Five trends driving outdoor marketing in 2022
Was 2021 better than 2020, or worse? Who knows. It all feels like one weird dream. That said, with hopes of 2022 being a year of precedented times, we dig into the top 5 trends that will drive it this year.
DEI initiatives are real and staying
When George Floyd was murdered in May 2020, a cascade of racial injustice and inclusion introspection occurred throughout the world. For most brands, this included an internal audit of their DEI initiatives and policies.
Cynics across the board assumed this was posturing that wouldn’t last and everyone would forget their agreed-upon initiatives and we would go back to how things were as if none of it ever happened. To be completely honest, I was in that camp. But I was wrong.
The world is changing, for the better. There’s substance to a lot of the discussions and policies being implemented right now and this trend appears to be sticky.
2022 will be the year to double down on DEI initiatives as it is only the beginning of a long and arduous journey of re-learning our inherent biases, collectively. According to Wetransfer’s 2021 Ideas Report, “75% of Gen Z respondents think it is vital for brands to be committed to climate, racial, and social justice issues, the highest across all age groups.”
Follow the kids.
Social advertising becomes more endemic
If you’re with-the-times enough to have a Tiktok account, you may have noticed something as you scroll your FYP: once in a while you watch an entire ad without realizing it was a sponsored advertisement. It’s shot with what seems like an iPhone, the person in the video looks like it could be any random person, and the branding is as toned down as possible.
This formula of subtle endemic advertising is working. Recently surveyed marketers in Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media trends report around social advertising effectiveness has Tiktok surging 700% over the last year and the Facebook/Instagram/Meta stronghold bleeding 25-40%.
Metaverse this, metaverse that
I’ve already outlined at length my thesis and view on the metaverse here, but for a simplified definition, see below:
The Metaverse is an open, decentralized, and composable idea and everyone is open to their own interpretation of it. It is built on the following tenets:
- Digital ownership
- VR/AR Execution
If 2021 was the year we all discovered the word, 2022 is the year where the rubber begins to meet the road. Every brand under the sun will be brainstorming on how they can pivot their brand into this weird new channel to explore.
Natural disaster travel
Floods, fires, pandemics, oh my.
At least here in BC, mother nature has certainly reminded us who’s in charge this year. As natural disasters and other climate change-related events continue to impact our lives, the second-order effects this will have on tourism and vacation planning will continue to show itself through a few ways:
Last-minute cancellations will become the norm and the idea of a 24hr cancellation notice will be a thing of the past. Airlines, due to covid, having had to throw this policy out the window is already paving the way for this to occur.
Destinations that depend on weather (read: ski resorts), will need to further hedge the risk of no-snow winters and pivot into new product offerings. Many destination resorts, if they haven’t already, are transforming themselves into four-season resorts that aren’t dependent on skiing and snow.
Similar to avoiding travel to Southeast Asia during Monsoon Season, seasonal windows of travel will increasingly become the norm.
Inflation rears its ugly head
This year saw the highest CPI prints since 1982, the last time the Consumer Price Index was top of mind of consumers.
When the cost of basic essentials goes up, discretionary spending goes down. With CPI and food prices soaring and 2022 showing no signs of slowing, the game is changing. Consumers will begin to prioritize value-driven experiences over splurging on luxury experiences. This could mean, for example, families opting for a staycation at a nearby destination as opposed to traveling across the world for a luxury experience (without even beginning to mention the nightmare that is COVID international travel)
It’s a pivotal and delicate time in the world right now. Some major winds are making secular shifts and there’s a general feeling out there that any cows we thought were sacred are up for review. As we head into the year, check your biases and come at things from first principles to ensure you catch these shifts as they happen.