Data & Tech

TikTok, gaming, and AI will define the advertising landscape in 2024, report says

The risks and rewards of AI for tech companies, agencies, and advertisers came up across multiple Forrester marketing predictions reports.
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3 min read

It’s December, which means execs across industries are thinking about how to log off for the holidays as soon as possible what’s to come in 2024.

Forrester’s marketing analysts took a look at the media and advertising landscape—including the agency world in particular—and are anticipating that next year will be defined by big wins for big tech companies like Google, Meta, and TikTok, gains for gaming, and, of course, plenty of AI discourse.

David and Goliath? As the Forrester analysts note in their predictions report for media and advertising, 2023 was somewhat rocky for the big media and tech companies, but they’re well positioned to “further cement their value with advertisers” entering 2024. TikTok specifically is on track to potentially claim the majority of ad budgets that marketers targeting Gen Zers are diverting from linear TV, Forrester predicts.

Google will lean into generative AI to “sustain its dominance as the No. 1 search engine,” the analysts wrote, and they encouraged marketers to keep their SEO and search marketing strategies from falling by the wayside as they focus on Gen Z and TikTok.

The fastest-growing media channel in 2024, according to Forrester, will be in-game advertising. Almost half of online US adults who use smartphones said they regularly play games on their phones, and although “gaming remains a laggard medium for advertisers,” media giants like Microsoft and Sony are leaning in, which could help convince some advertisers to follow suit, according to the report.

AI errors: While AI presents opportunities for tech companies and advertisers, it also poses risks. Brands and agencies generally tend to disclose when they use AI in creative, but some “unscrupulous advertisers” have been less transparent, Forrester noted. With the 2024 election on the horizon, the report predicts that “deepfake ads will become the primary accelerant for election misinformation.”

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Google is requiring political advertisers to “prominently disclose” their use of AI, and Meta has also rolled out AI restrictions for political ads, but “major brands, political figures, celebrities, and creators will see their likenesses appropriated and misused” anyway, Forrester predicts. Creative scanning by DSPs and SSPs could help prevent that, per the report.

Forrester also predicts that at least one major brand will apologize after attempting an AI stunt on the biggest ad stage of the year: the Super Bowl.

AI-gencies: Agencies spent much of 2023 experimenting with AI in various capacities, but by the time 2024 is out, “AI will be permanently embedded in agencies’ capabilities, technologies, workflows, and business models,” Forrester analysts predicted in a separate report focused on agencies.

Some agencies will customize AI solutions for individual clients, according to the report, and some holding companies like Accenture, Dentsu, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP have already started. Brands will also turn to agencies as they look for more affordable AI solutions, thus somewhat reversing the in-housing trend, per the report.

Agencies can stand to benefit if they can help clients with AI, but they’ll also face scrutiny over their AI practices, the analysts wrote. In fact, Forrester anticipates a 10% increase in agency reviews in 2024 due to decision-makers’ concerns over potential “AI mismanagement.”

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Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.