"No more Gods: Dispelling industry myths and doing things differently" as presented at ICEE Festival 2018.

No More Gods.  The consumer landscape has been in a constant state of flux for the past 5-10 years, yet now it has gone into overdrive and change is here.

Driven by the new consumer, this is the most exciting time in our industry. The rulebooks are being ripped up, barriers torn down and traditional power is being displaced.

Post-Ascending Authority is a term Superimpose coined back in 2016, when we identified a shift of power in traditional hierarchies and new attitudes being born, all being driven by a new generation of creators.

This new generation is predominantly made up of those aged 16-24, although age doesn't define them. In fact they defy any traditional definition from borders to sex to language.

In previous generations - power, trends and decision making was all communicated and driven from the top (us) down to the consumer (them). This is no longer the case. The new consumer have all the tools to do it for themselves, the flow of power has flipped. The first generation to truly capitalise on this, they listen to their friends over brands, their trust in traditional institutions has fallen away and they are the creating the future without any dictation.

Why does all of this truly matter? Well to put it in simple terms, they will become the most influential demographic in the world in every aspect, if they are not already.

Population, access to technology, spending power - they hold the key to everything and are using it in ways never seen before.

Nobody should underestimate this huge consumer shift in thinking and attitude. It will change not only advertising as we know it, but also society as a whole from fashion to music and the arts to politics. 

No corner is safe from this disruption, there is nowhere for the Gods to hide. It's time to open up or face being booted out and rolled over.

Disruptive has been the buzzword of the last few years, but are we as an industry truly ready for what that means in our day to day business. It may sound frightening at face value, yet it is truly the most exciting time to be a part of this industry.

All of this change, the subverting of power and ignoring traditional hierarchies all stems from the new attitude that defines this generation. They have a new way of seeing the world and themselves, a go getter ambition and drive that is unstoppable.

No matter what they put their minds too, they will always find a way and not a way dictated by traditional textbooks. Their confidence drives their collaboration cross borders, with their online peers as they create brands, start publications and kick start social movements.

They have a confidence never seen in previous generations and are utilising this to wield power and success in everything they do.

No longer are they looking for validation, no longer do they want to work for the best agency or to work in-house at powerhouse brands.

They want brands to work for them, to create their own brand, their own agency and have the powers of old collaborating on their terms. There's no more gods, it's a new set of rules.

It's exciting, the biggest shake up to date. Fuelled not by one factory but by confidence, technological access, curiosity, information and a deep lying strive for entrepreneurship.

It is really a renaissance.

With every renaissance a new way of living and working is born. The traditional 'how to's' no longer exist.

What does this all mean for the traditional career path, the trajectory to success? Everything, as it is a concept no longer relevant to this generation.

Ingrained as graduates, the search for the ‘one’ mentor to provide invaluable industry insight, a leg up the ladder and cushy lunchtime credit card was instilled from the beginning. This is a futile exercise. Today, you need multiple mentors who praise, criticise and challenge your thinking across all ages, cross industry with diverse interests and tastes. 

Segmented industry sectors are eroding, and we’re now profiling the rise of new projects, platforms and businesses that hit the intersection between design and sport, sustainability and art, technology and food. The dissipation of industry leaders who acted as gateways reflect the shift in expertise and knowledge - specialisms are never constant. Being good at one thing is now no longer enough, especially when verticals collide and ‘gods’ become out of touch.

The Holy Trinity of power sitting between brand, agency and publisher is no longer.

Where once brands, agencies and publishers held all the power and had an impermeable model that seemed to withstand new entrants and pulls on their dynamic, these houses can no longer stand the tectonic shift that gives way to the influencer. The phenomenon which allows every individual, brand or business to create desire moves simultaneously in line with cross collaboration, mergers, acquisitions and sponsorships. You can be anything, as long as you don’t fake it.

The idea that you can buy success, that money is the answer for everything no longer rings true.

More content, more platforms and more competition. Bigger budgets doesn’t guarantee bigger reach. The rise of digital media has advanced our ability to decipher between paid promotions, ’native’ advertising and authentic content. 

The challenge is authentic storytelling and finding new ways of cutting through. How does your message stand out amongst the feed? Why does it matter to the individual?

However, being creative and daring requires you to be considerate and pragmatic. Pepsi, Puma & Dove are just a snapshot of what can go wrong when brands try to act like the Gods. Aiming to take a narrative true to this generation and twist it for themselves with no collaboration or consultation.

As we've seen with the likes of @diet_prada and the backlash those campaigns all faced, this is the call-out generation. No matter how much money you have or how big your brand is, success is not a given. No longer will the consumer follow blindly what a brand tells them.

So how do we move forward and work within this industry changing shift?

For Superimpose we believe it is simply to never become complacent, never act like a God. We need to be open to change and willing to be challenged. With the pace of change that is happening across consumers, cultures and attitudes, it is important to collaborate and be open to new ideas from any angle.

Only through the ability to become adaptable and open can we truly make creative work that is exciting, relevant and authentic.

We are making the biggest shift in the industry to date, it's time to open up the doors or face being left behind. 

Peace out.

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