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A Look Into the 2022 Advertising Crystal Ball

It’s finally the last month of the year, and you know what that means — it’s prediction season! Advertisers and marketers love to predict the future (even if they’re not always right.) As we prepare to welcome 2022, here are some predictions for the year ahead.

1) A Return to the Good Old Days

According to new forecast data from Magna, US ad spending will surge by 23% in 2021 to $278 billion, and this growth continues in 2022 with an additional 12% increase. Ad spend should surpass $300 billion for the first time. This optimistic forecast can thank the return of nearly all major industries to pre-COVID marketing investment levels. That is, of course, if supply constraints affecting multiple industries don’t worsen and COVID constrictions continue to ease. The reason 2022 is suspected to have such growth in ad spend is thanks to major events like the Winter Olympics and the 2022 midterms, which are anticipated to bring in $700 million and nearly $6 billion in ad spending respectively.

2) A Big Year for Local Broadcast TV

What else can we thank the 2022 midterms for? A great year ahead for the local TV broadcast industry. BIA Advisory Services estimates the local broadcast TV industry in 2022 will generate $21 billion in advertising revenue, with $19.3 billion in over-the-air (OTA) revenue and $1.7 billion in digital. The most significant factor by far for this forecast is the strong performance political advertising is expected to have for a large portion of 2022 leading up to the midterms. The combined forecasted local TV spend (OTA + Digital + OTT) for political ads is $3.4 billion, so if you’re planning on utilizing local broadcast TV next year, we recommend you buy well ahead of time.

3) Look Out For OOH

Easing pandemic-era restrictions eased in 2021, did wonders for out-of-home’s prospects. Magna forecasts OOH will finish 2021 with a 16% increase in ad spend, making it the second fastest-growing channel behind digital media, which had an increase of 36%. In 2022, OOH’s strong showing is expected to continue with a growth of 11% for OOH.

4) Mobile First

Another bit of insight from BIA Advisory Services: mobile advertising is expected to claim the largest share of local ad spending in 2022, unseating direct mail from its long-held top spot. Overall, the local US ad market is expected to reach $161.5 billion, a 10.1% year-over-year increase. Of that total $34 billion (21%) is forecasted to go to mobile ads, while $33.4 billion (20.7%) will go to direct mail.

Our Prediction for 2022

What does The Ward Group predict for 2022? We’ve been at this long enough to know that all of the forecasts, predictions, and projections about an upcoming year should be taken with a grain of salt. You never know when a major event will cause you to alter your expectations. However, there are a few things we can anticipate with near certainty — like spending another amazing year helping clients accomplish their marketing goals through strategic media planning, smart media buying, and thoughtful media stewardship. If that’s how our 2022 shapes up, then we consider ourselves lucky.

If you aren’t quite sure how next year will look for you and your advertising strategy, reach out to The Ward Group today! It’s never too late to start building your media plan.

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