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A-Z Culture Glossary of 2015: The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant

Moving at the speed of culture and staying relevant is challenging for brands and people alike. We all want to be culturally in sync in 2015. However, with so many trend reports, lists, and predictions this time of year, it can be hard to separate the signals from the noise.

To help, we’ve assembled an A-Z glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay culturally relevant in 2015.

This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as you enter the new year.

Read on and instantly increase your Cultural IQ. And get ready for 2015 – it’s going to be a good one. Enjoy!

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A-Z Culture Glossary of 2015: The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant

  1. A-Z Culture Glossary of 2015 The Trends You Need to Know to be Relevant Image Source: Allen.G / SHUTTERSTOCK
  2. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Moving at the speed of culture and staying relevant is challenging for brands and people alike. We all want to be culturally in sync in 2015. However, with so many trend reports, lists, and predictions this time of year, it can be hard to separate the signals from the noise. To help, we’ve assembled an A-Z glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay culturally relevant in 2015. This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as you enter the new year. Read on and instantly increase your Cultural IQ. And get ready for 2015 – it’s going to be a good one. Enjoy! CULTURAL LITERACY STARTS HERE! Image: Tom Page / FLICKR
  3. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Image Source: DEFINITION A simple definition of the must-know terms, with a brief explanation of why it’s important to know CULTURAL CHALLENGE Tricks, tips and exercises so you can develop your knowledge in this area (we do not endorse the content, we’re merely pointing it out) ELEMENT OF CULTURE CATEGORY sparks & honey uses a taxonomy of trends called the Elements of Culture to organize signals; all trends fall into 5 major categories HOW TO READ THIS REPORT A MEDIA TECH/SCIENCE AESTHETICS IDEOLOGY HUMANITY
  4. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE A Absurdism The Alternet Anonymous Apps Armchair Exploration Athleisure Autonomous Cars B Beacons Beyoncé Drop Biosimilars C Cardboard Climate Apartheid Creative Computing Crowd Economy Cultural Permission Cymatics D Data as Currency Defictionalization Design Crimes Deviant Economy Donnoli Droning A-Z OF CULTURE E ESports Early-Onset Nostalgia Emoji Diversity Epigenetics Episodic Binge Erotic IQ Exoskeletons F Fairy Tale Living Fangirls Flattening Fleek Fog Computing G Gesture Control Gram IT Gut-Brain Health H Hack Life Haptics Health Goth Hearables Hemp Seeds I Incognitorati J JOMO K Kickstarting Kimmeling Kinetic Power L Li-Fi Lifelogging M Malfatto Mallsoft Marijuana Mainstreaming
 Meme Agent Modularity Moodgeisting N Nano Net Neutrality Netiquette Neural Dust New Semantics Normcore O Oculus Rift Onelining Onesies P Parallel Storytelling Petite Data POSSLQ Precation Process as Entertainment Q Quantified Groupies R Ramen Review Economy S Self-Reflexive Sensor Dodging Shoefie Shruggie ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Side Text Simplexity Single Source Singletons Squealing Structured Serendipity Submarine Parenting T Tedious Content Three-Dot Anxiety Tinderfication U Uber of… Unapologetic V Vending Machines Voice W Warm Technology Whitewalling X X-ploration 
 Y Yellow Z Z Generation Zen Tech Other 8-Bit Aesthetic 11 Likes 24-Hour Celebrity MEDIA TECH/SCIENCE AESTHETICS IDEOLOGY HUMANITY
  6. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Image Source: Airplane ABSURDISM Extreme, hyperbolic form of humor built on the ridiculous, outrageous, incongruous, and strange (especially trendy amongst male Millennials). Absurdist humor is often childish and always irreverent. Absurdism is an off-set to the sobriety of life and adulthood. As world issues become more serious in 2015, expect comic relief to be absurd. A CULTURAL CHALLENGE Find an absurdist GIF, video or image and tweet it to @sparksandhoney tagged with #absurdism, and we’ll tweet back at you. Image: Eugenio Marongiu / SHUTTERSTOCK
  7. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE THE ALTERNET The Alternet is a proposed civic, autonomous (alternative) network that runs alongside the Internet. It's open, fair trade, and community-run. Anticipate increasing conversation around the Alternet as an antidote to the Black Box system of the Internet, defined by lack of privacy and data control. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this Vimeo video showing a fictional reality of the AlterNet: Ask yourself: Is the Alternet fact or fiction? Would you ever use an Alternet?A Image: a katz / SHUTTERSTOCK
  8. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ANONYMOUS APPS Apps like Secret, Canary, or Mustache hide the user’s identity in hopes of encouraging greater and more honest sharing. In addition to ephemeral apps like SnapChat, anonymous apps will continue to flourish in 2015, especially among teens who seek respite from an always-on culture. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Sign up for the app Whisper and use it for one week. Take note: How do you feel posting content anonymously? Did you behave differently in an anonymous forum?A Image: LDprod / SHUTTERSTOCK
  9. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ARMCHAIR EXPLORATION People are living the adventures of others vicariously through ubiquitous technology and connectivity. By experiencing different places and perspectives, people are building empathy for others. Expect to see more amateur content creation, especially when used as a tool in social movements. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Be an Armchair Explorer and practice your empathy skills by watching the adventures of others on GoPro’s YouTube channel: https:// GoProCamera A Image: EpicStockMedia / SHUTTERSTOCK
  10. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ATHLEISURE Athletic apparel that transitions to streetwear beyond working out. What started with soccer moms wearing yoga pants as part of their daily uniform has been joined by luxury fashion designers, propelled by America’s obesity issues and overall “casualization” of business. Athleisure could mean trouble for the denim industry in 2015 as leggings oust jeans as the go-to pant. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Notice althleisure apparel on the weekends and in the office. Dare: wear dressed up athleisure apparel to a holiday party. A Image: I T A L O / SHUTTERSTOCK
  11. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE AUTONOMOUS CARS Cars that move, think, and make their way through the world autonomously, without human input. In 2015, car manufacturers like Tesla, Audi, and GM will start to release low-speed autonomous cars, along with bolt-on kits to retrofit a regular car and make it autonomous. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read the book, Driverless Cars: Trillions Are Up for Grabs by Chunka Mui and Paul Carroll. A Image: RioPatuca / SHUTTERSTOCK
  12. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BEACONS Small, low-cost, low-energy sensors that emit a Bluetooth pulse of data to a smartphone when in proximity for location-based communications. Beacons are making the Internet of Things a reality and driving hyper-local and customized messaging. B CULTURAL CHALLENGE Buy some stick on beacons from Estimote and turn some of your objects into smart-objects that collect data. http:// Image: Stokkete / SHUTTERSTOCK
  13. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE BIOSIMILARS Don’t know what “biosimilar” means? Don’t worry, because 54% of primary care physicians can’t define it either. They are less expensive, generic versions of bio-pharmaceutical drugs made by a different manufacturer after the drug patent expires. Many biosimilars will be coming onto the market in 2015, which will disrupt established pharmaceutical brands. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Review this simple SlideShare presentation on Biosimilars: ISRreports/biosimilar-education B Source: ISReports Image: Thirteen / SHUTTERSTOCK
  14. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CARDBOARD Cardboard is a key material for 2015. The year will welcome many examples of cardboard furniture, toys, and packaging. Cardboard feeds into sustainable design and raw material trends, which is an antidote to consumerism, synthetics, and over- processing or embellishment. C CULTURAL CHALLENGE Build something out of cardboard: jewelry, furniture, a picture frame or toy. Visit Etsy or Pinterest to get cardboard project ideas. Image: Angela Waye / SHUTTERSTOCK
  15. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CLIMATE APARTHEID Inequality created by those who have climate controlled accommodations for extreme weather created by global warming. As depicted in the film Snowpiercer, climate apartheid will be a result of the growing disparity in wealth and resources between those who are and are not able to cope with climate change. CULTURAL CHALLENGE To learn more about the impact of climate change on the movement of people, read this article: http:// smart-news/climate-change- already-causing-mass-human- migration-180949530/?no-ist C Image: Songquan Deng / SHUTTERSTOCK
  16. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CREATIVE COMPUTING New technologies and artificial intelligence such as IBM’s Watson are changing how creators approach invention and production in the connected world. Some pundits say we are in a “Creative Economy” which favors “makers” and “creators.” In 2015 we will continue to see Silicon Valley’s resources directed toward creative endeavors. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this video demonstrating IBM Watson’s creative computing: https:// v=xChde72O6Qs C Image: ibmphoto24 / FLICKR
  17. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CROWD ECONOMY The marketplace ecosystem of peer-to-peer sharing of resources and services, sometimes called the Sharing Economy or Collaborative Economy. P2P services are still primarily in major cities. Expect 2015 to see the spread and growth of Crowd Economy businesses to smaller cities and suburbs. C CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try a new service from the crowd economy (e.g. Uber). How did you feel about the shared/collaborative experience? What kind of people did you meet? Image: “Crowdsourcing week Europe 2014” by Sebastiaan ter Burg / Flikr/ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0).
  18. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CULTURAL PERMISSION The idea that brands need permission to participate in cultural moments, trends, and memes, or otherwise risk appearing insincere or out of sync; the notion that a brand’s DNA should align with culture, rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon of a particular trend. In 2014, a number of brands inappropriately tried to jibe with trends, but failed because they didn’t have the right permission. This will be a hot topic in 2015. C CULTURAL CHALLENGE Think of yourself as your own personal brand — what cultural permissions do you have and not have? Why/why not? Image: ducu59us / SHUTTERSTOCK
  19. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CYMATICS The new year will continue to celebrate synesthetes and synesthesia, especially with the visualization of invisible concepts like sound. There is renewed interest in old fashioned analog sound waves, in contrast to the digital era, and Cymatics is the study of sound waves and the science of turning the intangible into the tangible. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out this video that illustrates Cymatics: http:// cymatics-nigel-stanford-music- video-shahir-daud/ C Image: Freebulclicstar / SHUTTERSTOCK
  20. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DATA AS CURRENCY The notion that you own your personal data and therefore you must give permission for it to be used or sold. In 2015, the personal data marketplace will evolve, and people will become more concerned about building their data profiles for commercial gain. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Visit the website for DataCoup Note: Why is this company in business? Who is buying this? What would your data be worth? D Image: violetkaipa / SHUTTERSTOCK
  21. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DEFICTIONALIZATION Taking fictional characters or objects found in literature, TV, movies, and music lyrics and bringing them to life in the real world (the opposite of product placement). In 2015, we anticipate further blurring between the real and unreal. Expect to see products launched in 2015 that are winks to fiction – and anticipate that superfans will frenzy to snap up defictionalized collectables. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Browse various real life products that were born inside TV shows here: designer-blog/2013/09/11/ famous-fictional-branding-from- television-and-film/D Image: John Loo /FLICKR
  22. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DESIGN CRIMES When design fails and flaws are criminal, such as faulty airbags and Tide detergent pellets poisoning children who ingested them. In an era where design plays such an important role in product appeal and functionality (think: iPhone’s UX), the designer rules. But in an increasingly litigious society there is a movement calling for design accountability. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Browse the book 101 Useless Japanese Inventions and try to identify 10 designs that might cause harm. Consider this: is the designer responsible? D Image: Diego Cervo / SHUTTERSTOCK
  23. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DEVIANT ECONOMY This is the marketplace of the deep, dark Internet. While this is forbidden territory, it also boasts the pull of curiosity and shareability. Expect brands in 2015 to reference (implicitly and explicitly) black markets, back alleys, and the dark corners of society. VCs will view them as opportunities and places to experiment: the next frontier for innovation? CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read the book Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century Deviant-Globalization-Market- Economy-Century/dp/ 1441178104 D Image: Africa Studio / SHUTTERSTOCK
  24. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DONNOLI The irresistible evolution of the Cronut is the Donut + Cannoli hybrid, illustrating how cultural and high- low mashups proliferate in the culinary world. Expect to see lots of Donnolis and similar pastries in 2015. Society’s need for small indulgences continues. D CULTURAL CHALLENGE Invent your own dessert mashup, ideally by borrowing from two disparate cultural cuisines. Image: ARENA Creative / SHUTTERSTOCK
  25. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE DRONING Flying drones is a bona fide pastime; drones have gone from stealth military weapons to offering a novel perspective in aerial film and photography. Expect to see new business models pop up that hinge on drones. In 2015, conversation will heat up around regulation of drone-occupied air spaces as tensions rise between the “pro-drones” and “don’t-drones.” D CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go droning: rent or buy a drone and play with it for a day. Take a “dronie" (a.k.a. selfie with a drone). Note: How are drones different from toy airplanes? Image: funkyfrogstock / SHUTTERSTOCK
  26. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ESPORTS Video games are now large-scale spectator sports, filling entire arenas with live audiences and commentary (think: WWE). Expect new arenas in 2015 designed specifically for eSports, as well as new celebrities and fashion icons arising from players, commentators, and spectators. The eSports industry is driven not only by escapist entertainment, but also by the continuous merge of our online and offline lives. E CULTURAL CHALLENGE Attend an eSports event or tune into and watch a game being played. What is happening? How do you feel watching a game being played rather than playing yourself? Image: Dikiiy / SHUTTERSTOCK
  27. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EARLY-ONSET NOSTALGIA Sentimental remembrance and longing for a not-so- distant past. With the accelerated hype curve of trends, and with technology apps like Timehop, we’re able to relive our pasts in the present. The time it takes for people to become nostalgic is compressing due to exponential change. Our social media sharing habits in 2015 will even make us pre- nostalgic for future moments. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Name three things from your childhood that you miss. Are any of them popular again? Have they evolved at all or are they as you remember? Do they stand the test of time?E Image: Maxim Blinkov / SHUTTERSTOCK
  28. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EMOJI DIVERSITY The movement to make these small digital icons used in electronic communication more ethnically representative of the wide user base. Since “Emoji Dick” entered the Library of Congress, emoji have become a legitimate mainstream form of communication. Expect 2015 to be the year that the masses become fluent – and the lack of diversity in emoji to be politicized and addressed. E CULTURAL CHALLENGE Text only in emoji for an entire day. Translate song lyrics, movie or TV plots, or write a poem entirely in emoji. Image: Christos Georghiou / SHUTTERSTOCK
  29. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EPIGENETICS The study of the interaction of genetic material (DNA) with the environment. New scientific discoveries have confirmed that we can alter our genes through our actions. The “nature vs. nurture” debate will resurface in 2015.E CULTURAL CHALLENGE Get your DNA mapped: order a home DNA testing kit from Image: mathagraphics / SHUTTERSTOCK
  30. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EPISODIC BINGE With 61% of people binge-watching three or more episodes at a time, binge-watching has become the new normal for TV consumption. Expect 2015 viewing habits to continue this trend, and for traditional networks to create content that is designed to be watched in sporadic binges and binge settings. E CULTURAL CHALLENGE Binge-watch an entire season of a TV show. What do you like better about the experience? What do you dislike compared to watching one episode per week? Source: The Daily Beast Image: Peter Bernik / SHUTTERSTOCK
  31. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CULTURAL CHALLENGE Hire a professional cuddler and blog about the experience. EROTIC IQ As people have a harder time connecting and forming relationships, they will seek sexual tutors (surrogates) to improve sexual ability. This is part of a larger trend of outsourcing intimacy, from hiring a best man for your wedding to using social media for a break-up to calling a professional cuddler. As we lose the ability to connect and form intimate bonds, our erotic IQ will be tested. E Image: Nicolesa / SHUTTERSTOCK
  32. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE EXOSKELETONS Outerwear that supports, protects, and enhances human ability. Exoskeletons are used by heavy manufacturing industries and the military. However, growing acceptance of prosthetic devices is driving interest in full-body exoskeletons for civilian use. Expect to see more exoskeletons in movies, TV, and media in 2015, as well as product demos at technology fairs. E CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this TED video about human exoskeletons: http:// eythor_bender_demos_human_ex oskeletons Image: maxuser / SHUTTERSTOCK
  33. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FAIRY TALE LIVING Life choices that reference the fantastical, phantasmagorical, and fairy tales. With the mainstreaming of cosplay, gaming, and fan conventions, the lines between life and entertainment are blurred. With over 30 superhero movies slated to be released in the coming years, this trend is here to stay. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go to a cosplay event dressed in character. What character would you pick and why? How does it feel to immerse yourself in a story by dressing up as part of it?F Image: Lukasz Miegoc / SHUTTERSTOCK
  34. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FANGIRLS While often dismissed as crazy and fanatical, fangirls wield enormous economic sway that can make or break an entire franchise. Marketers would be wise to invest in “fanthropology" (and maybe a pair of earplugs) to better understand what will win a fangirl’s heart, voice, and wallet. In 2015 we will see strategic targeting of fangirls for politics, social movements, and innovation. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Imagine you are a celebrity with thousands and millions of fangirls. How would you harness their energy and enthusiasm? F Image: bikeriderlondon / SHUTTERSTOCK
  35. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FLATTENING The democratization of everything, resulting in homogenization of culture, gender, and political views. A melting pot results in an amalgamation of everything. This is happening despite growing bifurcation and the gap between rich and poor. Expect to see the continued blurring or breaking down of cultural lines in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE To see flattening in action one needs to see all the international travel taking place. See a data visualization of all the airplanes in the sky (and all of the world air travel) in the past 24 hours: http:// interactive/2014/aviation-100-years F Image: Semmick Photo / SHUTTERSTOCK
  36. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FLEEKNESS The “eyebrows on fleek” Vine video by Peaches Monroe, suggesting that her eyebrows are “on point” has spawned widespread use of the term “fleek” as synonymous with “on point,” as well as an eyebrow (un)grooming craze.F CULTURAL CHALLENGE Use “fleek” in a sentence while conversing. Try to keep a straight face. Image: Alliance / SHUTTERSTOCK
  37. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE FOG COMPUTING Fog computing, also known as fogging, is a model in which data, processing, and applications are concentrated in devices at the network edge rather than existing in the cloud. Telecommunications pundits are predicting that we will start to move from the Cloud to the Fog in 2015. F CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out this infographic which puts Cloud and Fog computing into simple terms: http:// images/daily-chirp/eastwick- infographic-april-fools.jpg Image: Naufal MQ / SHUTTERSTOCK
  38. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GESTURE CONTROL The process of controlling technology through natural interactions, such as hand gestures and arm movements. Unlike established XBox motion recognition, the next wave of gesture interface interprets the muscles when pointing, swiping and typing in thin air. 2015 will see a return of natural interaction with new gesture control devices. G CULTURAL CHALLENGE What (non-obscene) gestures are popular in your culture? Post a picture to Instagram making some of these gestures and imagine how they could use this technology. Image: Alexey Boldin / SHUTTERSTOCK
  39. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GRAM IT Shorthand slang for “Instagram it.” The Instagramability of life events and objects is an important deciding factor in an era where people struggle to keep the content on their social media fresh. Shorthand is evolving for actions like snapping an Instagram picture. What new expressions will arise in 2015? G CULTURAL CHALLENGE Create an Instagram account (how do you not already have one?) and then look for 10 pictures to upload in a day to “gram” yourself. Image: Joshua Resnick / SHUTTERSTOCK
  40. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE GUT-BRAIN HEALTH New scientific discoveries show the link between the microbiome (our gut microbes) and the neurological/cognitive functioning of the brain. Intellect is being directly tied to foods and microbial ecosystems. 2015 will see more links made between two important scientific projects: the mapping of the microbiome and the brain. G CULTURAL CHALLENGE Order an at home DIY kit to test you unique microbiome and assess your gut health from Ubiome: Image: Knorre / SHUTTERSTOCK
  41. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HACK LIFE Customizing life or creating things to suit your personal needs. One size no longer fits all, but cobbling together the best of multiple worlds is the new norm. The growing Maker Movement is comprised of people who embrace the hack lifestyle; in 2015, Makers will go mainstream. H CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go to and pick a project to complete. Image: Mopic / SHUTTERSTOCK
  42. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HAPTICS Haptic technology allows people to get information through touch via pulses or vibrations. For example, these haptic shoes will vibrate in certain areas to provide walking directions. 2015 will be a year full of “haptic tech” innovations, which will create more interest in skin health and touch. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Sign up for the app MyTapjoy which has excellent haptic feedback. H Image: NEILRAS / SHUTTERSTOCK
  43. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HEALTH GOTH A fashion trend that combines athletic apparel or street wear with dark gothic style elements typically found in a nightclub. While we can’t promise that this fashion will stand the test of time, we can expect 2015 to be a year that experiments with unlikely mashups. H CULTURAL CHALLENGE Wear health goth to the gym or for a run around the block and notice if people react and how. Image: Aspen Photo / SHUTTERSTOCK
  44. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HEARABLES Hearables are wearable technology designed for the ear as opposed to the wrist (think: the 2014 film Her). Without screens or buttons, hearables will make for a more seamless and unobtrusive user experience. Experts believe that hearables, aka smart earbuds, will be worth $5B by 2018. Expect to see several hearable product launches in 2015. H CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read this article on why hearables will trump wearables: 2014/10/21/why-hearables-will- trump-wearables-and-make- you-healthier-too/ Source: CCTV America Image: David Stuart Productions / SHUTTERSTOCK
  45. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE HEMP SEEDS With weed culture taking root, the new trendy superfood is a byproduct of hemp processing. Hemp seeds are an ancient grain with multiple health benefits. Expect to see hemp seeds in groceries and on menus in 2015.H CULTURAL CHALLENGE Buy a bag of hemp seeds at Whole Foods or online. Note: Why will these seeds be trendy in 2015? Image: Labrynthe / SHUTTERSTOCK
  46. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE INCOGNITORATI A growing segment of the population that desires to hide from any type of tracking technology (e.g. browser cookies, mobile geolocation data, facial recognition software used by the police). In an always-on, always-connected, and increasingly open-source world, 2015 will see a growing demand for wanting to hide and the Incognitorati will speak out. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Sign up for the app SnoopWall and notice how it makes you feel to know your content is private. I Image: wk1003mike / SHUTTERSTOCK
  47. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE JOMO Joy Of Missing Out; the opposite of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), JOMO is giving oneself permission to decline invitations or opt out of social engagements. In a culture where we’re constantly surrounded with noise, conversation, opinions, and obligations, consumers find bliss and inner peace when they embrace tuning out. J CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go a day or week without checking on your social media feed. How did you feel at the end of that time period? Image: / SHUTTERSTOCK
  48. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE KICKSTARTING The proliferation of crowdfunding sites to help fashion designers, writers, and even teachers realize their visions are becoming a new way of making a living. People of vision who wish to create and share their dreams with the world are up-starts and kick- starts. Expect to see more Kickstarter projects and new crowdfunding platforms in 2015. K CULTURAL CHALLENGE Post a project on Kickstarter and try to get it fully funded. Share it with us on Twitter @sparksandhoney Image: artjazz / SHUTTERSTOCK
  49. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE KIMMELING Jimmy Kimmel has become as known for his viral video pranks as for his late-night talk show. In fact, he’s become so synonymous with pranksterism that unaffiliated pranks often get accredited to him and his show. With TV audiences dwindling rapidly, the future of television success in 2015 depends on online success, and Kimmeling is a strategy to maintain relevance. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Pull an innocent prank (watch his examples for inspiration – don’t harm anyone in the process) and when the gag is up, announce that the subject has been “Kimmeled.”K Image: disterics / FLICKR
  50. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE KINETIC POWER Harnessing the power of human energy. New technologies are emerging that allow our motion and movements to generate energy (think: your body is your personal power generator). Numerous new inventions will be coming onto the market in 2015 that are powered by kinetic energy. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Browse the Internet for “Kinetic Art” and wonder at the amazement of nature’s energy. K Image: Msujan / SHUTTERSTOCK
  51. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE LI-FI Li-Fi, or light fidelity, is the ability to provide high- bandwidth connectivity in a localized area using the visible light spectrum instead of the traditional radio spectrum. Li-Fi has the potential to replace Wi-Fi and could signal a huge shift for traditional ISPs. Conversations around Li-Fi will abound in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this short video explaining LiFi: https:// v=2yiJvl7Aat0 L Image: Shutter_M / SHUTTERSTOCK
  52. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE LIFELOGGING Recording daily movements — via audio, video, or photos — to reflect on one’s life and augment memory. Cameras and recording devices are getting smaller, with longer battery life that enables unobtrusive and continuous streaming. Afterward, users share the content on social media. Lifelogging is going mainstream. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Set an alarm on your phone reminding you to take a photo every half hour. At the end of the week, look at your photos. What do you see? What do you NOT see? Are there any changes you would make in your life after seeing these? L Image: Yulia Grigoryeva / SHUTTERSTOCK
  53. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MALFATTO Italian world meaning “imperfect by design” (intentionally and beautifully flawed). In a world of increasing homogeneity and mass produced identical products, the unique and imperfect stand out. Hand-drawn, handmade, and DIY products will flourish in 2015. M CULTURAL CHALLENGE See the works of a Malfatto designer, Gaetano Pesce, credited with inventing the concept: http:// Image: Quayside / SHUTTERSTOCK
  54. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MALLSOFT Mallsoft is a genre of background music that plays indistinct looped sounds, often found in malls. It is present but not actively listened to, which makes it soothing. In 2015, expect more musical antidotes (e.g., Muzak™ revival) to our hypersensory culture. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Play Mallsoft on Soundcloud for a week. Did you feel more or less productive? More or less distracted? M Image: Yuri Turkov / SHUTTERSTOCK
  55. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MARIJUANA MAINSTREAMING With the legalization of recreational marijuana expected to expand to additional states, an entire culture of entertainment, products, and services will be built around the substance. Brands need to be prepared for this new reality and the economic impact that legalization will have on their businesses. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Send us your favorite munchie- time recipe. M Image: CREATISTA / SHUTTERSTOCK
  56. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MEME AGENT Self-publishing and user-as-media is creating new, independent celebrities and a new genre of agents. Expect to see Meme Agents help Internet celebrities break into mainstream media, as well as brands looking to catch those celebrities on their rise to fame. Detecting the New New Hollywood people of influence will become a new art and a race in 2015. M CULTURAL CHALLENGE Follow a vlogger for a week and watch all their content. What do you think of the experience? Could you imagine yourself representing them as an agent? Image: Courtesy of Ben Lashes / Grumpy Cat Limited
  57. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MODULARITY The modularization of objects, from devices to furniture to architecture, allows for extreme customization. New manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing, enable piecemeal production and one-off, just-in-time manufacturing. The modular aesthetic is visible in design trends for 2015. M CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go to Kickstarter and search projects by the word “modular” and notice the variety of modular projects: https:// categories/design Image: Sandor Vegh / SHUTTERSTOCK
  58. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE MOODGEISTING Technologies that read emotion for management, visualization and manipulation. Being able to detect, anticipate, and respond to a person’s mood is the new frontier in direct marketing, adding another dimension of personalization. Technological advances will push new emotionally sensitive products into the market in 2015. M CULTURAL CHALLENGE Download a mood tracking app and use it for a week. What do you notice about your mood? Where are you when you are happiest? Who are you with? What are you doing? Image: agsandrew / SHUTTERSTOCK
  59. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NANO Small is the new big. Nano is a focus on minutiae and small details of microscopic, imperceptible worlds. Additionally, tiny things are cute and make our nurturing instincts kick in and our brains squeal with delight. Many innovations in the health sciences will involve nanotechnology and microscopic innovations in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Browse Amazon (type “nano” into the search field) and notice all the tiny versions of technology and products available. N Image: Zoom Team / SHUTTERSTOCK
  60. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NET NEUTRALITY The principle that Internet service providers should enable equal access to content regardless of the sources, without favoritism or censorship. This topic, which has lawmakers divided, will become even more heated in 2015. N CULTURAL CHALLENGE Sign the petition in support of a neutral, fair Internet here: https:// restore-net-neutrality-directing- fcc-classify-internet-providers- common-carriers/5CWS1M4P Image: Toria / SHUTTERSTOCK
  61. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NETIQUETTE The unwritten rules for situational appropriateness and permissions, especially while online or engaged in social media. There is a resurgence of interest in etiquette, manners, and morals in the face of an “anything goes” culture. 2015 will bring new spokespeople and lessons about acceptable behavior. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Tweet us one netiquette faux pas you’d like to never see someone commit again. N Image: GeorgeMPhotography / SHUTTERSTOCK
  62. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NEURAL DUST Nanorobots which, when sprinkled onto the brain, become a permanent neural interface for 24/7 brain-wave monitoring. This is what happens when three trends converge: quantified self + nano tech + neural fixation. 2015 will be a year where great inroads will be made in the neural dust space. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read this scholarly article on neural dust: 2013/07/17/your-future-brain- machine-implant-ultrasonic-neural- dust/ N Image: Leigh Prather / SHUTTERSTOCK
  63. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NEW SEMANTICS New language systems, words, codes, and methods of communication, especially in regards to emerging visual forms and social media. We’ve entered an era marked by shorthand: visual and aural. Language and culture will continue to evolve in 2015 (so much so that it might drive you cray cray). CULTURAL CHALLENGE For an entire week, only post reaction GIFs or emojis that express your thoughts, rather than using text. Use this emoji translator tool if you need: http:// Image: igor.stevanovic / SHUTTERSTOCK
  64. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE NORMCORE A unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothes. Normal is the new normal. The idea is that Normcore lets the person shine, not the clothing and accessories. While initially a response to the recessionary years, this trend will gather mainstream momentum in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Walk around one day in a Normcore outfit, and the next day in something flashier. How does what you wear influence how you feel? N Image: Eugenio Marongiu / SHUTTERSTOCK
  65. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE OCULUS RIFT A virtual reality headset that lets players step inside games and virtual worlds. The company was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014 because Facebook believes the future of social media will be immersive via VR headsets. In 2015, Oculus Rift headsets will go on sale. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try DIY virtual reality at home: buy these cardboard goggles for your smartphone - http:// 371180052985?lpid=82 O Source: The Verge Image: Barone Firenze / SHUTTERSTOCK
  66. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ONELINING Retail experience that seamlessly connects online and offline experiences. With beacon technologies and more sophisticated smartphones, the real and virtual worlds of retail will continue to be blurred in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Visit the website of your favorite store, and then go into the physical retail store. How are the experiences connected? Dissimilar? O Image: LDprod / SHUTTERSTOCK
  67. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ONESIES One piece jumpsuits worn by adults, reminiscent of children’s pajamas with feet. Above, the jumpsuit trend is converging with the cosplay trend. As it becomes more acceptable to dress down, onesies for underwear and outerwear will be making a scene in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Shop for adult onesies for the holidays online at Macy’s or JCPenney. Dare: Wear it outside. Tweet us your photo. O Image 1: Martin Pettitt / FLICKR Image 2: HighKey / SHUTTERSTOCK
  68. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PARALLEL STORYTELLING Allowing two simultaneous stories to unfold side by side or interwoven. YouTube debuted a new feature that allows videos to be layered so viewers can toggle between two narratives, and brands are picking up on this. Parallel storytelling is showing up on TV, movies, and books. New media in 2015 will capitalize on this evolution of the linear plot. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch this Honda ad on YouTube that demonstrates parallel or double-sided storytelling: https:// HondaVideo P Image: 1000 Words / SHUTTERSTOCK
  69. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PETITE DATA The small, qualitative nuances of human life; the antithesis of Big Data. As we swim in quantitative data there is renewed interest in the humanities and humanism, and thus in petite data points. 2015 will be a year celebrating small data points and intuition. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Notice for one week how often you rely on your intuition and hunches instead of the data. P Image: Mr. High Sky / SHUTTERSTOCK
  70. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE POSSLQ (Pronounced possle-cue), POSSLQ stands for Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters. Roommates. Cohabitants. A beta test for marriage. Millennials have moved in with their parents; Boomers are getting divorced; Marriage rates are declining; Housing expenses are skyrocketing. POSSLQ makes sense and doesn’t force people to define relationships in traditional terms. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out how many different services there are for finding POSSLQ matches by reading this article: http:// style-design/roommate-finding- services P Image: Dusan Petkovic / SHUTTERSTOCK
  71. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PRE-CATION With overworked and underpaid being the new normal, one of the biggest benefits of finding a new job is the coveted break in between gigs. In 2015, expect the pre-cation to be more formalized; Companies may introduce policies to mandate that employees take a break and come on board fresh. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Talk to your HR director about adding vacation (or pre-cations) to your company’s benefits. Does your company have a mandatory vacation leave policy? Why or why not?P Image:Josué Goge / FLICKR
  72. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE PROCESS AS ENTERTAINMENT Watching the building of entertainment as entertainment, as is the case with players. Twitch players have their own live streams with viewers and comment threads. Expect to see developers become niche celebrities in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Tune into to watch the programmers work. Did you learn anything? P Image: Quinn Martin / SHUTTERSTOCK
  73. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE QUANTIFIED GROUPIES People who obsessively count everything – from steps to calories to chips in a bag – in the hopes that more data will lead to more insights. The proliferation of choice in contemporary culture leaves people with “analysis paralysis,” and there is hope that data will help to steer us to the best choices, or at least to a choice in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Get a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Jawbone and challenge yourself to take 10,000 steps a day. Invite friends to do it with you. Q Image: Apirut Siri / SHUTTERSTOCK
  74. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE RAMEN Foods made of ramen noodles, preferably the Maggi instant noodle variety. Ramen as a medium for culinary exploration: burger buns, donuts (called “ramnuts), spaghetti, etc. The appeal is the texture. The cultural cuisine mashup trend is strong, and ramen is the ingredient of the year 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Make some DIY ramnuts at home with the recipe in this article: recipe_ramnut.php#photo-1 R Image: jreika / SHUTTERSTOCK
  75. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE REVIEW ECONOMY From YouTube unboxing videos, to comedic product reviews, to restaurants embracing negative Yelp feedback, the review economy is strong and growing. The proliferation of platforms on which consumers can have their voices heard has become a growing form of entertainment, giving rise to celebrity personalities. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Post 10 well written and humorous consumer reviews with flair on sites like Yelp or Amazon. R Image: N Azlin Sha / SHUTTERSTOCK
  76. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SELF-REFLEXIVE When a medium or person is referencing itself; Breaking the fourth wall, being in on the joke, owning the joke. When a meme circulated about a girl who looked like Taylor Swift, Swift embraced it and joined in on the joke in a meta manner. Anticipate more self-reflexive actions from celebrities who are involved in Internet culture in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read more how Taylor Swift broke the Internet with her “no its becky” tee: jennaguillaume/taylor-swift-no-its- becky S Image: Mahony / SHUTTERSTOCK
  77. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SENSOR DODGING Using clothing, makeup, or accessories such as hats, visors, scarves, etc. to cloak oneself from sensors. A behavior of privacy seekers, sensor dodging is becoming an art form. Expect books, websites, and magazines to provide “how to” tips to sensor dodge in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Buy yourself a “cloaking scarf” here: http:// +scarves S Image: Onigiri studio / SHUTTERSTOCK
  78. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SHOEFIE Taking a self portrait of one’s shoes or feet to suggest a situation, location, or mood. Typically a shoefie is in lieu of a selfie because the person doesn’t like the way he/she appears, but is still compelled to share a self portrait in social media. An evolution of “hot dog legs,” shoefies will fly in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Take a shoefie today and post it to your social media. What kinds of comments does it elicit? Notice anyone copying you? S Image: Tim E. Klein / SHUTTERSTOCK
  79. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SIDE TEXTING The act of texting one person on the side of a group MMS thread to editorialize or comment offline. Group texting is normal communication for digital natives, but side texting creates a side conversation. Young adults are acutely aware of the pitfalls of living out loud: discretion will be an important topic in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Think: have you ever side texted yourself? What was the context? S Image: Ekkachai / SHUTTERSTOCK
  80. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SIMPLEXITY Thoughtful simplicity – imagined, crafted, and executed with great care — to make sense of complexity. Often data visualizations are used to simplify complex elements. The simplification of mounting complexity will be a continuing issue in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Check out all the simplified data visualization on this website: S Image: Vector pro / SHUTTERSTOCK
  81. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SINGLE SOURCE Items traceable back to a single point of origin enable both storytelling and transparency. Many brands are controlling their ingredient pipelines with such care that they can locate a single ingredient source. People will find this to be the next big thing after organic in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try a single-origin food or beverage and taste-test it against a non- single origin item. Did you notice any discernible differences? S Image: improvize / SHUTTERSTOCK
  82. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SINGLETONS The rising single, unmarried, solo population and their behaviors, wants, and woes. Marriage rates are declining and some cultures, like the Dutch, embrace the single life as an option and not a failure. Expect to see in 2015 more products and spaces designed for singletons, as well as a redefining of gender roles. CULTURAL CHALLENGE While watching TV notice how many products and services are designed for people living solo. Also, notice the singleton TV characters. S Image: iAlliance / SHUTTERSTOCK
  83. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SQUEALING Apparent paradox, extreme polarization, and bifurcation of everything around us, creating an ideological spectrum with two opposing forces, neither of which is more correct. The world is becoming increasingly more polarized (think: boutiques vs. Big Box stores). In 2015, this divergence will likely continue. CULTURAL CHALLENGE For one week, walk in the shoes of two different types of people at polar opposites of a spectrum. For example, live digitally connected 24/7 for a few days, and then completely unplug for a few days. Note the pros/cons of both ends of the continuum. S Image: Radoslaw Lecyk / SHUTTERSTOCK
  84. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE STRUCTURED SERENDIPITY When chance, surprise, and serendipity are planned, as an antidote to a highly controlled and optimized lifestyle. People crave pleasant surprises, and sometimes they need to be manufactured. Many new apps and websites will be coming online in 2015 to bring a touch of unexpected to the expected. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Download an app like Fieldtrip and rediscover your own neighborhood. S Image: Tyler Olson / SHUTTERSTOCK
  85. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE SUBMARINE PARENTING The opposite of, and backlash against, Helicopter Parenting. Rather than obsessing over details and becoming overly involved in their child’s life, Submarine Parents let kids do things on their own – and sometimes even fail – as a way of learning. Submarine Parenting style will continue to gain following in 2015 as Millennials age and have their own children. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Think: do you know any Millennial parents? Are they Submarine Parents? Why or why not? S Image: pavla / SHUTTERSTOCK
  86. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TEDIOUS CONTENT There’s long-form content, and then there’s tediously long-form content, as is the case with Virgin America’s 6-hour in-flight video... of a typical flight. Since attention and time are so precious, artists who can utilize both command attention. New forms of tedious-to-make-and-tedious-to- watch content will be circulated in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Watch all or part of Virgin America’s 6-hour video here: v=UsMZRl71Zo4 T Image: jcjgphotography / SHUTTERSTOCK
  87. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE THREE-DOT ANXIETY The tense anticipation of watching the speech bubble ellipses blink on iMessage, signaling that the person you texted is currently writing a reply; Often accompanied by holding one’s breath and hoping that the dots don’t disappear – that would mean the other person decided not to reply. This is a new behavior in a world of constant communication and potential rejection, and highlights the new semantics of visual mobile communications. CULTURAL CHALLENGE iPhone users: notice the three dots. Don’t panic. Read this NY Times article on Three-Dot Anxiety: http:// fashion/texting-anxiety-caused- by-little-bubbles.html?_r=0 T Image: iDesign / SHUTTERSTOCK
  88. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE TINDERFICATION The proliferation apps that use the swipe right/left UX made famous (and infamous) by the dating app Tinder. Choice overload can often lead to “analysis paralysis”; This simple A-B design forces a decision that might not get made otherwise. Expect to see “The Tinder of...” and “swipe right for...” become part of the cultural lexicon of 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try using the “swipe right” gesture (meaning you like or approve of something) while talking to colleagues, friends, and family. Do they know what you mean? T Image: Trinitri / SHUTTERSTOCK
  89. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE UBER OF… The on-demand car service Uber has spawned a number of on-demand services that will deliver everything from fashion to beer almost instantly. Being able to order what you want, when you want, from wherever you want, and get it immediately will continue to create a groundswell of new businesses in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE What sort of on-demand services are available where you live? Take advantage of one and notice whether it was something worth getting immediately or if you could have waited. How did it feel to get what you ordered on-demand? U Image: blurAZ / SHUTTERSTOCK
  90. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE UNAPOLOGETIC The self-righteous stance that one need not apologize to anyone about anything. The unapologetic stance was popularized by celebrities who refused to say “sorry” in 2014, spawning the rant thread #unapologetic. Parents co-opted the attitude, illustrated in the Go the Fuck to Sleep and You Have to Fucking Eat children’s books, to be continued in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Try to go an entire month without apologizing for trivial things. U Image: Stuart Monk / SHUTTERSTOCK
  91. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE VENDING MACHINES Vending machines are having a moment and making a comeback boosted by new technologies and adventurous retail brands. Taking a page from Asia’s vending machine culture, vending is on the upswing. Expect to see new and different vending machines, in unusual places in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE At the mall or in the airport look for vending machines. Consider: How are they different today than 10 years ago? V Image: David Gilder / SHUTTERSTOCK
  92. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE VOICE Communicating with your voice, voice waves as an art form, or voice as a means of detecting diseases like Parkinson’s. Cultural interest in the voice is likely a response to the impersonal nature of communicating through text and emoji, combined with a desire for something more analog and tangible. The voice of 2015 is strong. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Send voice messages instead of texts for a day/week. Do you feel more closely connected to that person? V Image: mega-om / SHUTTERSTOCK
  93. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE WARM TECHNOLOGY Design that adds emotion, humanity, and feeling to previously sterile and inhuman technology. New materials, designs, and interfaces humanize technology in contrast to the ubiquity of tech. 2015 will be a warm year of warm tech. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Material innovation is driving design and technological leaps forward. Watch this TED Talk about some surprising material innovations: https:// catarina_mota_play_with_smart _materials W Image: asharkyu / SHUTTERSTOCK
  94. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Image Source: Airplane WHITEWALLING Deleting a post from social media (i.e. erasing and cleaning) and thereby leaving the space blank (white). Many people are cleaning up their digital profiles and taking control of their personal brands by editing. Expect more of your friends and family whitewalling their profiles in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Whitewall (i.e. clean up) your social media. W Image: Tamisclao / SHUTTERSTOCK
  95. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE X-PLORATION Fixation on space exploration, and interest in various competitions and collaborations (e.g., Xprize/Space X, Google/NASA). Both are increasing media attention towards space exploration and innovation. Space: the final frontier. In 2015, X-Ploration will boldly go onward. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Explore the universe with this interactive educational tool: X Image: Pascal / FLICKR
  96. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE YELLOW Many futurists predicted Pantone 7404, a cheery sunflower yellow, would be the color of the year. This strong sunny hue comes after a particularly somber winter wardrobe. Runway fashion for spring and summer 2015 features lemon yellow and optimism for the year ahead. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Look around: do you see this yellow color in home decor and fashion for Spring/Summer 2015? What other hues stand out? Y Image: Isa Fernandez Fernandez / SHUTTERSTOCK
  97. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Z GENERATION Gen Z is the new darling segment of the marketing world, comprised of kids under 18. In 2015, the conversation will shift from Millennials to Gen Z. With $44 billion in disposable income and a drive to change the world, this generation is on the rise. Businesses would be wise to learn everything they can about this ambitious, opinionated, and rapidly maturing market segment. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Read our Gen Z deep dive report: http:// sparksandhoney/generation-z- final-june-17 Z Source: Mintel 2013 “Activities of kids and teens”  Image: Sergei Kolesnikov / SHUTTERSTOCK
  98. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE ZEN TECH The use of technology to aid in meditation, mindfulness, or focus. Whether a simple guided meditation app or a more immersive augmented reality experience, the counterintuitive idea of using technology to achieve enlightenment makes sense for an always-connected and on-the-go society in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Use a meditation app daily for a week and notice if you feel any less stressed. Z Image: Dean Drobot / SHUTTERSTOCK
  99. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 8-BIT AESTHETIC The simple, pixelated image aesthetic of early computer and console games. In 2015, expect to see refreshed 8-bit classic games, as well as physical goods embodying this digital aesthetic for a retro feel. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Rent this 2014 documentary on the 8-bit aesthetic titled Beyond Geek: tt4070460/ 8 Image: karpenko_ilia / SHUTTERSTOCK
  100. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 11 LIKES The “magic” number of likes needed on an Instagram photo for the count to change from a list of names into a number. Photos that don’t receive at least 11 likes often get deleted by the user. Much research has already been done on the effects of social media validation on a person’s self esteem, with more studies due in 2015. CULTURAL CHALLENGE Post something on your social media with the express intention of getting at least 11 Likes. Note what kind of content garnered such attention. 11 Image: tulpahn / SHUTTERSTOCK
  101. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE 24-HOUR CELEBRITY Celebrities are made overnight at meme speed (e.g., Alex at Target who appeared on Ellen within 48 hours of becoming an Internet sensation). Fame subsides as fast as it is built. Expect some “where are they now” programs focused on Internet celebrities in 2015. 24 CULTURAL CHALLENGE Go to Buzzfeed and browse, and then wait to see how many days pass until you start to see some of the content in mainstream TV and media: http:// Image: bikeriderlondon / SHUTTERSTOCK
  102. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Want to Explore the Business Implications of These 2015 Trends? Image: stockcreations / SHUTTERSTOCK
  103. AGENCY OF RELEVANCE Join us. Every day from 12-1pm EST we hold a Culture Briefing in our NYC offices to discuss the day’s most important 30-40 cultural signals (culled from 10,000 signals from all over the world). We spend the hour connecting the signals to our client’s business — i.e., how does the signal impact strategy, innovation and content? The rigor of doing this every day allows us to see patterns and make horizontal connections (think: cultural “muscle memory”) which enables us to formulate an informed POV on where the world is headed, and why. SCANNING THE WORLD FOR CULTURE
  105. - Social & Cultural Listening - Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming - Segment Analysis & Tracking - Topic Deep Dives - Event Tracking - Issue Monitoring - Real-time Burst Identification - Channel Analysis - Content & Influencer Strategy - Editorial & Cultural Calendars - Macro Trend Identification & Quantification - Projecting Segments into the Future (Consumers of the Future) - Product, Service & Packaging Development - Business Model Design & Reimagination - Business Context Analysis - Futurism - Whitespace Identification - Brand/Partner & Acquisition Recommendations - Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Production - Online and Offline - Real-Time Content Production - Real-Time Commerce - Social Media Content (short and long form) - posts, tweets, vines, videos, blogs, etc. - Community Management - Influencer Outreach - Channel Optimization & Fan Base Development - Analytics & Measurement - Real-Time Media Amplification Cultural strategy at the core CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE INNOVATION CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
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Moving at the speed of culture and staying relevant is challenging for brands and people alike. We all want to be culturally in sync in 2015. However, with so many trend reports, lists, and predictions this time of year, it can be hard to separate the signals from the noise. To help, we’ve assembled an A-Z glossary of the top must-know terms to be aware of to stay culturally relevant in 2015. This A-to-Z-of-culture contains all the key words, concepts, and trends that will be topical in 2015 and can serve as a cultural crib sheet (and conversation starter) as you enter the new year. Read on and instantly increase your Cultural IQ. And get ready for 2015 – it’s going to be a good one. Enjoy!


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