Dentsu unites iProspect, Carat and DentsuX for 2022 media forecast

For its 2022 media trends forecast this year, Dentsu ANZ has brought together the collective insights and predictions of its media agencies, iProspect, Carat and DentsuX, to “indentify and explore the biggest media trends to watch out for in the coming year”.

The report is anchored by three “megatrends”: The Prolonged Pandemic, Brand Citizenship and Identity. Dentsu focuses on these, with sub-trends or smaller manifestations having implications for brands.

Linda Fagerlund, chief strategy and marketing officer, Dentsu Media ANZ said: “The pandemic, the environmental challenge we face, the power and influence of technology – this confluence of factors has given us the urgent impetus to experiment and innovate like never before.  

“There hasn’t been a more exciting time to be in advertising and media. There is a greater sense of emotional intelligence, empathy, and humanity from consumers, and so marketers and brands have a real opportunity (and arguably, the responsibility) to rise to the occasion and redefine the value exchange.”

The three “megatrends” for 2022 are highlighted by Dentsu Media in the report as:

“The Prolonged Pandemic describes the process of rapid adjustment, experimentation and innovation which is currently taking place as companies and consumers adapt to new ways of living.  This includes new hybrid models in many parts of life, greater use of virtual worlds, and greater flexibility in working patterns. The brands already laying by the new rules of engagement are the ones which truly prosper. 

“Brand Citizenship examines how many brands are taking a more public-spirited approach to their manufacturing and marketing, using their knowledge and market power to help make the world more sustainable and fairer. Not least the consideration around the climate emergency, diversity and equality in media and enhancing supply chains.

“Identity looks at how, in the age of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that people be able to prove who they are, but at the same time harder for brands and third parties to know who they are reaching.”

Danni Wright (left) and Linda Fagerlund

Below are listed 10 “sub-trends” that marketers should consider when planning media campaigns in 2022, according to Dentsu:

  • OmniChannel Everything – Just as retail has moved to hybrid models combining online and offline, this will also be the norm for entertainment, events, work and health.
  • New Ways to Buy – The pandemic has accelerated retail innovation, from on-demand grocery shopping to live video shopping, to buying via the TV.
  • Virtual Worlds – Gaming boomed during the pandemic, and ideas of connected spaces (or Metaverses) are spreading to areas like virtual workspaces. VR is also very interesting.
  • Secure Scarcity – Digital media has always been easy to copy, but the new blockchain-enabled NFT technology allows individual assets to be made unique.
  • Fans of Flexibility – Workers are getting used to a new level of flexibility – but you can work from anywhere also means someone anywhere could do your job.
  • The Responsible Rebuild – Acting sustainability to help the climate emergency, including creating better supply chains, and repairing and reselling.
  • Sustainable Marketing – Using ad budgets to make the world a better place, from monitoring the societal impact of campaigns to working with diverse media partners.
  • The End of Anonymity – More and more services from Google to Facebook, to Tinder to Amazon Fresh stores want users to prove their identity.
  • Beyond The Cookie – iOS 14.5, and Google’s (delayed) plan to block cookies are focussing marketers’ minds to develop new ways to target and measure.
  • Value Exchanges – The need for first-party data means that brands are now creating and hosting more content, to get access to consumer data and permissions.”

Mark Byrne, executive director for digital and commerce at Dentsu Australia said: “This report not only provides a useful framework to understand the future, it also gives practical advice on what brands should be doing to get there. This is certainly true for digital and commerce. On the latter, the shift to online has been well documented, but calling out the “omnichannel everything” trend is vitally important.

“The future is neither online or in-store, it’s a seamless blend of both, reaping the benefits of digital proximity, data and convenience, along with the advantages of intimacy and experience that comes from stores. Brands that can take this flexible approach will undoubtedly pick up new and valuable customers in the process.”

Carat Australia’s chief strategy officer, Danni Wright said that with digital groundwork in place, the market will “see brands begin to fully realise the prospect of total commerce, building for shop ability across the entire path to purchase and using data driven insight to meet current and future customers where they are as individuals.

“Earning the attention of these individuals will rely on more than the data driven sophistication required to reach them; baking contextual sensitivity into the value exchange will be paramount to cutting through. Beyond this, it will be the brands that have done the hard yards of bringing the accountability of the entire business in line with ethical expectations of brands today, that will disproportionately turn attention into action and advocacy.”

Earlier this year, Carat’s Sue Squillace was promoted to CEO of Dentsu’s new Dentsu Media Australia and New Zealand division, with former Clemenger BBDO Melbourne CEO Gayle While also appointed chief digital officer.


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