Carat Media Trends 2024

The Speed Read  

  • In our latest episode of The Human Element, Carat's leading strategists guide us through the 2024 media landscape and consumer insights that will influence the industry in the year ahead. Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Head of Strategy; Amanda Pinto, VP Strategy; and Lauren Dezenski, VP Strategy and Insights explore key media trends characterized by empowerment, autonomy, and collaboration. 
  • Consumers, feeling overwhelmed by the recent years of chaos are reclaiming control through media, prompting brands to adapt and prioritize relevance. This shift is particularly driven by younger generations embracing their global citizenship and demanding diverse, yet niche content. 
  • With tightening budgets, brands must also balance their creativity with financial considerations. Fortunately, technology offers solutions, driving innovation and aligning brand strategies with consumer demand. 
  • As consumers take more ownership of their lives, there is a need to adapt by focusing on authenticity rather than trying to cater to everyone. Collaborations and partnerships can play a key role in this evolution, helping brands reach wider audiences and increase viewership. Recent successes in sports integration across various platforms serve as prime examples of this strategy in action.  
  • With significant events such as the Olympics on the horizon, brands have a chance to forge deeper connections with consumers, inspiring and resonating with them on a personal level. 


Carat Media Trends 2024 

Although this year is just beginning, 2024 has already started to feel a bit déjà vu. It's got all the markers of 2020—a big election, the Olympics, and even an early spring prediction from Phil the Groundhog. But this time around, it feels different. 

After years of feeling like life has been spiraling out of control, consumers are now reclaiming ownership over their lives. Faced with a string of the unpredictable in recent years, they are opting to seize control where they can. And where are they turning for guidance and inspiration? You guessed it—media. As a break from chaos, people are looking to their screens for a bit of hope and motivation. 

In this episode of The Human Element, we sat down with Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Head of Strategy; Amanda Pinto, VP Strategy; and Lauren Dezenski, VP Strategy and Insights, to dive into the top media trends of 2024, where empowerment, autonomy, and collaboration are the shaping the landscape this year. For brands, it's no longer enough to simply exist; they must carve out space for themselves in the hearts and minds of their audience. 

And it's not as simple as staying current with trends; it's about finding the opportunity and meeting consumers where they are. Younger generations are embracing their role as global citizens, seeking out diverse content from around the world. Brands must adapt to meet this growing appetite for cultural diversity, niche content, and curated viewing experiences over arbitrary consumption. 

Sports, too, are undergoing a transformation. Marketers are flexing their creative muscles and showing the ability to integrate sports into new platforms, reaching wider audiences. As brands enter new formats, there will be a greater need to work in true collaboration across industry partners in order to earn the attention of consumers. 

As budgets get tighter, how can creativity be prioritized while still focusing on the numbers? Luckily, technology is here to help, as we see tech driving creativity, harmonizing brand and demand. It's a time for brands to think about what really matters to people and breaking free from the narrative that they must be all things to all people. Putting customers first is key – let them take the lead in shaping their own experiences. And with big events like the Olympics on the horizon, it's a chance for the world to come together and for brands to help facilitate those unforgettable moments through creativity. 

In this age of consumer self-empowerment, brands must prioritize the individual experience, understanding the unique journey of each consumer and crafting experiences that resonate on a personal level. So, as we look ahead to 2024, the headline is clear: Empowerment and Hope. It's a year where anything is possible, where brands have the opportunity to inspire and uplift—to create moments of magic that transcend the ordinary.  

The Human Element: A Carat Podcast, explores how insight and humanity impact modern marketing to build stronger brands. Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the full podcast episode here.  

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