Sound Bites from Advertising Week 2022

By Audacy Insights Team

We were so excited to be at Advertising Week 2022! It promised to celebrate “the confluence of culture, commerce, and creativity” – and while we didn’t listen to all 800 speakers, we tuned in to quite a few, and we were inspired by them all! 

Now that we’ve been back a few days and were able to digest some of the amazing insights, we’re thrilled to share our five key takeaways for marketers from this amazing conference. 

1. Audience First. Always.

In 2022, consumers were exposed to up to 10,000 ads per day. In a world where consumer preferences and privacy regulations are constantly shifting, how do advertisers capture attention? Experts from Vayner Media, Carat, Fandom, Ogury, and Baron Davis Enterprises talked about how it’s time to get back to the basics…audiences. They advise advertisers to focus on audience attention and experiences. Consumers know that if they want great content for free, they’ll see ads, but those ads should enrich their experience, not interrupt it. Carat has taken valuing attention so far that they have a new CPM model based on it.

2. Gen Z has Arrived.

Whether they’re known as Gen Z, Zoomers, or digital natives, these 16- to 25-year-olds stay front and center for brands for one tremendous reason: their trillions of dollars in spending power. And today’s retail marketers are keenly working to understand their passions and their platforms – and how to find ways to reach them with a twist to add appealing experiences and drive engagement and purchase for brands. One twist that seems to be working – engaging Gen Z through augmented reality (AR). Take American Eagle’s summer collection partnership with Snapchat. Shoppers used Snapchat lenses to “try on,” share with friends, and definitely purchase. For so many of these teens and young adults, it’s all about engagement and experiences, and AR serves as a growing space for retail brands ready to reach these consumers where they already enjoy spending time. 

3. Dive into Podcasts.

Podcasting is hot, with no signs of slowing down. Some of the industry’s brightest creators sat down at Advertising Week to weigh in on the buzz for brands around limited series shows. Our own Jenna Weiss-Berman of Pineapple Street Studios and Josh Dean, co-founder of Campside Media, highlighted the unique opportunities in limited-run series for brands to embrace product placements, documentary-style ads, and, of course, branded podcasts of their own. The growth in podcast advertising over the past few years, has sparked a greater interest in brands beefing up investment in the audio space overall. Advertising Week saw a number of key brands sharing their perspective on the excitement of podcasts.

In audio, and podcasts especially, you’re dealing with a very engaged audience — talk about that magic of the right message, at the right time. If you’re reaching them in podcasts, there’s very good chance that they’re listening.

Mark Proulx
Brand Manager, Johnson & Johnson

It’s a really great space to find engaged, tuned-in listeners, who don’t mind hearing an ad, as long as it’s relevant to them. It’s also a really great space for advertisers to experiment with new audience types.

Sara Tehrani
Vice President, Magna Global

4. Keep it Real in the Metaverse.

Authenticity was a key theme during Advertising Week, and the importance of keeping it real is supremely important for those embracing the Metaverse. Web3 environments allow brands to connect with consumers where they are, learn about them, collect their data, and continue building an engaging, ongoing experience with them. Shira Lazar, host of our “Inside Web3” podcast, shared her enthusiasm for today’s environment, where creators and technologists collaborate inclusively to connect with consumers in the virtual world. Eric Pulier, CEO of Vatom, noted that the next stage in the evolution of ad campaigns is to shift from the notion of a campaign that has a start and end to a relationship that continues with consumers. And Kimberly Doebereiner, Group VP, Procter & Gamble, shared that “gamification and the Metaverse allows brands to connect with consumers who opt-in for an enjoyable experience where brands can see results much more quickly than with traditional advertising.”

5. Flexing in the Future.

Creative thinking about marketing and Audio isn’t just for up-and-coming brands. Established leaders such as Frito-Lay and PepsiCo are delicious proof of that. Frito-Lay brand Tostitos showcased its lessons learned while creating a new, inviting sonic signature: 

  • Sound is a Cultural Must: Ipsos tells us that ads with sonic branding cues see an impressive 8.5X uplift in branded attention. What consumer-focused brand doesn’t want that?
  • Goals First: Sonic logos are key to increasing top-of-mind brand awareness and emotional resonance
  • Build with Platform in Mind: Sonic identities should flexibly fit across media platforms, from TV commercials to social, Audio and beyond.

PepsiCo CMO Todd Kaplan is thinking outside the brand. He shared two trends he’s keeping an eye on in today’s fragmented media landscape:

  • The Creator Economy: “Some of these people, overnight become these phenomenons, and brands are discovering how to work best in that ecosystem.”
  • Phygital Experience: “Physical and digital lines are blurry. People need to think about integrated strategy – it’s one in the same, a fluid experience. It’s all going to become more and more closely connected.”

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