By Richard Pay

The future will affect every one of us.
And it’ll be here before we know it.
It’s our biggest opportunity.
So, it should be our main priority.

For our twentieth birthday we’re not just looking backwards.
Because it’s those who look forward that ultimately succeed.

The future will affect every one of us.
And it’ll be here before we know it.
It’s our biggest opportunity.
So, it should be our main priority.

Blockbuster, Kodak and now Toys “R” Us.
Brands that couldn’t keep up with the pace of change.
Blinded by their own success and ignorant to new opportunities.
They dismissed change in favour of the familiar.
Quickly becoming irrelevant.

If we’re not doing anything new, we’re not competing - just keeping up.
Technology, behaviours and creativity are evolving daily.
If we don’t do something new, someone else will.
They’ll be the ones to move the category forward.
They’ll be the ones to own new standards.
They’ll be the ones to create the change that matters.

That’s why we’ve taken this opportunity to imagine The Future Agency.
The tremendous and the terrifying of what could be.
It’s a catalyst for us, our industry and the people we work with to think ahead.
To understand the future and our place in it.

We’ve outlined key themes that will undoubtedly change our future.
And we’ve used this as a basis to imagine what’s next.
So we can avoid, prepare and achieve.
Staying relevant and ready.


Autodraw, SquareSpace, MarkMaker.
It’s easy to turn up our noses and pretend that they’re not a threat.
But these are just the start.
Automation is coming, but that doesn’t mean we’re fucked.
Car manufacturers are using AI to design cars in ways humans couldn’t dream.
How can we use it to elevate our roles and strengthen our outputs?


Data shows us that personalisation works.
The ways and means to personalise are only getting stronger.
But also more invasive.
Facial recognition, mood sensors and mind readers.
Companies like Facebook and Google are pushing the limits of data privacy.
Will it go too far? Has it already?
How will we shift the power back to the people?


Augmented reality is only in its infancy.
But the rewards of embracing it now could be boundless.
Surgeons are already using it to help save lives.
With the line between physical and digital ever blurring, augmented reality is inevitable.
Our screens restrict us to the flat and disconnect us from reality.
Augmented tools will change everything.
How will we take steps to integrate it into our process?

Emotional Analytics

Big data is only getting bigger.
More and more information is helping agencies target better.
However we need to balance this with empathy.
Understanding our audiences on an emotional level.
Not only tracking how they act, but how they feel.
How will we get closer to people?


Working behind closed doors, waiting for the ta-da moment.
Whilst it’s a nice feeling, it’s not mutually beneficial.
Hidden information leads to scepticism.
Creative ownership leads to friction and polarising outputs.
We need to embrace a culture of shared thinking with our clients and our peers.
How will we open up our entire process?

We’ve begun to answer these questions in The Future Agency.
With the aim of creating meaningful change in our industry.
The future is full of opportunity, but only if we seize it.
If we predict it.
And design it.

This is just the beginning.
Find out more at www.thefutureagency.net


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