Back to Insights

Designing for the Now and Next: 2023 Mid-Year Update

July 19, 2023

At the beginning of the year, we found ourselves in the midst of a Vibecession. As we entered the year amidst economic uncertainty, the vibe felt off.

Events that played out across our nation in the first half of this year have caused a shift from economic uncertainty to social uncertainty. From the roll-back of Affirmative Action to widespread backlash from a beer brand’s Pride campaign, America seems to be in the midst of an identity crisis as core values are called into question. 

This report uncovers key insights, explores media trends, and provides crucial insights into consumer behavior that present golden opportunities for brands to engage and resonate with their audiences. 

  • Media as an Emotional Outlet: Consumers are now using media as a means to process a wide range of complex emotions. Content and experiences related to darkness, joy, pleasure, and awe-inspiring magic serve as meaningful outlets for people to release, control, and escape. 
  • Innovation and Personalization: Practical innovations that simplify life have given way to innovations that drive personalization. Generative AI, AR, and shoppable content are transforming the retail landscape, engaging consumers in personalized ways and reshaping their shopping expectations.
  • Shift in Influencers: With a renewed focus on mental health, consumers' sources of influence have shifted from traditional influencers to more credible and authentic voices, such as podcasters, nano-influencers, and gamers.  
  • Media 'Niching Down': As consumers express their identities through media consumption, influencers, platforms, and properties are forging deeper connections around focused and specific passion areas and genres. 

Download Designing for the Now and Next: 2023 Mid-Year Update  

And, check out our latest episode of The Human Element, Carat US' Podcast as Joanna Hawkes, EVP Head of Strategy at Carat US, and Jon Manka, Director of Audience & Insights at dentsu Media US, further discuss these insights and predictions and what brands can expect for the second half of the year.