18 say what?!

Posted on 9th March 2018 by Mia

Last week Vivid celebrated its ‘coming of age’ 18th birthday with clients, team members (past and present) and friends. So we thought, what better way to reflect on our 18 years than by looking at how different technologies, travel trends and updates have shaped the travel and marketing world of today during this time?! Lets begin at the very start (makes sense really).


Vivid opened its doors in the same year as The Tate Modern opened thiers, and as we became a staple in the Manchester Creative scene, The Tate became a London landmark of Art & Architecture, signifying a country of creativity and a change in diverse mediums altering perceptions in art forms. As well as surviving the Millenium Bug, technology advanced and we welcomed the PS2, a multimedia console, and their new campaign claimed that they were “Utilising their first major ad slogan “The Third Place”. They had chosen to show a world that defied all the rules, a place where we could experience things beyond expectations”, and with that consumer expectations began to grow.

Plus, our good old friend Google adwords was released this same year, allowing anyone to buy ads ons, on a cost per impression basis through a self-serve system, and had a customer base of just 350. Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and CEO, said of the new ad product, “AdWords offers the most technologically advanced features available, enabling any advertiser to quickly design a flexible program that best fits its online marketing goals and budget.” This allowed businesses to position themselves in front of audiences on a paid for basis and brought life to the concept of paid for digital rankings.


So, by now 1.41 billion people were in possession of the PS2 embracing a new era of gaming, entertainment and technology, to this day, PS2 is still the best selling console of all time.  In the same year, Italy reopened their leaning tower of Pisa with a new angle, whilst the world was moving on technology wise it took some clever engineering and £20 million to straighten it up a little whilst retaining its world famous tilt, with 1m visitors year on year it proves that new technology isn’t always better. But hey, you can’t put a price on a wonder of the world and sole source of income to the historic city, engineers say it won’t need another overhaul for a few hundred more years.

Towards the end of the year came the devastating 9/11 attacks, and its aftermath shaped not only the NYC skyline with one World Trade Centre, but our view of the world. Information became real time and brands had to ensure they were aware of their marketing campaigns to ensure all situations were approached with sensitivity. Information became real time which was a first, as before this, you’d have to wait for your 10 o’clock evening news or a bulletin.


What do you think was the first social media channel to be founded (although not going live until the following year) that’s still widely used today? Facebook? Twitter? WRONG! We can tell you, it was in fact LinkedIn. We’re now in 2002, technology is now quickly evolving and Google is predicting the marketing future, and added Cost per Click as a feature to their adwords. LinkedIn become another communication avenue, developed for like minded business people to network and update on all matters business related, as well as a way for recruiters to start a conversation…


Everyone is now bobbin’ along to Ashanti, who reached number seven in the charts, and the legend that is Ronaldo was also number 7 (not in the music charts however), but for the legendary team that is Manchester United.

This year, we had the first major SEO algorithm change, causing many businesses to lose their coveted ranking on Google making many business owners furious, a lot of businesses then stuffed their websites with irrelevant keywords, which in the future would also cause businesses trouble. Those who didn’t stuff their website with ‘keywords’ did benefit but helped to strengthen content with quality over quantity.

Probably the most monumental moment of 2003, is that the final concorde flight took place during November. The concorde was a supersonic high end passenger jet that flew at twice the speed of sound, travelling at 2,179 km/h, whilst concorde didn’t take off, accessibility did with an increasing amount of people travelling abroad, looking for travel options and paved the way for travel innovation.


In the year of 2004, the Statue of Liberty partially reopened after closing in 2001 due to the 9/11 terror attacks, but tourists were no longer allowed to climb to the crown, now only able to look at the interior structure through a glass ceiling, this highlighting the restrictions that were coming into play across the world in varying industries.

Google introduced Google Local, offering business listings, maps and directions helping to open up the world to people. What else happened in 2004 that changed the game? Facebook! Mark Zuckerberg was sat in his uni dorm and came up with the social media channel that was going to out them all, although at this point, Facebook was just for Harvard students. It beat its predecessors, Friends Reunited and MySpace, allowing it to blossom into the social network it is today and opening the world of communication at every cornerstone of the planet.


How an earth would we know how to crack excel formulas for data reporting or use Vivid’s Apple TV without a good old YouTube tutorial? You guessed it, YouTube was launched in 2005 which saw the start of our video obsession. We were no longer restricted to TV ads or films, people started to create their own ads, and blogging then went hand in hand with volgging again further communication fields opened up for the world of advertising, allowing us to reach people through varying formats.

Anything else of interest? Of course! In this year, Google Maps went live and Google also acquired Urchin, which has been rebranded and digital marketers to pull off analytics from Social Media channels, allowing us and other agencies to track, analyse, review and report far more effectively and efficiently as well as exceeding our wonderful clients KPI’s.


Even to this day, everyone loves playing tennis on Nintendo Wii and in the year 2006, society OBSESSED over the Wii was hip and happening, and the Wii really changed gaming and socialising allowing for handheld devices and social playing, seeing this as a fitness gaming console as you were up and about rather than sat down on your chair.

Let’s pop back to 2004 where we pointed out Facebook was just for Harvard students, well by 2006 it was even in the most remote corners of the globe. The blue bird app Twitter also made it’s debut in 2006, allowing users to contact with not just family and friends, but their favourite celebrities also to see what they were up to. Twitter changed the way we communicate with one another as we had to keep our character count under 140, and for many years, marketers had to be careful when creating a hashtag, always bearing the word count in mind.


How much do you love going to a nice place and booking accommodation for a reasonable price? A lot? Well, we have Airbnb to thank for that, whilst some of you might not of really paid much attention to the brand it was released in 2007. Airbnb impacted the hospitality industry greatly, the effects are still being felt to this day it offered an alternative to visitors bored of staying in chain hotels and allowed them to fully immerse themselves into local communities.

Another BIG thing to happen that year was that Apple didn’t just release the iPhone, but also released the iTouch with built in WiFi, although the Apple iPhone had touchscreen, the iTouch was the first iPod to have touch screen. What would we do in digital marketing without a scheduler, ad testing and budgeting features? Probably not do as well … Panama was released this year which was Yahoo’s search marketing.


Ok so, 2008 does not feel like 10 years ago, but scarily, it was! In 2008, Apple released the App Store, making Facebook and Twitter downloadable at the click of an app, but as 3G wasn’t widely used until the following year, most people used these when connected to WiFi. This allowed for communication on the go and for connection at the touch of a button.


Mobile Phone technology continues to grow with increased use of 3G networks and improvements in the Operating Systems that drives most mobile phones today, so Facebook and Twitter is now available whilst you’re on the go. The increased use of 3G meant faster data and more information at a rapid pace, meaning we could stay connected and up to date more than ever before.


2010 was the only year that Android even got remotely close to Apple sales, leading them to step up their game and released the iPad. This continued to have an impact on technology advancements in laptops, mobiles and tablets for years to come, by revolutionising personal computing with designs becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Also in this year, motion control was introduced and the May Day algorithm was released along with the Caffeine algorithm which introduced long tail keywords and made content less stuffed and more authentic. The way we view online imagery would change in 2010, as Instagram was released which had a completely different format to every other Social platform out there, and Instagram really saw the kick start of the importance of hashtags for businesses and consumers.


Unfortunately, in 2011, the King of tech Steve Jobs passed away, and just 6 days after the iPhone 4s was released enabling Siri. Siri has changed the way we do things in our personal and work life, to do lists were now digitised. You can now just ask Siri to ‘remind you to call Dave from Salford to talk about the marketing collateral at half 8’ and it’s done, Siri will remind you, this eventually leading to the creation of Amazons ‘Alexa’, Apples ‘HomePod’ and Google ‘Home’. God loves a trier, and even though Google + was released in 2011, it hasn’t really taken off in the way Facebook or Twitter has.


There’s much debate over the most annoying song ever to be released, well Gangnam Style is one of them, this ‘song’ was the first ever YouTube video to reach 1 billion views showcasing the power of YouTube as a used format. Did you know, It was only in 2012 that Instagram was made compatible with android, although Android was released prior.


Children as young as 10 have smartphones these days, and a popular way for millennials to communicate is via Snapchat. Snapchat was created in 2011, but didn’t become popular until 2013, and just kept developing new features such as best friends, stories and even peoples location. Initially, Snapchat videos only lasted 10 seconds, and as a society our attention span is getting shorter and shorter, so Snapchat fitted in just perfectly with the scientific facts of marketing and allowed for real time content.

Another Social Media ‘thing’ that become popular that year was Vine, a sister app to Twitter where users would upload 7 second stings of videos that were continuous or cut, and you have to admit, some of them were hilar. Smartphones are now a mandatory thing for everyone to have, a phone was no longer a luxury, more a necessity. Google made the wise choice to ensure all their ads were optimised for mobile and tablet viewing, recognising the importance of this others soon followed suit.


A lot of people have group chats on their WhatsApp and they’ve enabled video calling as well as mobile calling with either 4G or WiFi connection (very handy if you get cut off, we’ve all been there), we have had BBM and Skype, but apps like WhatsApp made it simpler and more accessible, as WhatsApp is optimised for pretty much every device.

In 2014, Facebook made the wise decision to buy WhatsApp for a whopping 22 billion dollars, however, it hasn’t really changed much since then, apart from business profiles and doesn’t allow ads (yet), so what pros could this have for Facebook? We have no idea – but judging by Facebook’s previous purchases, it’s probably a money maker in the long run and most probably isn’t such a moronic move, so we think Facebook will surprise us very soon with a new snaz feature or switch the app up completely.

Viral video trends on Facebook are great for two reasons, a) they are bizarre and tend to have outcomes that make you cry with laughter, b) they can raise awareness and raise money for causes. An example of this was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge where you would pour ice cold water over your head, you’d then nominate a friend and they would do it and so on, this started the trend of viral video challenges, this viral trend alone raised $115 million dollars for a great cause.

Marketing was completely switched up when Amazon Alexa was released, Alexa allowed you to pull off analytics by simply asking and the animal food brand Purina worked with Alexa to tell you what dog breed is right for you, genius!


2015 will go down in history worldwide, simply because same sex marriages was made legal in the majority of states in America and poverty decreased worldwide, so 2015 was a year all about making records, which Facebook did too, showing a shift in community and attitude. On the 24th August, Facebook set their own personal record with 1 billion of the world’s population logging in in ONE day, that’s 1/7 of the world, how mad is that!


Everyone wants to be prioritised on Social Media, so Facebook made this happen and introduced their Live feature. Facebook Live enables you to well, go Live wherever you are in the world and when first released, all your friends or likers of your page were notified, so engagements rates sawed and businesses got on it in a flash. Live is still widely used to this day and is very handy for real time content for business and non business users as it maximises your content and due to Facebook’s algorithm, Live videos are pushed through News Feeds.

Another marketing first that became popular this year was Chatbots on Facebook Messenger, where companies like, Poncho and HealthTap helped us out/let us be very lazy. Taking Poncho as an example, if you tell Poncho you want the weather forecast every day for a week, every morning it will tell you the forecast so you know what attire is suitable for your commute, no one wants to wear sliders in the torrential rain now do they.


So, our second to last year, what happened? Well, the world is obsessed with flamingos and unicorns and Salt Bae is sprinkling food with unbelievable sass, BUT, lets get down to the nitty gritty of Digital. User generated content and Immersive Marketing is now and full swing and you can really get a real insight into brands. Brands such as Topshop used this to their advantage, allowing consumers to watch their AW London Fashion Week show in VR 360, allowing consumers to get that FROW (front row) experience as if they were Anna Wintour.

As a Manchester based agency, an event that happened within this year affected all of us as a community and will continue to do so. Post event happenings provided not only Manchester but the country as a whole with a sense of solidarity. We united in our grief with a vigal where we heard a poem created by Mr Tony Walsh called ‘This Is The Place’. The poem has already been made into a book, a record, artwork and printed on buildings across the city. The Manchester worker bee grew bigger than our great city and became a symbol of hope and community spirit. It also highlighted the importance of both celebrity and ‘real-life’ ambassadors and showing that community spirit is as alive now as it was in 2001.


2018 is the year Vivid become legal for it’s first tipple and could broadcast it’s ID proudly, but what’s happened so far in Digital Marketing this year that’s going to affect us in 2018? You can now schedule Instagram posts through SproutSocial, about bloody time, and Google announced an algorithm change for mobile users, they don’t like to make it easy do they?!

Well, there you have it! A summary of all things that has happened over the past 18 years of Vivids lifespan. We wonder what Google, Facebook, Instagram and all other Digital Marketing bits and bobs have in store for us? Who knows, but it’s sure going to be exciting!

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