What 2022 has in store for advertising industry

From more of purpose-driven marketing and regional content to use of technologies like AI & ML, here’s what experts predict for the ad world this year

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Updated: Jan 3, 2022 5:25 PM  | 5 min read

After the pandemic recession, the ad industry in India and globally is recovering much faster than expected. According to Mediabrands' Magna report, digital and TV are showing upward growth. The report also predicts a good recovery for traditional mediums, like print, that were impacted due to the pandemic. For mediums like OOH and experiential, the recovery will be slower but there is hope that 2022 will surly bring some cheer.

With consumer sentiments turning positive and brands’ increasing willingness to spend more on ads, e4m spoke to a few experts to understand what we can expect from 2022, and here is what they say: 

More ad revenue on cards 

Sanjeev Goyle, CEO, OOH & Rural – IPG Mediabrands India, predicts ‘achhe din’ for the ad world in the coming year. Some reports have made similar predictions. 

“The 2022 outlook for India seems positive with the expectation of a +15% advertising revenue increase. While the 2021 festive season brought in positive market sentiment, the change in the situation due to omicron may have a sombre effect on the 2022 Q1. However, the latter part of the year is expected to see momentum owing to brands experimenting and spending more on ads to reach their audience across platforms,” Goyle told e4m. 

He noted, “Digital and television are likely to be on par in terms of ad spends. With leaner Covid-19 restrictions, print, radio, and OOH advertising are also expected to experience accelerated recovery if no drastic changes come into implementation.”

Socially relevant campaigns

In 2021, a lot of brands also moved towards purpose-driven marketing. We also saw agencies come up with wonderful ideas to solve consumer problems. So, there was a shift from hard-selling to storytellers also becoming problem-solvers, and this is a trend we hope stays. 

“The pandemic has made most realize the vulnerability of human existence and made businesses realize that being empathetic is no longer a choice. Advertising will increasingly have to reflect this side of businesses. Commerce without heart will not go down well. Campaigns with strong socially relevant themes will see a surge,” shares Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and marketing expert who is former marketing Head of HP Asia, Motorola India and PepsiCo.


IoT, AI, ML, NFT and 5G

Youth and Technology are going to be the two key growth drivers. These two segments are creating scope for marketers and advertisers to explore, experiment, and evolve to newer avenues, going beyond their traditional territories to convert the opportunity into a win-win situation, Goyle says. 

IoT, AI, and ML are making strides in all sectors, and as a creative industry, leaders must keep up with these technologies' rapid progress. It is anticipated that 2022 will be a year of expanding demand for integrated content creation, AI-led gamification, and blockchain services in digital marketing.

“It will increase the number of NFTs created by innovative brands. One trend to watch for in 2022 is animated conversations, in which brands will use 3D characters and interactive narratives for digital advertising. The 5G development has intrigued a massive population already. As the 5G network intensifies, it will be a significant driver of growth in IoT and other intelligent automation applications. All of these advancements are only the tip of the iceberg. A lot more awaits,” says Angad Singh Manchanda, CEO & Co-founder, Chimp&z Inc.

Nano and virtual influencers will rise 

With the widespread acceptance of social media and the increasing user base, 2021 was a year that marked the turning point for the influencers, especially the micro, nano-influencers and even virtual influencers. 

“With such advancements in both market research and technology, 2022 will see further expansion of the influencer marketing sector to adapt to the changing business needs. Application of AI and ML in social media platforms will be another advancement that will affect how the content is produced and communicated by the influencers amongst the audience in 2022,” says Neha Puri, CEO & Founder, Vavo Digital. 

Moment Marketing to become mainstream

“Moment marketing will become mainstream. This will mean advertising and communication will have to be more tuned to real time developments and not just pre-planned themes,” says Mathias.

But one has to be very cautious doing a free-ride. 

When badminton champion PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals this year, several brands ran ads on social media channels with her pictures and name along with their logo and branding to congratulate her. She is suing them now. 

The rise of regionalism

Regionalism will be one of the dominant themes in the coming years. As people receive more content that is culturally relevant or is about where they hail from or reside, we will see them shift towards themes and propositions that appeal to them. 

“Many new platforms in regional and multilingual languages have emerged in the past one-two years. Testing waters with them to connect to your audience would be a wonderful idea to consider in 2022,” says Dinesh Juneja, Founder of Emporiom-  Digital Marketing Agency. 

Hybrid model marketing

“We will witness a market of end-users who have witnessed two difficult years of the pandemic. Keeping in mind the expected supply chain challenges in the industry, the pricing dynamics in the market have to be handled carefully, by creating the right value propositions,”  says Deba Ghoshal, Vice President and Head of Marketing, Voltas. 

Ghoshal also noted, “Digital will continue to be the pivot for all decisions related to consumer outreach. Particularly, search, social and influencer strategies need to be carefully crafted. However, in 2022, brands must continue to drive their omni-channel presence, by integrating digital, electronic, and on-ground activations. A strategic decision needs to be made by all marketers to adopt the hybrid marketing model which will allow brands to enhance their physical and digital presence to create real-time customer delight.”

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