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What medium was the biggest winner in 2022?

What medium was the biggest winner in 2022?
2022 in Review

Between big bounce backs from cinema and out-of-home, continued developments in CTV and streaming, and new research showing the continued reliability of TV, many mediums had big years in 2022.

The Media Leader asked agency execs and industry leaders what medium had the best year in 2022. Here’s how they responded:


The media agency exec

Kelly Parker, CEO, Wavemaker UK

“There are some obvious choices here – the continuing resurgence of cinema, the increasing digitisation of outdoor, the thriving AV landscape and obviously retail media, which has become super fashionable.

“But I think we need to go beyond medium to find the real winner. The reason all these channels have had so much success is because they are big, public and trusted at a time when so much in our lives is divisive.

“I believe people (and brands; Wavemaker’s work to launch Paramount+ used this kind of thinking) seek shared experiences. The last few years have been rough for all of us so mediums that bring people together and create unifying experiences have been the winners for me in 2022. And they’ll continue to do so in 2023.”

The attention expert

Mike Follett, MD, Lumen Research

“TV — the astonishing price inflation in TV is the result of a ‘flight to (attention) quality’ by savvy advertisers.

“2022 was the year when brands and agencies finally cottoned on to the fact that not all impressions are created equal: adding a social ad will not replace a lost TV impression. And data from the new TVision/Lumen panel in the UK gave them the facts and figures to justify this intuition.”

The out-of-home exec

Tim Bleakley, CEO, Ocean Outdoor

“Immersive video. Be it on streaming channels, within rich gaming environments or delivered as part of clever experiential activations which bridge the physical and virtual realms and allow for deeper audience participation.

“Instead of medium, channel or touchpoint, we need to think about seamless encounters and the emotional responses they evoke. Emerging 3D formats like DeepScreen™ and augmented reality (AR) sit at the centre of such experiences, blurring the lines between physical, digital and virtual branded activations. And peaks in emotional response drives memory encoding, key for any communication because memory encoding correlates with subsequent purchase behaviour.”

The start-up founder

Chris Kenna, CEO North America and global chairman, Brand Advance

“The biggest winner in my eyes this year has been Minority Owned and Operated Media. This is media owned (51% or more) by underrepresented communities. We have seen an increased spend of around 300%+ in 2022 and this is again due to rise by a further 150% in 2023.

“To put some actual numbers behind this, from a Brand Advance Group perspective we saw spending of around $3m in 2021, and this has jumped to around $13m in 2022 and will hit around $26m+ in 2023. This does not include Creative and Influencers across the same communities.

“This is due to brands understanding the opportunities both across Europe and the US to reach deep into underrepresented consumer spend and invest within this medium with fantastic ROI. Many brands and agencies are leading the way and I will be the first to shout about their efforts and wins throughout 2023, such as our showcasing of the ‘real world’ community effects of the spend by Meta & Publicis across minority-owned publishers at the DEI Brand Safety Summit NYC in November.

“I wake up excited everyday with how what once seemed a ‘pipe dream’ of equal spend and consideration given to all potential consumers no matter the media they consume is now becoming a reality.”

The cinema exec

Karen Stacey, CEO, Digital Cinema Media

“You can call me biased, but for me Cinema bounced back like no other in 2022. The last 12 months have been a true test and the medium has thrived, returning to pre-pandemic revenue levels. We proved the integral role it plays as part of an AV mix, as the ‘Attention Leader’, and advertisers certainly embraced this – over 150 traditional cinema spenders returned to the medium in the first six months alone, and new advertisers who established themselves during lockdowns with AV campaigns on TV have also gotten involved.

“While the film slate is still stabilising itself, cinema admissions continue to steadily recover. Three titles – Top Gun: Maverick, Spiderman: No Way Home and No Time To Die – have become three of the highest grossing films ever! There is an appetite for film and, as we go into 2023, these numbers will continue to accelerate with the incredible film slate on offer and a broader diversity of films being delivered in cinemas. Especially as cinema also remains an affordable form of escapism and social activity during a recession.”

The streaming expert

Mike Shaw, director of international ad sales, Roku

“CTV — the announcements from Netflix and Disney+ to introduce ad tiers demonstrates that the streaming TV industry remains agile and resilient.

“For brands that are ready to push beyond digital, CTV is where the best of advertising performance and branding can be achieved. CTV is also democratising the advertising space for SMEs through improved targeting and measurement which offers brands a more cost-effective option to advertise on TV.

“For brands, it’s about telling their story on the big screen. For viewers it’s about more options and for less. For media buyers, it’s about having more control throughout the process. CTV creates a better TV experience for everyone.”

The ethical agency head

Jake Dubbins, co-founder of the Conscious Advertising Network and managing director of Media Bounty

“I would have to say that OOH was the biggest winner of 2022. Not only did it see double digit growth, the creativity now being seen makes it one of the most exciting media out there.

“There was stand out work from VCCP with Muller Corner, Dark Horses’ excellent Once Upon a Time in Wrexham, Elvie’s #leakshappen and yet more great executions from the timeless ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ creative platform.

“We also had great success with OOH for our work with Men’s Minds Matter. Called ‘the most poignant campaign of the year’ by awards judges the work focused on the last text received by a family member or a friend by a man that took his own life. It was an honour for the team to work with the families to raise awareness of the help that is out there, even if people are feeling at rock bottom.”

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