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Intelligence: What’s in store for 2018? J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group on the 100 Trends Shaping the Future

SINGAPORE – J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group’s fourth annual Future 100 report, released today, shows a spike in Asia-driven trends.

The global report contains 100 original trend predictions from the Innovation Group, sliced across 10 categories. “Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2018” helps industry-watchers keep ahead of emerging consumer behavior. Each trend is delivered as a digestible snapshot, highlighting how the trend is already apparent in current consumer behavior, showing how it’s gaining in popularity, plus original analysis on why brands and marketers should be paying serious attention.

Major Asian trends making an impact on the global arena include: #19 Chinese Tech Goes Global, #4 Religious Resurgence, #67 The New Muslimah and #90 Destruction Therapy.


Commenting on the Future 100, John Gutteridge, CEO of J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific said:

“This is the first time that Asia-driven trends have made such a significant impact on the Global F100 Report. Asian brands are demonstrating the ambition and the vision to go global, and this is just the beginning.”

The 10 lenses under which the trends are categorized are: Beauty, Brands & Marketing, Culture, Food & Drink, Health, Lifestyle, Luxury, Retail, Tech & Innovation, and Travel & Hospitality.

Highlights from Asia and beyond include:

#4 Religious Resurgence: Religion is making a comeback in some places, perhaps most surprisingly in China. Hundreds of temples, mosques and churches are popping up each year to cater to millions of new worshippers, fueling pilgrimages and festivals as people seek spiritual sustenance amid rapid economic and social change.

#10 Kid Influencers: as young as three and four years old are being groomed as the next influencers. Born into an environment of intelligent devices, where the lines between the physical and the digital are increasingly blurred, kids from American YouTube star Ava Ryan, 7, to the South Korean triplets Dae-han, Min-guk and Manse, 5, are drawing audiences and sponsors alike.

#75 Lab Grown Luxury: The latest frontier in luxury is material science – using biotech and innovative technisues to create luxury fabrics, diamonds and leather without the cruelty, or the carbon footprint.

#3 New Millennial Careers: Amid changing lifestyles, and work patterns, new professions and side hustles are emerging for millennials. The latest? Doula, Micro-influencer, and on-demand video crews (for Instagram Stories, YouTube and more.)

#16 Manufacturing 2.0: From Adidas’s new Speed Factory to Nike, brands are using advanced rapid-manufacture techniques, from 3-D printing to weaving to manufacture bespoke product on-demand.

#67 The New Muslimah: Southeast Asia’s millennial Muslimah are combining a hunger for lifestyle brands, global cuisines and digital channels with religious observance. These two trends – more Islamic, more global – are playing out across sectors such as food, beauty and fashion, technology and travel.

#90 Destruction Therapy: Rage rooms are popping up for people living in high-stress, fast-paced times. Hong Kong’s new Ikari Area invites visitors to don orange jumpsuits and gas masks and use metal pipes to smash household appliances. The place is popular with students in the exam-obsessed society.

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group, said of the report:

“The future is happening faster than ever, thanks to the rapid pace of tech innovation and digital culture. New models of commerce are causing disruption and scaling rapidly. In food, drink and beauty, we see nascent trends exploding in a nano-second thanks to social media. Meanwhile, new technologies are transforming the entire way we with commerce, marketing and the internet. AR, VR, AI, voice activation and 5G will all create seismic change in the way we work and live. Coupled with this we are seeing a consumer who is more demanding of brands than ever – and focused on wellbeing, experiences and self-improvement in all aspects of their life.”

You can download the full report, including all 100 trends here:

Predictions from Future 100 reports often hit the nail on the head. Later in December, the Innovation Group will explore how last year’s trends played out in 2017 in a series of posts on the J. Walter Thompson Intelligence website.

In main photo is John Gutteridge, J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific CEO.

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