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A CPG Brand's Guide to Advertising Trends in 2022 [Infographic]

A CPG Brand's Guide to Advertising Trends in 2022 [Infographic]

This resource serves as a guide for CPG Brand Managers trying to better understand the current marketing channel landscape and how various trending channels can be leveraged.


Despite COVID-19 surges, supply chain issues, and the delta variant's impact across the U.S. in 2021, the ad industry is still on a steady path to recovery. U.S. ad spend is projected to increase 23% this year, to $278 billion, according to a recent forecast.

Since 2020 was such a constricted year for marketing, brands spent much of 2021 focused on reconnecting with their audience, creating engaging content, and remaining flexible to change. A few channels and strategies that performed well include programmatic advertising, video media, retail media, and streaming platforms— while television and traditional publishing saw less growth.

What we know is that consumers are looking for new types of products and advertising experiences— whether that be on their phones, outdoors, at a physical retail store, or somewhere in between (hello, metaverse). Because of this, we think CPG marketers will want to experiment with their media mix in 2022.

So, here's a brief infographic on some interesting trends we think you should know about as we head into the new year, plus a more in-depth look at each topic below.

1. Entering the Metaverse

The metaverse is a combination of multiple elements of technology - including virtual reality, augmented reality, and video - where users "live" within a digital universe. With all the buzz surrounding this space, we believe media buyers will start thinking about how to add this into their 2022 strategy.

CPG brands like Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup Company are already working to bring the metaverse to life with blended digital-physical experiences. By dabbling in the metaverse, brands can access new ad placements, younger audiences, and creative opportunities.

For example, a brand like Coca-Cola could sell digital versions of its products to Roblox, an online platform and storefront where people go to play games, which users could purchase for their avatar to own.

2. Interactive Video Ads

We think interactive video ads (especially short form) are going to boost the rise of shoppable experiences everywhere. Shoppable advertising will make a huge difference for brands looking to accelerate the buyer's journey from discovery to purchase. Social media platforms like Instagram have already started to offer this as a feature, which includes dedicated in-app shopping tabs and commerce integrations.

Amazon and YouTube recently implemented interactive video ads as well. It'll be interesting to see how that'll influence shoppable ad content on other connected TV platforms. Let's say someone's watching a Youtuber's cooking tutorial on their smart TV, then they get an ad for some essential kitchen products. They can actually interact with that promotion, send the brand's information straight to their phone, and make a purchase right then and there.

3. Retail Media

A recent forecast showed that retail media is expected to generate $50 billion in ad revenue globally in 2022. There has been plenty of buzz over this space recently, especially with retailers like Best Buy, Kroger, Home Depot, and Dollar General starting their own retail media networks.

As first-party data becomes essential for advertisers in 2022, data-rich retail media networks will see even more demand. But, we also want to point out the value of an omnichannel strategy for CPG brands using retail media.

That means creating seamless experiences for your audience along the entire shopper journey. Whether they see your brand in stores on a digital display, on a retailer's website, a roadside billboard, etc.— those touchpoints will help build recognition and influence purchase decisions.

4. Influencer Marketing

Did you know that more than 75% of consumers say they trust content from average people more than content from brands? Advertisers are using social media and platforms like YouTube to create a balance between their usual brand content and user-generated content that reveals the human side of the brand.

The influencer market is predicted to reach $15 billion by 2022, with most advertisers saying they allocate more than 20% of their ad spend on influencer content. We think brands could find it valuable to work with micro-influencers in particular, given that they have highly engaged audiences and (usually) lower partnership prices.

5. Artificial Intelligence

The AI and machine learning industry are still on the rise as brands use this technology to have personalized consumer services and experiences, understand their behaviors online, predict product demand, tailor their shopping experience, and even serve targeted ads based on their demographics.

At Grocery TV we use computer vision on our platform to track the engagement, impressions, and reach of every campaign as well as out-of-stock and planogram compliance for CPG brands like Mars Wrigley.

Other companies are also helping CPG brands use machine learning to analyze their overall brand health— which involves algorithms that dissect data and identify brand performance drivers.

6. Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH)

DOOH has actually been leading the OOH comeback this year, and a DPAA study showed that 81% of advertisers will recommend DOOH in their media plans in the next 12 months. The channel is drawing attention because of how it combines both the power of digital marketing technology (targeting, analytics, and creative flexibility) with the impact of reaching consumers in the real world.

After spending so much time on their phones and computers during the pandemic, consumers are seeking more outdoor and shared experiences. In fact, 72% of people are actively trying to get outside as much as possible. There's a lot of opportunities for CPG brands to use digital screens not only in stores that sell their products but also locations that their audience visits during their everyday routine.

By using programmatic DOOH, CPG brands can easily buy ad space, set campaign parameters, and view performance similar to how they would with an online channel.

7. Working with Nonprofits

Given that the world has experienced so much hardship these past two years, consumers are even more adamant about wanting to support brands that have given back in some way. This sentiment is only expected to grow, so CPG brands can get started by researching and reaching out to nonprofits that align with their goals and overall vision.

Aside from simply expressing support for certain organizations, we recommend that your brand's strategy also includes efforts like affiliate marketing, donating a percentage of your sales during special campaigns, or recurring sponsorships.

For example, KIND snacks is known for its commitment to philanthropy. Over the years they've created and invested in programs that'll have a lasting impact on the community, such as the Frontline Impact Project (FIP) and Empatico.

We've all been hearing about the death of third-party cookies for a while, but when will it happen exactly? Well, according to Google's recent announcement, it's postponed until 2023. Although that gives advertisers more time to prepare, it's still important to think through alternate targeting strategies.

Your brand could start by investing in more ways to gather first-party data or using tools like Google's Privacy Sandbox and FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to have personalization and consumer targeting without intruding on user privacy. CRM tools, contextual advertising, surveys, and interactive content will also be useful as your brand transitions away from third-party cookies.

A recent article mentioned that CPG brands should "move into the driver seat" and use these data privacy changes to create a more direct relationship with their audience— which will allow brands to launch direct campaigns and gain insights for better targeting.

What's Your 2022 Plan?

In the new year, we recommend CPG brands focus on strengthening their relationship with consumers, expanding their omnichannel strategy (especially to create more digital-physical experiences), and simply staying open-minded to new ideas.

Thinking of adding DOOH to your media mix in 2022? Feel free to skim our media kit and reach out! We'd be happy to talk to you about our Grocery TV network.

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