Q3 2022 Agency News & Predictions

July 5, 2022

Fresh off the heels of The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, there’s no break in sight for agencies. With Q3 officially kicked off, agency news and predictions are all about taking the learnings from France and applying them to RFPs and internal planning. So, what did we learn from the festival? And what with Q3 bring for the agency world?

Cannes Lions returned IRL for the first time since 2019 and was as exciting and buzzy as ever. While the crowd was definitely smaller than in years past, it was also more honest and intimate. Dentsu Creative Bengaluru won agency of the year and Ogilvy took home network of the year and WPP won most creative company of the year. The coveted titles are based on the number of award wins over the course of the five-day festival.

Web3, a possible recession, diversity, and Ukraine all took center stage along with the usual awards chatter. Here are some of the hottest predictions and takes on the advertising industry we expect to see in Q3…

Brands will ask agencies to tighten the purse strings

While we’re not going to be too doom-and-gloom here — and certainly aren’t predicting a worldwide spending freeze — the economy may hurt advertising revenue. Typically, when inflation surges and costs rise, businesses tighten spending to ensure profit margins are maintained. Today, consumers are still spending and brands are chasing them. But, as inflation rises faster than wages, many brands will have to compete with cheaper alternatives.

Instead of ending all of their agency relationships, expect brands to cut their agencies’ spending budgets. Working within tighter margins, and deprioritizing more experimental marketing campaigns, brands will go back to basics through the channels that offered them the best ROI in the past. We’re thinking Facebook advertising, Google Ads and streaming to start. Though the ad industry in the UK doesn’t agree quite yet.

It’s time to pay attention to climate change

The advertising industry has long been criticized for working with polluters and climate-harming industries. The climate crisis and the talent crisis go hand-in-hand. As Zoomers, a generation hyper-focused on environmentalism, continue to join the workforce, agencies will struggle to find new, young talent.

Additionally, in Cannes, Greenpeace grabbed attention with at least three major stunts protesting against advertising and PR agencies working for fossil fuel clients. One former winner of a Cannes Lion, Gustav Martner, who now works for Greenpeace, handed his award back on stage stating: “No awards on a dead planet. Ban fossil ads.” The agency bosses stress their work is focused on renewables and good cause projects, but Greenpeace asserts that this is nothing more than greenwashing.

Consumers will continue to prioritize diverse brands

Research from Deloitte-owned agency Heat shows that 69% of brands with the most diversity and inclusion in their in ads saw an average stock gain of 44% in a seven-quarter period. Another study found that significantly more consumers consider the topic of diversity and inclusion to be important (60%) than those who do not.

Agencies must create campaigns that focuses on diverse consumers. This starts by gathering insights on how to improve the quality of portrayals of diverse communities. Brands should be proactive when it comes to gathering inclusive data and DEI practices, and work to create content that resonates with audiences. Of course, inclusive advertising starts with having diverse people filling the seats at the decision-making table. Then, once you have diversity at the table, give them a voice and listen to them.

If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. The State of Sustainability in Brand Advertising
  2. Winmo Debuts Podcast Ad Spend
  3. Shortened CMO Tenures & Why Sales Should Be Watching

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