Cannes 2015: 6 consumer trends in the UK you may not know about

Campaign's global editor-in-chief explains the outlook for advertising in the UK

To commemorate the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Campaign’s editors from around the world are sharing their view of the advertising industry from where they sit, including the work from their region most likely to be recognized this year and which consumer trends are shaping their landscape. Campaign US will be sharing these perspectives every day this week.

Read now: Cannes predictions from the UK

Power to the people

The recent Scottish referendum, this spring’s general election and the imminent vote on the UK’s involvement in the European Union have all served to empower and engage consumers in politics in a way not seen for many years.

Confident spenders

Following the economic recovery, British consumer morale is at its highest level since 2002. Boosted by the return of a fiscally minded Tory government and wage rises ahead of inflation, UK households now have a greater willingness to spend.

Virtual shopping …

This increase in spending is fuelling the shift to online shopping. Sales are expected to reach £52.25 billion this year, up 16% on 2014. This equates to 15.2% of all UK retail sales and makes us the most frequent online shoppers in Europe. 

…and virtual money

When we do visit the high street, we’re buying stuff with contactless payment systems. In the UK, apps such as Zapp (which has already enlisted the support of a number of high-street banks), will push mobile wallets into the mainstream. 

Wearable tech and the passive-active consumer

Our mobile devices used to mean active fingers as we performed multiple tasks on our smartphones. The new generation of wearable tech sees a shift to a more passive approach as sensors begin to record and connect our activity. 


The UK advertising industry is placing more emphasis on driving a representative workforce, but consumers are starting to demand the same from government and big business. "Male, pale and stale" has become a toxic tag.

Claire Beale is global editor-in-chief of Campaign.

Cannes Lions 2015 Coverage

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