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From lost billionaires to the Dalai Lama, from storm surges to war, from Beyoncé to Taylor Swift. 2023 was a year full of ambivalences & areas of tension.

For brands that also want to be part of current affairs in 2024, thjnk Zeitgeist is now providing an insight into its annual report “Zeitgeist capsule", an overall view of the events of the past year that not only provides a retrospective but also allows direct conclusions to be drawn for 2024.

Viele Handys mit dem "Zeitgeistkapsel"-Report

In collaboration with market research tool Appinio and with the participation of 1,000 respondents, the agency's Trend & Gen Z team took a closer look at the year 2023 to gain detailed insights into how the different generations in Germany obtain information.

Isabelle Rogat, Head of Innovation & DEI: "In our opinion, spontaneous amnesia about the previous year just a few days into the new year is a fatal side effect of the 24-hour news cycle. Now is the time to identify patterns and learn from them for 2024".

3 surprising findings that thjnk Zeitgeist shares with us:

1. The internet is for everyone.

You can only reach Gen Z with viral internet analogies? Wrong. According to the study, the Paris Fashion Week bedbug memes actually reached more respondents over 59 than under 28 (48% vs. 42%). Similarly, the viral AI image of the Pope reached one in three people in this generation. Rule of thumb: Just because a topic comes from internet culture doesn't mean its potential stops at age limits.

2. "We don't do politics". OK, but people want you to.

Nearly 80% of people find out about politics at least several times a week, and one in three several times DAILY. And they want up-to-date brand positioning. On Taylor, bedbugs or Barbie, yes - but also on issues such as the Russia-Ukraine war (44%), the heat pump debate (39%) or the budget deficit (35%).

3. current events have an impact on KPIs.

"My perception of a brand has already been influenced by how it has commented on current affairs". 75% (!) of all respondents agree with this statement. It drips from every corner of the survey: people want to see brands comment, react and debate. By 2024 at the latest, this should no longer be an optional gimmick, but a powerful sympathy driver for our communication strategies.

While all thjnk Group clients have access to the full report, the in-house trend consultancy is making its 'zeitgeist capsule' available to all others for free download. This works in the same way as a new business request, simply by sending a message to the official Zeitgeist WhatsApp number (040 41 34 99 34).

"Our 'Zeitgeist capsule' is deliberately designed to be mobile-first, so it can be consumed in a relaxed way on the way to the office, a coffee shop or yoga. As the way we work becomes more flexible, so should our access to knowledge," explains Isabelle Rogat.


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