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Look Back at It: How Data Informs Future Creative Trends

Bridget Johnston June 2, 2021

This stock photo of a love triangle went viral a few years ago, and it’s stayed in circulation. 

You know the one. 

It was taken in 2015, and it began making the rounds on Twitter and Reddit in 2017. Since then, it’s been seen by millions, edited by many and it’s given us tons of spin-offs. 

future creative trends are informed by data from the past

A classic iteration of the meme.

the distracted girlfriend long preexisted the distracted boyfriend

The distracted girlfriend arrived long before the distracted boyfriend.

Han walks into Comic Con

A riff on the Distracted Boyfriend at 2018’s San Diego Comic-Con.

It’s safe to say that the Distracted Boyfriend Meme is iconic and the Internet’s collective sense of humor is what has made it so. 

But beyond the jokes, what creative elements drive its success?

To explore the full SWOT of this image and others, play the June 2021 edition Pattern89’s Creative SWOT Game. 

How Does Data Predict Future Creative Trends?

Pattern89’s artificial intelligence ran a creative SWOT analysis on this meme’s original photograph. First, what does that mean?

Every digital ad has 49,000 creative elements within it. These creative elements were analyzed and cross-compared to historic ad creative trends, include:

  • Number of faces and facial expressions: What’s the right number of faces and emotions to showcase in your brand’s creative? 
  • Colors: How do different shades and tones impact audience engagement? 
  • Image and video tags: AI identifies every element within an image– like the clothing, setting and lighting– to determine which elements are most likely to drive engagement, clicks and conversions.

In a few seconds, AI analyzed these creative dimensions across 500 billion digital marketing data points. This wealth of data is so vast, that it allows Pattern89 to predict future performance of any image, CTA or line of copy… with over 95% accuracy.

So what did we learn about the Distracted Boyfriend? 

The Distracted Boyfriend’s Creative SWOT Analysis

What creative elements of this image would make it a successful in an ad? Are there any creative weaknesses or threats? And how could marketers maximize its success? 

let's take a look at this meme's creative swot analysis

Here’s the Distracted Boyfriend Meme’s Creative SWOT analysis: 

  • Strengths: People engage with images that depict a return to normal, post-pandemic. Top-performing content includes people socializing.
  • Weaknesses: While this guy might have been attracted to a bright red shirt, advertisers shouldn’t be. Warm reds and oranges (like the color of her shirt, #F4474B) are driving down CTRs.
  • Opportunities: Facebook Audience Network is the most cost-effective platform for single-image ads. Consider running an ad with this image there!
  • Threats: AI found that image ads with no people are the most cost-effective at driving conversions.

These insights scratch the surface on the creative direction and targeting optimizations AI offers marketing teams. For a full look into what’s trending today, download the new Creative Forecast report.

If you’d like to try Pattern89’s AI to predict your winning future creative trends, schedule a demo.