It seems like a good time to relive some of the most-hyped technologies and trends predicted to change the world of advertising in 2018.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Blockchain. There’s no question that blockchain technology will find many applications for the advertising industry at some point — some with real market impact. However, blockchain is not going to revolutionize our industry nearly as fast as the hype would have you believe.

AI. Yes, artificial intelligence is an important technology that has been with us for decades, but is finally showing the capacity to improve computing systems in a number of industries, advertising included. However, the hype of AI for advertising massively overstates its capacity for actual real-world impact in the business today.

Data science. I am a big fan of data science, and spend a lot of time personally working on increasing its application and impact on the advertising industry. However, anybody who’s realistic would realize that the vast majority of decisions made in advertising are not even very empirical, so we shouldn’t expect “big data” to change advertising — not until our industry becomes more comfortable making decisions on even “small data.”

What market dynamic might live up to its pre-season hype as we head into 2019? 

My bet is the D2C movement. Not since the emergence of the World Wide Web have I seen something emerge that could be as consequential on the advertising, media and marketing ecosystem as the revolution being staged today by these digitally based brands to undermine channel-dependent incumbents in industries as far-ranging as razors, contact lenses and mattresses. This trend will only accelerate in 2019.

What do you think? What technologies or trends didn’t live up to their 2018 hype?