Being Indie as F in 2024

We asked each department what their expectations are for 2024 and about advertising in general. It sounds like 2024 is sure to Turn Heads!

As the year draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the past 12 months, but just a moment. It’s been quite a year! Of growth, parties (more 20th Anniversary rooftop concerts anyone?), awards, creativity, wins, and lots of travel! Speaking engagements, client meetings, and the award-circuit has taken us to Las Vegas, Atlanta, Nashville, New York, New Jersey, PEI, and even Cannes, France, where our ‘Hilton on the Green’ activation pick up a Shortlist nod. It was an exciting and pivotal year for FUSE Create, but hey, the past is the past…

We’re now looking ahead to 2024, with more growth, more rooftops concerts (🙏), and even greater expectations of what’s to come! We asked each department what their expectations are for the upcoming year in terms of their areas of expertise, but also just about advertising in general. If it’s anything like they describe, 2024 is sure to Turn Heads!


Emily Farrugia, Creative Strategist

Looking ahead to 2024, there are two areas that I’m most excited to see evolve and expand. The first is the growing incorporation of AI to enhance various aspects of the advertising industry. From acting as a brainstorming partner to automating tasks, the past year has seen the beginnings of a real shift from viewing AI as “replacing jobs” to “the virtual assistant I never knew I needed.” I’m interested to see how this trend evolves further, both in terms of the programs themselves and how it will shape our daily work lives. As a Strategist, I find crafting insights is something that’s much better left to humans, but learning how to best use AI to decrease the grunt work is something I expect to be a must-have skill for Strategists.

The past year has also seen some real shake-ups in the social media space, from the increasing chaos of X/Twitter to the launch of new apps such as Threads. Will we be crowning a new social platform king in 2024? Or will people be craving more niche apps that let them connect on a more intimate level with smaller groups? I’m hedging a “yes” for the latter. One of my biggest takeaways from 2023 has been “social will always surprise”, whether that’s content trends or how users are interacting with the platforms themselves, like we did with IG Story for Schneiders.


Natalie Jacome, Media Planner & Buyer

With the arrival of TikTok, short-form video has quickly become the fastest growing content format on social apps. In this ever-changing media landscape, brands are constantly competing for users’ attention, and it is now more important than ever to have creative that is adapted for specific platforms that feels authentic and memorable.

Gone are the days where we could adopt creative across various platforms; the new best practice is to adapt existing creative to fit more naturally on social platforms versus more traditional forms of media. This can be a daunting task, however, when media and creative teams work together to strategize, this is where the magic happens. At FUSE, we are huge advocates for integrated teamwork to provide brands with the best media and creative solutions, like we did with Maple Leaf Foods.


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Social platforms are just one piece of the puzzle. It is equally important to have a multichannel approach to maximize reach and ensure brands are realising their full potential to interact with their target audience across the various channels they frequently use.


Sara Martino, Accountant

It’s not over yet…experts suggest we’ll more clearly enter a recession in 2024, along with an expected decrease in economic growth and stagnant interest rates until about 2025 (so don’t go spending all your money on that trip to Europe just yet!) Businesses that want to protect themselves from the declining economy will look to reduce spending as much as possible and are turning to AI to weather the storm.

For agencies, AI is not just a tool but a catalyst for improvement and innovation. It streamlines operations, minimizes the routine administrative workload, and reduces the need for outsourcing. This shift allows agencies to channel their focus towards growth, exploring new business opportunities and enhancing revenue streams. As 2024 unfolds, the emphasis on automation and AI will be more pronounced. Businesses will use these technologies as pillars to uphold and even boost revenues, ensuring sustained growth despite the uncertain economic climate.


Patrick Carter, Art Director

My hope is that 2024 will be a year of creative experimentation. Whether you’re a fan of Y2K, Retro Futurism, Organic Brutalism, or any of the aesthetic and design philosophies that make up our playground of “everything is in style”, there will be a reward for those who push the envelope of visual identities. This has certainly been the case in the world of fashion, design, and architecture, so it makes sense that advertisers are picking up on this movement.

Characters in ads are no longer simply neutral “heroes” in which consumers project themselves. They feel like real people with real points of view, embodying looks and styles that might alienate and inspire in equal measure. Naturally this exploration of styles will extend to activations and digital presence as well, catering to those who are as much aesthetic-loyal as brand-loyal. One example that comes to mind is Craig Green, who uses the textiles in his outfits to also make sculptures. So, there are literal garments, and then there are these sculptures that are sort of non-literal representations of the outfits, using the material in interesting ways as an artistic statement.

This exploration of “look & feel” will continue to extend to the world of AI as well, whether as a tool for experimentation or as a consumer-facing final product, it will govern a lot of creative conversations. Consumers are equally excited at the range of new imagery that they can produce and enjoy. For those who feel disconnected by this new trend, human authenticity will gain even greater value. Which camp brands and agencies will want to occupy will be the big thing to watch as the year unfolds!

Information Technology

Ryan Murphy, IT Manager

There has been a long period of stagnation in office technology. Tools like MS Office and the Adobe suite don’t really do anything different or better than they did 20 years ago, but now have so many features that it is basically impossible to know how to use everything. Hardware also stagnated for years and computers didn’t really get any faster, and software bloat used up all the performance increases. It has felt like almost all the innovation has been on the smartphone side, but now, the next wave is happening.

Always-on connectivity and power in data centers are enabling a new wave of innovations where the applications we are familiar with use cloud processing to enable impressive new features. For example, look at Copilot in MS office, Zoom AI companion, and Adobe Firefly .

With all this in mind, tech literacy has become core to every office career. Employers who can foster a culture of continuous learning and training will get more value out of these tools. You can’t expect your staff to just figure out how to use it!

The transition from the ubiquitous tri-corner speakerphone to video conferencing technology has been a hot mess of competing standards, dongles, and platforms. Whoever figures out the best meeting room tech will be a hero to many. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like a universal solution is on the horizon.


Jack Evans, Production Manager

2023 was our first full year without a lockdown, and in the experiential marketing space it was evident. It finally felt like the ball was rolling again and we were truly back to normal. Brands were eager and ready to invest in programs like they were pre-pandemic, and this led to street teams being back in full action. It was rare to spend a weekend outside, (especially in our neck of the woods), and not end up with at least one sample or giveaway.

Moving into 2024, I believe it will be the rise of robust builds taking to the streets, guerilla style. It became more frequent in 2023 but now with the potential legislation to allow open alcohol in public parks in Toronto, this opens up a massive opportunity for brands to interact with consumers further in these guerilla style pop-ups in a unique way.

In order to cut through the white noise, it is crucial that brands find a way to create an interaction that is not a disruption to a consumer’s day but find a way to enhance it. This is a favourable way to leave a lasting impression and build brand loyalty.