As 2019 begins, we’re looking back at some of influential topics from 2018 to see how they panned out and how they might continue to evolve in the year ahead.
Plastics pollution was the focus of Earth Day 2018, and the topic saw increased attention from brands and shoppers alike throughout the year. From plastic straw bans to product lines made from recycled plastic (think: #AdidasParley), efforts to reduce plastic consumption and waste made waves in 2018.
With the most recent UN climate report stating that the world has just over a decade to bring climate change under control and the European Parliament’s decision to ban many single-use plastics by 2021, the focus on plastics doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Trend reports predict that 2019 will see everything from an increase no-waste travel guides to a rise in the use of reusable beeswax wrap in place of plastic wrap.
Brands Take a Stand
Controversy over the NFL organization and NFL players’ stances on kneeling during the national anthem rippled through public and political spheres throughout 2018. This was just one example from the past year in which we saw shoppers, public figures, and lawmakers demand organizations and brands take a stronger and more clear role in politics, cultural identities, and free speech.
Public opinion on NFL national anthem kneeling is still very divided and has started to impact its biggest stage for fans and advertisers alike: the Super Bowl. Multiple celebrities, from Cardi B to Rihanna, have reportedly turned down the opportunity to perform the halftime show. Additionally, over 75,000 individuals have signed a petition encouraging Maroon 5 (who has has allegedly been offered the chance to perform) to turn down the NFL in support of the #TakeaKnee movement. It will be worth keeping an eye out to see if any advertisers refrain from associating with the event or use their platform to address the issue.
Experts speculated that this 2018’s Amazon Prime Day would turn out to be Amazon’s most lucrative one to date. It was even rumored that Amazon would extend the timing of its sale from 24 to 36 hours to build on 2017’s impressive turnout.
Even with some technical difficulties, Amazon still claimed the largest Prime Day in history with members purchasing over 100 million products. While Amazon doesn’t disclose sales figures on Prime Day, experts estimate that sales hit $4.19 billion globally this year during the 36-hour shopping spree, up nearly 74% from 2017’s Prime Day. With figures like these, an ever expanding Prime Member pool, and the opportunity for Prime Day to expand beyond the 17 nations that currently participate, many are expecting Prime Day in 2019 and beyond to continue its unabated growth.
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