Ins and Outs for 2024

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By Catriona Rist, Senior Account Manager, The Union

If you spent any time on TikTok or Instagram during the Christmas and New Year period (guilty), it’s likely you’ll have seen the ‘ins and outs’ trend.

More vibes than resolutions, ins and outs are personal goal setting for 2024, ins are things we want to take into 2024 and outs are those we’re happy to leave behind.

Here’s my ins and outs for branding and marketing in 2024.


Playful Creative

I’m looking forward to seeing some fun in 2024, I love this example from Surreal who captured the mood of the nation in early January, running a campaign with half-finished mock up ads with the tagline ‘can’t be bothered this month? Neither can we.’ While they’ve proclaimed this a lazy ad, we all know it takes bravery to put out something which is so against the grain. More please.



Dynamic Experiences

We’re seeing better interactive experiences from brands, whether it’s shoppable posts, museums offering on-site experiences or IKEA allowing you to place furniture in your own space virtually before you buy, I think this could be the year where augmented reality goes mainstream.


Customer Listening

A step on from UGC, I’m talking about when brands see what people are saying about them online and then act IRL. There were a couple of great examples of this last year with North Face – when a customer who complained about the waterproofness of her jacket, they hand-delivered her a new one. We also saw Stanley gift a customer a new car after hers had been in a fire and she shared that the only surviving item was her Stanley cup. It’s one thing to say you care about your customers and another to react and prove it in the way they did.



The Hard Sell

It can sometimes feel like we’re being sold to wherever we go and consumers are getting more sceptical and discerning – I’m talking deluge of marketing from mobile phone companies or broadband providers. These days consumers are empowered and can see this sales-first approach as desperate and untrustworthy. These days smart brands prioritise understanding customers’ needs, provide value, and foster genuine connections with them.


The ‘Blands’

Ever since I read this article, I see ‘blands’ everywhere, typically start-up, disruptor brands, they lean heavily on a minimal pastel aesthetic and a phrase like ‘we’re on a mission to disrupt the – insert razor /  glasses / mattress / toothbrush etc. – industry’.

I’m hoping in 2024 we see brands speaking in a more authentic voice and with a bit more gumption in their visuals.


Overly Formal Language

In the public sector, we’re seeing a move from the use of overly formal language and bureaucratic jargon, in its place is clearer, more concise, and audience-friendly messaging. Parent Club is a great example of this, their friendly, peer-to-peer approach is perfect for their audience of busy parents who are looking for quick to access tips and advice.

And, just for fun, here are my personal ins and outs for 2024:

  • WhatsApp
  • Brights
  • Embracing chaos
  • Mini breaks
  • Strategic thinking
  • Short walks every day
  • Vinted


  • Impulse buying
  • Doom scrolling
  • Dehydration
  • Stress