FIRST HALF If there was one thing that defined marketing practices in both halves of 2022, it was not just jumping but positively leaping on the marketing bandwagon of the day. In the first half, we saw every company worth its salt churn out a statement on the war in Ukraine. No matter if the brand was still operating in Russia or not, it was still deeply sympathetic to the Ukrainian plight and wanted the whole of Instagram to know about it.
When marketing becomes so tokenistic, it’s no wonder there’s a search for the real and authentic. Beauty expressed this via ambassadors plucked from the ‘real world’, rather than Hollywood. Actresses are out, singers and sportspeople are in. Besides, any superstar worth their salt is busy launching their own range so they haven’t really got time to front other brands’ campaigns.
We had Ouai encourage us to be our authentic selves with a series of real-life faces, and L’Oreal’s It Cosmetics unveiled Bake-Off star Nadiya Hussein, while Dior drafted in rising tennis star Emma Raducanu.
And while we’re talking sports tie-ups, the sports sponsorship deals continued apace, starting with Remington and Manchester United in January, closely followed by Shiseido and FC Barcelona in February. So far, so formulaic but in a year of financial turmoil, it’s probably not the time to reinvent the wheel. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – or at least that must be Beiersdorf’s mantra; the Nivea owner reaffirmed its partnership with Liverpool FC and Real Madrid this year.
From real life to IRL – in a year where the majority finally broke free of Covid restrictions, it is hardly surprising that experiential marketing had a moment. From Kylie Jenner’s Glam Park in London to Dior’s river cruises in Paris, we saw a whole host of beauty events.
SECOND HALF But where the mega stars did get involved in beauty campaigns, it was strictly virtual. Yes, this was the year of the metaverse campaigns with Miley Cyrus appearing as an avatar for Gucci Beauty. Indeed, gaming and the metaverse became strong trends in the second half of the year – Maybelline even teamed up with Zynga to reach that lucrative Gen Z market – a smart move given the younger generations are abandoning social channels in favor of casual gaming.
And while social media campaigns appear to be on the wane, Gen Z darling TikTok is still pulling in the marketing monies; Superdrug ran a talent competition via the Chinese video-based platform and Johnson & Johnson has even responded to a viral trend with a new product launch in a reverse marketing move that leads us to ask, who is marketing to who?
WHAT’S NEXT? Aside from putting in their tuppence worth on major Western news stories, marketing departments the world over faced a considerable challenge in 2022 – how to sell higher prices to an already squeezed shopper? P&G has the answer – emphasize value but how long the beauty industry can persuade squeezed shoppers to part with even more of their hard-earned cash remains to be seen. Recent results have shown a distinct shift away from luxury to mass brands – how low will shoppers go?