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What trends will dominate the world of advertising in 2022? spoke to experts to understand what will change for advertising in 2022, in terms of content, themes, as well as technology

2021 was a rollercoaster year for the world of advertising. After experiencing a slight recovery from the first wave of Covid-19, the industry was again hit by the second wave in a much severe manner. Important events like the IPL were delayed and the advertising sentiments were low once again. 

Despite the hardships, the industry continued with resilience and is looking at 2022 with high hopes. With brands looking to invest in advertising again, we speak to creative leaders in the industry to understand what can 2022 look like for the advertising world. 

Newer Themes 

Most of 2020 and 2021 advertising themes and stories revolved around the pandemic, with the situation improving significantly brands may look at newer themes beyond it. Brands want people to spend money again and, therefore, they want to convey that things are back to normal. 

Azazul Haque

“The 2022 story depends on Omicron, and what it does. If there is no wave this year, and if the pandemic takes a backseat, I think the conversations will be around ‘Celebrations’. While 2021 was about ‘hope’ I think 2022 will be about celebrations about new openings, events, and a new life. Advertising reflects the mindsets of the masses and this time everyone is expecting to have new beginnings,” said Azazul Haque, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas. 

Brands will continue to focus on ‘purpose’  

Prior to the pandemic, Sustainability, Environment, Gender Equality, etc were some of the themes being explored in advertising. Experts say brands will continue to support their cause and will further strengthen it. 

Mukund Olety

“If anything themes like sustainability, equality, and the environment will become even more important for brands and corporations. Consumers especially youngsters today deeply resonate with these topics and want to engage and be associated with brands that are not just saying the right things but also doing the right things. More meaningful action is the underlying message. While some brands are actively taking steps in this direction, more brands will be compelled to do so,” said Mukund Olety, Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R. 

Agencies will equip themselves with better technology/ Traditional agencies to focus beyond ad films 

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of digital in the country. People accessed virtual concerts and other augmented reality experiences during the pandemic. In fact, people want more content rather than advertising. Hence agencies need to focus on solutions other than pure advertising films. 

“Most traditional agencies are still about long story formats and all about video stories. The world is moving forward, there is a lot of interactive and machine learning happening. Agencies need to diversify their thinking. Most traditional agencies are stuck in one way of looking at a marketing problem which is the ‘film’. That is not the future. Post-pandemic with the world more equipped to handle technology it is time for agencies to adapt or they will become redundant in time,” Haque stated. 

“Firstly, if someone calls themselves a traditional agency, they probably shouldn’t exist. Or they’ll become obsolete before long. While most agency agencies want to make a shift, the process is either slow or difficult for them to do so. Consumers and marketers are moving and adapting faster than some of the so-called ‘traditional’ agencies. Sorry for the shameless plug but thank God for agencies like VMLY&R that were born in the new age and creating work that is relevant and in the now,” added Olety.   

Short-format content to grow 

Karan Amin

According to Karan Amin, Founder, 010, the exit of Tik Tok from the country gave a number of platforms a chance to explore the short content space. Apps like Instagram added short video tools and are now strengthening creators. “People are spending a lot of time watching short-format content and especially in the video format that is going to spike a lot more in 2022,” Amin said. 

He said to explore the short format space fully brands need to focus on real-time solutions and make use of the platforms for what they are. 

AI and other technologies to gain prominence 

Olety stated that technology will seep into all forms of communication and storytelling in the truest sense. Brands will use deepfake, AI in an emotive and effective manner and the lines between traditional and new-age blur even further. 

“Web3 will start taking shape, brands will start to have a presence in the metaverse, and consumers will be able to use crypto to buy more and more products and services. Social commerce and live commerce will start to become new sales channels and take over the lives of both advertisers and consumers,” he added.

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