TBWA’s cultural intelligence unit Backslash releases 2024 Edges glossary—a deep dive into 41 cultural shifts

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TBWA’s cultural intelligence unit Backslash releases 2024 Edges glossary—a deep dive into 41 cultural shifts

TBWA’s cultural intelligence unit, Backslash, has released its 2024 Edges glossary—a deep dive into 41 cultural shifts that have the scale and longevity to help brands capture a greater share of the future.


More than a trend report, Backslash Edges does not spotlight the hot new aesthetics, here-today-gone-tomorrow fads, or buzzy social media moments. Instead, it offers a future-focused look at major global cultural shifts—taking a nuanced dive into the latest manifestations and tensions changing their trajectory.

“We’re in the business of creativity, and culture goes hand in hand with that. Edges provide our teams and brands the opportunity to see what’s around the corner of culture before it turns mainstream,” explained Jen Costello, TBWAWorldwide’s Global Chief Strategy Strategy Officer.

“This year’s Edge release is a special one because of the opportunity it presents. Backslash has investigated the thornier realities we’re experiencing or are going to experience, and can point to surprising solutions that are closer than we could have imagined. In 2024, I’m really excited about adaptation being an invitation for Disruption.”

This year’s Edge glossary is further enhanced by new, proprietary data powered by TBWA’s Disruption Index – an industry-first data crunch that spans 29 countries. This allows Backslash to quantify the Strength, Speed, and Spend of each of its Edges. Strength measures how important an Edge is to someone personally. Speed measures velocity in the market – or how important an Edge is to people around them today compared to a year ago, and Spend measures the percentage of respondents that would pay more for products or services related to a particular Edge. Together, these metrics showcase the disruptive potential of an Edge for a specific country, industry, or audience, all in one place.

2024 sees five new Edges: Demise Duality, Inclement Armor, Intimate AI, Rerouted and Untourism. Together, they offer optimism through emerging solutions to some of the thorniest realities on the horizon.

Demise Duality: It turns out humanity is not doomed. As end-of-times thinking takes root, a feeling of collective indifference threatens to derail the path to progress. To reignite a sense of individual responsibility, there is a movement to convert nihilists to optimists.

Inclement Armor: Extreme weather is no longer extreme—it’s our new normal. As we acclimate to a future of record-breaking temperatures and frequent natural disasters, the need for protections will reshape everything; from what we wear to how we work. Weather-proof armor is becoming an essential shield from a world that feels out of our control.

Intimate AI: AI is getting personal. While we’ve come to accept that AI has the potential to solve big challenges, the next step is normalizing its role as a sidekick in our daily lives. Whether treated as a companion, teacher, or administrative assistant, new AI tools will free people from time-intensive tasks and more.

Rerouted: A transition to greener, smarter mobility is upon us. To make the switch, we’ll need mass infrastructure overhauls and enticing incentives that create better habits at scale. Enabling the conversion is the next big challenge.

Untourism: The days of limitless travel are coming to a close. Between overcrowded destinations and careless tourist behavior, a clear need for boundaries is giving rise to tighter regulations and more mindful models. The shift from high volume to high value travel will forever change how we define a brag-worthy trip.

The complete glossary of 41 Edges can be downloaded HERE