It’s that time of year--for a new beginning, for New Year’s resolutions, which often aren’t kept, and predictions, which often aren’t accurate. Nonetheless SHOOT called upon a brave cross-section of advertising agency executives, chief creative officers, creative directors, heads of production and exec producers to offer their hopes, goals, projections and plans for 2022.
We also asked respondents to reflect on lessons learned from 2021 and how they might be applied to this year.
While predicting what’s in store for any year can be daunting--except for the truly clairvoyant--doing so for 2022 is even trickier given the uncertainty created by the pandemic. Thankfully vaccines have offered a measure of protection for many, preventing them from getting seriously ill and requiring hospitalization. Still, a cloud hovers over all of us as COVID infection rates at press time were escalating at an alarming rate, with hospitalizations also on the rise. The impact on our society, the economy, and the world at large figures to be substantive--with a ripple effect on business prospects, consumers’ state of mind, marketing, and the advertising industry.
How can marketers best connect with people? What messages will resonate? What will--and should--brands stand for during these challenging times? What stories need to be told by brands? And who should tell those stories?
On the latter score, respondent Amanda Abrams, group creative director at Team One, shared, “Advertising shouldn’t just be reflective of our society. It should be representative and inclusive of all our many points of view. So, we need to continue hiring, working with and growing storytellers–inside the agency and with our production partners–who help us shape more inclusive stories and experiences that connect with people on a deeper, human level. It’s not just about showing diversity. It’s about people really feeling seen, heard and represented. We have a lot of power in advertising to inform culture. It’s on us to always try to do better.
As for what we learned from and have experienced during the pandemic, Francesca Bonomi, creative director, BBH USA, observed, “Working from home for almost two years toughens you up, that’s for sure. Being a creative who finds inspiration in everyday life and thrives around people can be very challenging when your workday now consists of you and your laptop in your NY bedroom. You miss the fire that comes from a random conversation with a colleague over coffee, you miss war rooms where anything can happen until the very last second, and you miss late nights with the team working around the same table. In this new climate you learn how to be more diligent and disciplined, how to appreciate EVERY opinion because there could lie your inspiration, and how to multitask as you make a quick pasta while on a call. It’s been a windy road but in the past year I’ve learned more than ever before--how to step up as a woman in this industry and how to use my being a Russian-Italian copywriter as a superpower.”
Al Moseley, global chair and chief creative officer of 180, assessed that in 2021 “it seems the internet just got interesting again, with Crypto going mainstream, meme investing, NFTs and the Metaverse. We saw a deluge of brands creating NFTs, and the already crowded Metaverse is becoming as expensive to buy property as the Bay Area. The truth is we are barely in the foothills of the blockchain and Web 3.0, and just like A.I. a few years ago, this technology will become more and more commonplace until it is seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives.
“At 180,” continued Moseley, “we are looking at the application of these technologies to create meaningful ideas that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Sometimes purpose gets left behind in all the excitement and too often brands create lame badging exercises. We are much more interested in brands coupled with technology driving cultural change and behavior.”
For our Production Outlook Survey, SHOOT posed the following questions to folks in the agency community:
- How did your agency adjust/adapt to the marketplace in 2021 (new strategies, resources, technology, health/safety expertise) and what is the most relevant business and/or creative lesson you learned in 2021 and how will you apply it to 2022?
- How are the events of 2021--from the pandemic to the call for diversity, equity and inclusion--impacting the content you create and/or the way you work?
- What are your goals or New Year’s resolution, creatively speaking or from a business standpoint, for your agency or department in 2022?
- Gazing into your crystal ball, what do you envision for the advertising and/or entertainment industry--creatively speaking or from a business standpoint--in 2022?
- Tell us about one current commercial or branded entertainment project you are working on for early 2022.
|Will Benham||Executive Creative Director||Chemistry|
|Matt Bijarchi||Executive Producer||Blend|
|Francesca Bonomi||Creative Director||BBH USA|
|Alex Cohn||Head of Content||Zambezi & FIN Studios|
|Thiago Cruz||Chief Creative Officer||BBDO San Francisco|
|Sinan Dagli||Executive Creative Director||Butler Shine Stern & Partners (BSSP)|
|Nicole Ellingson||Group Creative Director||Quigley|
|Jeff Gillette||Executive Creative Director||Madwell|
|Rob Lambrechts||Chief Creative Officer||Pereira O’Dell|
|John McKelvey||Chief Creative Officer & Founder||Mirimar|
|Al Moseley||Global Chair and CCO||180|
|Laura Potucek||Group Creative Director||Grey Group Global Health & Wellness|
|Che-Na Stephenson||Group Creative Director||Venables Bell & Partners|
|Nik Traxler||Partner, Head of Production||The Distillery Project|
|Annie Tsikretsis||VP, Director of Production||Two by Four|