Dear Magic Eight Ball: Is Fortnite Still A Thing?

PR Pros Forecast 2019 Trends

As the foliage transitions to its triumphant fall colors and Pumpkin Spice mania is in full force, marketing professionals have generally completed 2019 planning or are right in the thick of it.

With brand planning taking place as early as six months in advance for the next year, it is our job to analyze trends and consumer behaviors to anticipate where each of our respective industries are tracking for the year ahead and beyond.

In 2018, when you weren’t playing Fortnite, participating in a ridiculous internet challenge or showing symptoms of World Cup fever, you were probably Rosé(ing) all day with “bae” and the rest of your squad at Insta-friendly restaurants (#PhoneEatsFirst).

Not thirsty for Rosé? Then I’m guessing you were in a rideshare en route to your neighborhood brewery, more than happy to wait in a line the length of a football field just to log the latest can release on Untappd. There was no need to pack your wallet in your fanny pack (did that resurgence fall flat?), you paid with Venmo.

In our profession, it is critical that we understand the change of direction and trends in our specialized fields. We do not have the luxury of waiting to see what lies ahead for 2019; by then we’ve missed the boat.

Thus, I’ve tapped the talented minds of my friends here at Coyne to understand what they see in the crystal ball for 2019 and forecast trends across a sampling of the agency’s key practice areas:


Automotive: Forget the Jones’, in the automotive world it’s keeping up with the Jetsons! Major car manufacturers are focused on electrification and autonomous driving to keep up with the ever-evolving modern day consumer. – Melissa Thompson


Beauty: Dewy skin is in. As Korean Beauty continues to grow, dewy and glass skin is making its debut. This idea of transparent and translucent skin is to achieve a pore-less look! – Caroline Aponte


Fashion: Luxe hair ribbons will be all the rage. This summer ponytails were accessorized with black bows and windblown buns were wrapped with sashes. Next year, textured ribbons like velvet or velour and scarves dressed as headbands will be all over the runway.  – Danielle Wilk


Food: While consumers may want their food grown locally, they are expanding their palates for more global flavors and international ingredients. Culinary curiosity in 2019 will take them to places such as Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Korea, the Philippines and Morocco. – Marta Jonca


Healthcare: We’re talking quality over quantity. As the healthcare industry turns toward paying more for value instead of volume, patient satisfaction will continue to increase, while providers (hospitals and physicians) will be rewarded for helping to improve their patients’ health, reduce the effects of chronic disease and enable them to live healthier lives. It’s a win-win. – Alyssa Schneider


Pet & Animal: Keep your collars on and let us take you for a walk on the wild side: in the age of social media and strong-minded pet parents (who can blame them when furry family members’ lives are on the line?) – it’s going to be more important than ever for brands to be transparent in safety messaging – whether it’s the newest indication on a label, pet food additives or a new pet product to hit the market.Danielle Paleafico


Restaurant: Keeping up with the consumer is key and the need to be accessible whenever and wherever the guest wants is a unique proposition for 2019. While consumer spending at restaurants continues to rise, so do their expectations for control over their interactions and experiences. The result will lead to restaurants optimizing convenience touchpoints – delivery, to-go, online ordering, accessibility – to capitalize on the growing trend and win in the long-term with consumers. – Brian Farley


Retail: As the conversation about the direct impact of plastic continues, we forecast that retailers, especially grocers, will begin taking a stance by phasing out plastic bags, including those in the produce section. In the meantime, consumers will be rewarded for bringing their own reusable bags (e.g. $5 off their entire bill) and potentially even charged when they ask for a plastic bag. – Stacy Bataille


Sports: On the sidelines, playbooks have turned into tablets. In the dugouts, sabermetrics have played a huge role in situational play calls. In the stands, scorebooks are nowhere to be found and gambling sportsbooks are easily accessible on your phone. Technology has changed the way athletes perform, coaches strategize and fans watch sports. It’s obvious that technology will become more ingrained in sports, but what will be interesting is to see how the intersection of technology and the legalization of sports gambling impacts athlete and fan engagement. Look out for tech companies capitalizing on legal sports gambling and the cryptocurrency craze and expect fantasy sports innovation to reach new heights in 2019. – Zach Hrubic


Travel & Tourism: Travelers around the world are breaking out their selfie sticks now more than ever, as people are opting to fly solo (no pun intended). Unaccompanied travel experiences will become more accessible and less intimidating with travel companies and tour operators building catered products and experiences to not only accommodate, but encourage, solo travel. – Kaity Cash


Wine & Spirits: In 2019, we’ll be raising a glass full of canned spirits/wine, craft brews and sharing in more experiential drinking occasions with friends. Canned spirits will continue to be in demand because they are drinkable, portable, refreshing…and fun! When it comes to brews, sours will also grow in popularity as more brewers experiment with flavors and the brewing process. Experience is EVERYTHING and more brands are looking to offer an experiential element as part of their tastings. Breweries are revamping their spaces to become more Instagrammable and spirits are looking into pop-up museum experiences to generate consumer awareness and social likes. – Melissa Couch


From cultural inspiration to gaming innovation, there is plenty to plan around and look forward to in 2019, including, according to my sixth sense, a Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl title.

Now we wait and see!

Chris Tamburino
Chris Tamburino, Assistant Vice President