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  • Rachel Chan & Geordan Bates


Yesterday we had the pleasure of tuning in to see Mark Ritson share his Top 10 Marketing Moments of 2022.

From the brand exodus in Russia to Elon’s attempts at pricing – it was 90 minutes jam packed with memorable moments (as well as some we’re almost certain the industry would prefer to forget).

Here, we give you a few of our highlights from Mark’s annual list to send you on your way as we head into the Christmas break – enjoy!

#1. Brewdog AND Empty Salience

This one was a bold move!

It started with Brewdog harnessing the tension point that, while football is meant for everyone, in Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, flogging is an acceptable form of punishment, and thousands of workers died building the stadium.

This insight ultimately led to the brewer becoming the ‘Anti-Sponsor of The World F*Cup.’ However, besides advertising, it wasn’t overly clear what Brewdog were doing to support this stance. Which raises the question of whether it matters in the first place…

As Ritson said “salience is 75% of the job”… and this has never been truer than the way in which Brewdog chose to activate this initiative with disruptive, eye catching creative in broad reach channels.

That said, it is interesting to note that Brewdog was not immune to allegations of hypocrisy over the campaign.

World Cup games were still shown in Brewdog pubs, the product was still exported to Qatar and served during the games, and Brewdog had their own issues with staff satisfaction. However, despite this, Brewdog leant on salience and delivered an overall successful campaign.

You should absolutely do a Google search of their outdoor billboards.

#2 TikTokification

It took TikTok 5 years to reach 1 billion users.

In comparison, it took Facebook 8.6 years, WhatsApp 7 years, and Instagram 7.7 years.

The platform's growth has not gone unnoticed by these other brands, and with only a limited amount of screen time per consumer each day, the response from competitors has been to copy many of TikTok’s features. Short form, full screen mobile video on an endless feed has made its way onto virtually all key social media platforms.

In the words of Roger Martin, this is creating a commercial bloodbath, as all competitors are effectively doing the same thing.

So, what can we take from this?

Social media entered the digital landscape as a disruptor, changing the way we interact and communicate with others. However, being a good disruptor does not mean that one is good at defending against disruption: i.e. major social media networks simply copying features of TikTok. In fact, homogeneity ultimately acts as a detractor.

Case in point; a recent campaign led by the Kardashians that ran with the tagline “Make Instagram, Instagram again. (stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends) Sincerely, Everyone.” – so relatable.

#3 The Patagonia Giveaway

Yvon Chouinard who founded Patagonia in 1973 gave away almost all the private stock in the company this year to a non-profit that will use the proceeds to fight climate change (what a legend).

The company is so dedicated to delivering against its purpose that during Black Friday, as an example, they clearly stated “Do not buy this jacket” in their communications to make people more thoughtful about their purchases. This was rooted in the belief that everything the company makes takes something from the planet that can’t be given back.

But purpose costs. Chouinard paid $17.5 million USD in gift tax for the donation. As Ritson said of brand purpose, “it’s not worth something until it costs you something.”

#4 Double Stagflation Challenge

The top marketing moment of 2022 is one that we are currently grappling with - and likely to continue to into the new year: achieving excess share of voice (ESOV) during a recession.

The best thing a brand can do during a recession, Ritson argues, is to maintain ad spend.

While companies in any given category will typically pull back their spend during times of economic hardship, this moment can present a key opportunity to build ESOV and grow market share.

This has been seen across numerous periods of recession in recent history: the 1920s, 1970s, 1990s, and GFC. In short, those brands that maintained spend were able to achieve significant levels of growth following a return to economic stability, particularly when compared to competitors.


Thanks for coming! If you found this of interest, please like, share or, better still, stay up to date with our latest perspectives by following us on LinkedIn:

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