2023: A year of challenge 

2023 has delivered an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. While we’ve seen green shoots of growth and post-pandemic recovery around the world, geo-political tensions have worsened with devastating impact on countries people call home. Tension continues across populations, with protests against governments, against war, against climate change and against a spiralling cost of living that shows only creeping signs of waning. Even Big Tech, the zeitgeist of our age, are now either experiencing disruption from new platforms or from consumers and governments who are grasping the importance of ownership of their personal data. Amidst all this, the inevitable emergence in 2023 of widely accessible, scaled AI created a feeling that this was the year that humankind careened between curiosity, delight, trepidation and panic over a tool that will fundamentally change our societies, our experiences of work and, potentially, our most basic ideas of what it means to be human. So, a lot to reflect on as we head to the year end. And yet looking ahead … 

2024: The year of the Wood Dragon 

A year of hope, growth and prosperity through purposeful nourishment and attention. 

Like the year of the wood dragon, 2024 signifies solid beginnings. Brands that have a clear promise, and have their values deeply interwoven into their experience, have thrived. They will continue to thrive as consumers turn to them to represent themselves; the brand, a sign of their alliance and solidarity, rewarded with their hard-earned dollars. Yet if a brand is found to be selling empty promises, consumers show not only their dissatisfaction with their feet, but with the power of their voices. Brands that invest in the community they serve or pay the planet back for the resources they’ve used will win hearts and minds. We see this in the abundance of new companies emerging with purpose at the core of their business proposition.   

And we have so much to be hopeful for. Asia-Pacific continues to be a region of opportunity. The region is expected to drive 60% of global GDP growth, becoming the wealthiest region in the world, by 2030. Southeast Asia is set to emerge as a green industry power player and consumer confidence is on track for a rebound.  

This coming year, dentsu will turn 123-years old. Dentsu has continued to stay relevant through our relentless commitment to the power of innovation, creativity and purpose. Good innovation. This year and for years to come it will be the power of ideas and creativity that will help unite society around a common purpose. While 2024 will provide more complexity and challenge, I also see it as a milestone year where creativity will be recognised for being the red thread around which people can come together and simplify the world around them. It will help society tell its story and give a voice to the people or places that don’t yet have a voice. This is the year of next, of never before where the power of creativity, ideas and innovation come together to crystalise critical actions and inspire humanity towards hopeful, positive, joyful progress.  

Dentsu APAC

Rob Gilby

CEO | Chief Executive Officer 

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