Collage image created by We Are Social's cultural insights team

Bringing cultural insights to the fore

We Are Social’s global director of cultural insights discusses how the agency is looking beyond rapidly changing trends to help brands from adidas to Starbucks embed themselves in digital culture

“Nobody has asked this to be my role, but I kind of consider it my role not to do the garbage trends that are being bandied around a lot now,” says We Are Social global director of cultural insights, Mira Kopolovic. “For us, cultural insights means only looking for those small trends when they’re building up in service of a wider human-led shift in culture, not just fleeting algorithm-led flashes in the zeitgeist.”

Kopolovic has been immersed in the cultural insights world for almost a decade. She previously worked at specialist agencies including Canvas8 and Flamingo, where she grappled with everything from macro questions for big tech companies to how race and class are represented in the media. The appeal of joining We Are Social’s in-house team, which was established in 2019, was that it offered an opportunity to not only help brands create relevant, culturally led work but to really embed themselves in digital culture.

“Having in-house cultural insights is quite unusual for a creative agency,” she says. “Within advertising and marketing historically the strategy team has absorbed this role but done it in a much more small-scale way. Because of how quickly everything moves in the industry, having a distinct research phase, let alone a whole dedicated team, is a bit new.”