Humor and Creators Will Lead the Way


It’s that time when everyone weighs in on what they think the next year will have in store for us. The creative agency world is certainly no different, but its trends might be more difficult to predict.

Luckily, people at agencies around the globe with their collective fingers on the pulse of creativity have let us in on their predictions—AI was so prevalent a topic that we gave those predictions their own story. Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

Humor and emotion make a comeback

Paul Prato, executive creative director, PPK

The “humor embargo” will break. A rash of recent data indicates that consumers are looking for brands that use humor, with a recent Oracle study finding that 91% of people prefer brands to be funny. Yet the same study found that 95% of business leaders fear humor in consumer interactions. … This year saw several high-profile marketing efforts weighing into social commentary backfire. 2024 will be the year advertisers will return to the realization that funny is far more likely to unite than divide. 

Mitch Bennett, ecd, Baldwin&

It’s going to be a nasty year. As the media and social landscape get fired up and election-y and angry, brands have a chance to offer a ray of hope, or comedy, or happiness, or even just a moment of not yelling. Which brands can make us smile for a second? We will appreciate them very, very much.

Eric Kallman, co-founder and CCO, Erich and Kallman

More clients are realizing that, in order to make work that’s all about your brand and what you offer, comedy is the route that allows you to do that in the most ownable way possible.

Harris Wilkinson, CCO, TMA (The Marketing Arm)

We’ll get the chance to put more beautiful, heartfelt and hilarious work out in the world. And isn’t that why we all got into this business in the first place? I’m not saying advertising can fix everything, but as far as I know, data has yet to prove that it can’t.

John Cornette, chief creative officer, EP+Co

Looking at Adweek’s Top 20 Ads of 2023, I noticed that there are very few heart-tugs or sentimental tones being used. In a world where everything feels so dark and divided, people are eager for more of the good stuff—really wonderfully unexpected and funny ads that solve traditional business problems. In 2024, I suspect we’ll see more of that.

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