TBWA’s Backslash Edges report points to “broader story of survivalism”

Renata Yannoulis, Senior Strategic Planner, TBWA Australia on 2024 Backslash Edges report

Renata Yannoulis: “These edges specifically point to a broader story of survivalism in a rapidly changing and increasingly chaotic world.”

While humanity may not be doomed, a sense of impending end-of-times has gained traction during recent times of para-crisis, and collective apathy threatens to impede progress, according to the latest 2024 Backslash Edges glossary by TBWA.

The recently unveiled report by Backslash, the cultural intelligence unit of creative agency TBWA, offers insights into 41 key cultural shifts for brands navigating the future market, slating a focus on enduring global cultural shifts rather than fleeting trends.

The five new edges Backslash lists for 2024 are: Demise Duality, Inclement Armour, Intimate AI, Rerouted, and Untourism.

Commenting on the findings to Mediaweek, Renata Yannoulis, senior strategic planner at TBWA\Sydney and regional Backslash lead, Oceania, said: “These edges specifically point to a broader story of survivalism in a rapidly changing and increasingly chaotic world.

“Specifically, they touch on our need to protect against extreme weather, the need to hold onto our humanness in the age of personal AI, the need to reimagine tourism and mobility, and the need to reinsure hope as end-of-times thinking takes root.

“To survive, we must adapt. In many cases, we already have the answers to today’s biggest problems, all 41 edges in our glossary include provocations and emerging technologies that can serve as a starting point to inspire new ways of doing business for brands.”

See also: TBWA’s Kimberlee Wells warns brands could abandon sustainability in greenwashing crackdown

Demise Duality challenges the idea that human downfall is inevitable, aiming to combat collective indifference by turning nihilism into optimism.

Inclement Armor acknowledges the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, leading to a reassessment of protective measures in response to worsening climate conditions. The report notes weather-proof armor is becoming an “essential shield” from a world that feels out of our control.

Intimate AI represents a move towards personalised artificial intelligence, viewing AI as a helpful presence in daily life, freeing people from routine tasks.

Rerouted foresees a shift to greener, more efficient transportation, requiring significant updates to infrastructure and incentives to encourage sustainable habits.

And Untourism addresses the problems of overcrowded tourist destinations by promoting thoughtful travel practices and stricter regulations, emphasising quality experiences over quantity.

Jen Costello, TBWA\Worldwide’s global chief strategy officer, said: “We’re in the business of creativity, and culture goes hand in hand with that. Edges provide our teams and brands the opportunity to see what’s around the corner of culture before it turns mainstream.

“This year’s Edge release is a special one because of the opportunity it presents. Backslash has investigated the thornier realities we’re experiencing or are going to experience, and can point to surprising solutions that are closer than we could have imagined.

In 2024, I’m really excited about adaptation being an invitation for disruption.

See also: Apple ramps up “Shot on iPhone” brand push with Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show via TBWA\Media Arts Lab

Top Image: Renata Yannoulis

To Top