As the marketing and advertising industry emerges from a challenging period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Ardmore are looking ahead with optimism about the opportunities and growth that this year will bring.
We sat down with a few of our colleagues and chatted about our predictions for 2022 and what we believe will shape the months ahead. Here is what we are expecting:
Mark Irwin – Managing Director
“Creativity, agility, and resilience have always been key qualities in our business model, but as we move through 2022 these attributes will be more important than ever before.
Commercial creativity remains at the very core of what our Clients expect from us, however, how that creativity is deployed has changed immeasurably in recent times and will continue to do so as we move forward, which is why agility is critical. To be at the cutting edge in our industry this year, we will embrace new ideas and possibilities with the curiosity and unbounded enthusiasm of a child. As we come to the end of an unprecedented liquidity cycle, the economy will continue to tighten, and consumers will continue to feel the proverbial pinch. Against those headwinds, our Clients’ brand communications must be empathic and as an Agency we will continue to be resilient and passionate in demonstrating the power of marketing communications to transform commercial performance and/or human behaviour.
Those qualities, combined with our talented team who share old-fashioned values of honesty, integrity, hard work, and excellent service, and who are adept at embracing new trends, are what provide me with the confidence to predict that 2022 is going to be an amazing year for Ardmore!”
Ally O’Neill – Media Director
“Video, video, video… everywhere and with a huge array of options to get in front of eyeballs.
2021 and the ongoing pandemic (that we hoped would be a distant memory by now) ensured that an ever-evolving array of video options continued to be presented to audiences. Will it stick? Will your TV streaming, endless YouTube scrolling, and catch-up viewing remain the same as we continue to emerge from the pandemic?
Only time will tell, but looking into my media Mystic Meg ball I see the following trends:
- More Video on Demand Content– but with better measurement of impact, as BARB (the Broadcasters Audience Research Board) will measure and report audience engagement at a programme level…meaning that we will know more than ever about the VOD platforms.
- Choice paralysis? Doesn’t look like it. The rise in short-form video (TikTok’s explosive growth) shows audiences are happy to engage with new formats.
- Local Edge continues to prevail. The biggest Netflix show of 2021 was ‘Squid Game’. With or without ropey subtitles this beat out all the big global productions. This demonstrates the power of local content going global. A similar picture we have seen here in Northern Ireland would be ‘Derry Girls’ being watched across the world.”
Ed Henderson – Planning Director
“Let’s expect more consumer decision-making to be defined by social and ethical trends – Take sustainability for example. The term itself has taken a few years for brands and even the mass media to define, apply and express. In 2022, we are going to see it being not only increasingly understood by consumers but a key reason we all decide to buy certain brands or even make certain travel choices.
Aligned to this, we can expect more brands to share their “purpose” with the world through advertising. But be careful! Purpose is a risky strategy – getting “do good” advertising right means being honest and transparent about values and ethics (and most importantly, acting on them).”
Miriam Moertl – Head of Client Services
“The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of humility, vulnerability and relationships. For me, 2022 sees the need to nurture, in no particular order….our people, our talent, our Clients. We should invest time in resettling and strengthening our partnerships through honesty, enthusiasm, and mutual respect.”
Paul Bowen – Executive Creative Director
“Staying safe has been the one single front of mind, lead story, polarising constant that has symbolised the past 2 years of our existence. Is it any wonder that now more than ever, to engage with an audience you need to do the complete opposite?
My inbox is littered with ’The top ten marketing trends of 2022 you need to know right now, click here…now!’ emails but if we could really, truly predict it – how would anyone stand out? We and our audiences are fantastically unpredictable, that’s why as a creative team our palette isn’t just confined to this year’s colour (Very peri if you’re asking) and what’s hot (nailscaping anyone?) and what’s not (Golden Globes?). We make people think, we make them laugh, smile, cry or get up out of their seat and dance. We connect. To do that you can’t play safe, it’s an old phrase but remains true – do what you always did and you’ll get what you always got. I encourage you to move out of your comfort zone because that’s where growth lies. Creatively, if you want to connect – it’s time to take a risk.”
Adam Louden – Senior Social Media Manager
“How customers browse and buy will continue to change with social media becoming an ever-more dominant space for consumer purchasing. Due to the Covid pandemic, Facebook and Instagram shopping is an already growing space but with changes in Instagram shoppable stories allowing for a more seamless in-app purchasing experience for users, this is a trend that will almost certainly continue to grow, and e-commerce businesses should see this as a key opportunity.
On a larger scale, my slightly more out-there prediction for 2022 is to see a growth in augmented reality advertising, with big brands using the metaverse as a platform for reaching a younger, more technology-savvy audience. Whilst the early adopters are likely to be large-scale global or tech brands, I think as we get towards the end of the year, this is an area where more brands will be fighting for space.”
Aidan Harbinson – Technical Director
“Diversity, privacy and sustainability look likely to continue to be hot topics for brands in 2022. The importance of integrating this into the DNA of your brand cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to online presence and for those who want to target younger demographics.
On the more technical side of things, eCommerce grew by around 30% last year and this trend will also continue. Therefore, having a website capable of selling your product or allowing customers to sign up to a service is of critical importance. Automation should be utilised wherever possible to make it as easy as possible for customers and increase conversion rates. Integration with other third-party systems, such as EPOS, stock management and accounting should also be maximised to increase efficiencies in how your online store is run and save on operating costs in the medium-long term.
When it comes to advertising, the volume of digital ads continues to increase, and customers could be forgiven for seeing a lot of this as white noise. To differentiate, relevance should be prioritised overreach – consider your demographics and how efficiently your ads are targeted – continually review analytics data against your objectives and seek feedback wherever possible to evolve this over time.”
Paul James – Strategic Business Director
“Two things I think will come more and more to the fore this year:
- Demand for environmental accountability and environmentally friendly brands and products.
- Ongoing movement in terms of people changing jobs and the need for brands to develop their employer brand and purpose to attract and retain talent.”
It feels like 2022 is going to be a big year and we at Ardmore say, ‘Bring it on!!’.