Distribution of a brand message via search engines, social media, apps, email, and websites forms the core of many digital marketing campaigns. From brand awareness campaigns to conversion campaigns, from email marketing to meme marketing, every campaign can succeed if efforts are put in to weave a compelling story.
Creativity and innovation, paired with the right digital media and technology, can change the landscape of the advertising industry. If you learn to leverage tech, you win half the battle of advertising by delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.
New trends emerge constantly, and if, as a brand (could be a person or product or service), you don’t jump on the bandwagon, you miss the window of opportunity to convert consumers of your content into consumers of your product or service. According to studies, 47% of people who follow brands on social media are more likely to visit that company’s website.
As the year 2022 comes to an end, let us look at some of the best trends and digital marketing campaigns that arrested the attention of the audiences.
The game of AI portraits
The latest trend to take the digital world by storm is Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated selfies or AI Portraits. Every Instagram feed has been infiltrated with beautiful, dreamy and quite unreal renditions of users’ faces, from celebrities to the masses alike.
As per Sensor Towers reports, with consumers spending $8.2 million on the app, it was installed 4 million times within the first five days of December compared to 2 million in November.
Although the trend has faced some backlash from artists claiming that their artwork is not being credited, the image editing application has managed to create a fandom of its own while raking in the moolah for itself.
It is that time of the year again when you eagerly await a personalised round-up of your favourite songs by Spotify. According to Alex Bodman, vice president and global executive creative director at Spotify, it all started with a thought, “Hey we have this data, would anyone be interested?” Who knew that this thought would amplify and how!
It has become a digital campaign of sorts, with Spotify rolling out more than just curated playlists. Every year, the wrap-ups have a theme. For example, in 2021, the theme was ‘Totally Normal’, an audacious dig at the strange year engulfed by the pandemic.
2022’s campaign theme is ‘Self-expression and Play’ as it interests the audience ‘vibes’ with became personalised and subjective.
Let us look at some more interesting trends that blended advertising and technology.
The Wordle wonder
The internet sensation of 2022’s first quarter was a word game! Although the game was released in November 2021, the game became a hit in New Zealand before becoming a global success, with the daily traffic shooting up from 90 users to 2 million within months.
The green and yellow checkered boxes quickly became a part of everyone’s daily routine. The rule of not sharing the answers was followed by all, giving rise to a community of wordle players across the world.
Dove’s #ReverseSelfie campaign
Social media has been facing flak for setting unhealthy beauty standards for a long time, and brands and society have time and again voiced their concerns over the harm it causes to the youth who compare themselves to those standards. As a brand, you have to figure out niche ways to talk about a repetitive topic without sounding repetitive, and that’s what Dove did with its #reverseSelfie campaign.
Based on the results of a US survey, by the age of 13, 80% of girls distort the way they look while uploading their selfies using various filters. This campaign was an attempt by Dove to change that and tackle an issue prevalent in their (beauty) industry.
In the video, you see a girl getting ready for, and then clicking, a selfie and the retouching she does to make it look ‘perfect’ but all in reverse. The end reveals her true, bare face, which is starkly different from the selfie picture the video started with.
The trend has started to shift from filtered versions to authentic and raw looks, with #PhotoDump trending on Instagram.
LinkedIn noticed an upsurge in the number of athletes and sportspersons sharing their inspiring stories on the platform. Wanting to promote the cause of a more equitable world of work, they decided to sponsor the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.
With the #FollowInHerFootsteps campaign, the platform encouraged women to discuss their inspirations. They even helped players build better profiles.
According to LinkedIn, the #FollowInHerFootsteps campaign significantly changed attitudes about women in sports. It generated more than 100 million impressions over the course of two weeks and significantly increased brand love.
When talking about trends, how can one not talk about memes? Let’s look at some fun trends that gripped the internet.
He’s/She’s a 10 but..
Yet another trend started on TikTok, which spread like wildfire on Twitter!
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know what the meme-d trend is about - ranking a person from one to 10 for attractiveness but adding a characteristic that may increase or decrease their ranking.
Chicagwa - Chicago’s tap water
Another campaign that just goes out to tell you that marketing and advertising are so much more than the product! Quirky in all aspects - idea, conceptualisation as well as execution.
The city of Chicago branded their tap water as ‘Chicagwa - the pure, refreshing water’. They sold it in limited edition cans and put display signs reading ‘Proudly serving Chicagwa on tap’ outside local cafes.
Gripped by FIFA World Cup
Fox Sports understood that even Santa could not ignore the hype that is the FIFA World Cup. Jon Hamm plays a football-obsessed Santa who makes the World Cup his priority in two amazing ads guaranteed to make you laugh!
Even historical figures came alive to tune in to FIFA. In this humorous take on history, Anarkali is shown as a football fan for whom begging to watch the World Cup was more important than fixing her immediate predicament!
During the FIFA season, Swiggy made a very interesting and creative change. Instead of showing a regular delivery guy riding a scooter and the standard location pin, one could see a footballer coming towards the goal that is your front door!
Stay ahead of all trends
With the campaigns of 2022 teeming with concepts that often veer away from the product or service itself, it is clear that in today's market, it is pertinent for brands to stay apprised of trends and hop on most, if not all, of them. Whatever your formula, make sure the results get people talking and engaging with your content. The differentiating factor to stand out in the flurry of ‘viral trends’ is innovative storytelling that leverages technology while staying relevant to the topic, which will leave a lasting impression on the audience.
You might wonder that if you are not talking about the product, then how can you make sure your brand gets attention? Some of the ways are:
- Make sure your content is easy to access. The world got hooked on Wordle so quickly as there was no app to download or a form to fill. Simply click on the URL, and you’re good to go!
- It should be equally easy to share, which will increase engagement with your content. A short tweet trend can get the brands and masses alike intrigued to be a part of it.
- Invest in video formats - reels, stories, lives. We suggest opting for reels as, unlike stories, they do not disappear from the feed.
- If you haven’t yet, then start going beyond the organic space.
- Explore co-creation and sponsored collaborative content. This is a great way for influencers and brands to tap newer audiences.