To kick off the year AdAge reached out to top executives across our industry to get a sense of what we’re all thinking about as we head in to the new year. Based on knowledge of current issues and trends here is Aaron’s contribution to the piece.


Aaron Walton, CEO and founding partner, Walton Isaacson:

Because AI is definitely part of any 2024 trend discussion, I decided to ask ChatGPT to speak to 2024 ad agency predictions. AdAge readers may be relieved or at least amused to read this response: “As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, I don’t have specific information on advertising agency industry predictions for 2024. Industry trends and predictions can evolve rapidly, and new insights may have emerged since then. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, I recommend checking industry reports, publications, and reliable sources in the advertising and marketing sector.”


AI is a tool, a multi-faceted tool that helps with innovation, ideation, and investigation of a whole host of variables. I see 2024 bringing a greater appreciation of AI.


If everything lives “in culture,” and we need culture to identify how we as human beings connect with the world around us, then the promise of AI isn’t to prostitute the culture. It’s to present clear signals around how culture is being built and by whom. While bias can still live within the people programming the machines (including those that are AI-powered), the hope is that AI is built intuitively to discern when outside voices are not being accounted for. But for bias not to live within AI (as Google found out with Tensor flow), the people programming it have to come from a position of anti-bias first.


Over the years, DE&I added a B for Belonging but, no matter the letters, the actual work behind the idea receives a lot of lip service across corporate America. Diversity was diluted once virtually any combination of people could fall under the diversity umbrella. Similarly, inclusion. But Belonging speaks directly to company culture and, when paired with Equity, gets to the heart of things employees of all walks of life are hungry for. So, 2024 could be the year of BE. Get Belonging and Equity right and the other key dimensions of DE&I success will follow.


Also, those of us who already prioritize diversity and inclusivity (mostly diverse people ourselves) are tired of the way others treat this like a trend or optional. But we are not going to let this critical area of our business slip backward on our watch. Leaders are becoming more and more diverse, and they are calling the shots.


To see other predictions from the ad industry’s leading professionals click HERE.