016 from Stripe HQ.

The Creative Genius of David Bowie

The Creative Genius of David Bowie

Yesterday, I joined millions of music fans the world over in celebrating the life and work of David Bowie. I filled the Stripe airwaves with Bowie’s greatest songs and then spent my lunch break devouring articles on the musical legend. There was one characteristic that permeated every article on Bowie; a word that encompasses him perfectly – creativity.

We live and breathe creativity in our industry – it’s ultimately at the heart of what we do; but it can be challenging to develop game-changing ideas continuously. Someone like Bowie can teach us a lot, about being true to your vision – by being bold, standing out from the crowd and speaking to people through your work.

I’ve admired Bowie since I was a teenager and even though I am severely lacking in musical aptitude (I’m borderline tone deaf), I was, and continue to be, hugely inspired by his work.

The essence of Bowie’s creativity was in his sheer fearlessness, the willingness to think and act differently. In 1972, Bowie released his iconic album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and took on the persona of alien rock star, Ziggy Stardust. With his androgynous appearance, other worldly lyrics and avant-garde performances, Bowie was as equally compelling as he was controversial.

The world Bowie created was alien to the British public, and this is exactly what he played on. By daring to take risks and display his creativity in everything from his cut-up lyrics to his personal style, Bowie changed not only the 70s music scene, but also pushed the boundaries of sexuality, gender and identity.

It looks likely that Bowie’s albums and singles will dominate the music charts this weekend, proving his work is as relevant today as it was in the 70s. This legacy is testament to Bowie’s commitment to breaking down artistic boundaries and there’s no doubt he will continue to be a creative muse to many industries and generations for years to come.

One thing’s for sure – I’ll definitely be utilising Bowie’s cut-up technique the next time I’m struggling for a headline.