With 2022 right around the corner, we asked around the industry for predictions on advertising trends and strategies for the new year. Overall, there’s a big focus on the growing overlap of YouTube and Connected TV, as well as the increasing importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives on advertising and content strategies. More and more advertisers are also looking to evolve their approach to brand suitability, opting for a more sophisticated strategy instead of overusing exclusions that blunt scale, as recently highlighted by our CEO David George in an article over at AdExchanger.

Here’s what we’re hearing from our partners and colleagues on what they’re expecting to see in 2022:

YouTube And Connected TV Ecosystem Will Continue To Grow Through Consumer Demand For Content And Advertiser Demand for Scale, Data, and Measurement Solutions

As CTV & YouTube become ever more proliferated and important, the ecosystem around them will expand. Consumers have infinite choices and attention is in short supply. Brands will need strategies that use data, tech, tools and consumer behavior to connect with authenticity, meaning and empathy.
– Charisse Hughes, SVP & Global CMO at Kellogg’s

As CTV advertising grows exponentially, some are reminded of John Wanamaker’s (1838-1922) famous observation, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” In 2022, as brands and agencies look to address this persistent concern, they’ll increasingly favor YouTube CTV as a solution that combines the tools, tech and services to deliver video at scale with minimal waste. The partners who have expertise in both YouTube and CTV and can maximize the value of every impression will hold the keys to this next phase in advertising growth.
– Tony Weisman, Former CMO, Dunkin’

Today, there are hundreds of streaming services, yet the top two (Netflix and YouTube) represent ~50% of total CTV viewership. As the ad supported leader, we expect that trend to continue as CTV viewers and cord cutters increasingly come to YouTube for the content they need and the creators they love.
– Brian Albert, Managing Director, Google

A greater percentage of our clients’ budgets will be allocated to Connected TV as media consumption has shifted from linear TV to CTV. YouTube’s data indicates that about 40% of its viewership is on Connected TV screens and their share of ad budgets will continue to grow in 2022 as consumers spend more time watching ad-supported video content.
– Bob Deininger, VP, Digital Media & Analytics, Norbella

With the changes to privacy law globally, the iPhone 14.5 updates and the cookie-pocalypse on the brink — we will see many privacy features protect viewers data but in turn limit advertisers ability to track and target the end users, track sales and revenue attribution and in the end force more buying through the walled garden platforms. 1P data will be the new oil.
– Theresa Go, VP, Platforms, Pixability

Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Initiatives Will Integrate More Directly Into Programming & Media Plans

Streaming dominates amongst diverse segments and so DE&I content does not feel like a lesson, a throwaway, a stereotypical storyline or punchline. And Connected TV actually connects us all with more representative narratives like Schitt’s Creek, where inclusion felt normal, not forced, not for media attention and not for checking a box. Programming will reflect all Americans, and advertising will fall in line.
– Ly Tran, Founder/CEO, stiletto collective

DE&I media will begin being integrated into media plans – rather than treated as a separate category. Brands will be increasingly aware of the social safety of platforms and will expect the actions of those platforms to be aligned with their brand values.
– John Montgomery, EVP, Global Brand Safety, GroupM

DE&I initiatives and inclusive marketing will become even more central to the way that advertisers think and run campaigns. Brands will increasingly vote with their ad dollars by using technology to choose content creators that align with their beliefs as a company. Patagonia continues to be a great example of using their advertising strategy as a way to advocate for causes that align with their values.
– Jackie Swansburg Paulino, CPO, Pixability

Advertiser Approaches To Brand Safety And Suitability Will More Sophisticated

In CTV, as in the economy at large, we have a supply side problem. There is an excess of demand over quality supply. It’s compounded by consumers of long-form video choosing ad-free options if they can afford to. The one place without a supply problem is YouTube. It’s a source of abundant ad-funded impressions and consumer attention. 2022 will be the year in which all advertisers recognize the YouTube imperative and the need to integrate it into all video planning. They will seek to define context and brand suitability within the context of the channel with the intent of maximizing the available impressions. Brand safety will evolve to ensure that the desire to keep brands away from harmful content does not compromise the economic opportunity of diverse creators.
– Rob Norman, advisor and director in ad tech and media

Advertisers and agencies will get more sophisticated about how they use targeting on social media and will make less (or judicial) use of blunt tools like exclusion lists which limit reach and efficiency. Brands will realize that they are now advertising in a very safe environment (very low likelihood of adjacency to harmful content) and will start pursuing quality and effectiveness within a safe environment
– John Montgomery, EVP, Global Brand Safety, GroupM

2022 will be the year when we completely recalibrate what ‘brand safety’ actually is, defined not by sweeping assumptions, but meticulous work with our most trusted ad tech partners. It will be a year when many agencies will stick to their lazy assumptions about news or user-generated content, leaving the more forward-thinking agencies room to lead their clients to more powerful business outcomes.
– Will Phipps, SVP, Head of Media at Allen & Gerritsen

As a 4As agency member, we have been shifting our focus from “brand safety” to “brand suitability” and have been following the work that the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) has been doing in collaboration with the IAB Tech Lab’s content taxonomy. However, ad tech players like Pixability have been “walking the talk” with technology like BrandShield which ensures video ads are running in brand suitable environments.
– Bob Deininger, VP, Digital Media & Analytics, Norbella