Marketing Roundup: The Culture-Defining Trends of 2022

by Frankie Pike

Google Trends released its annual Year in Search, and this is what you need to know as a marketer.

Americans are increasingly politically-aware

In the U.S., election results (significantly more so than in the 2018 midterms), sociopolitical conversations (think Andrew Tate and Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard), and international politics (like the war in Ukraine and Queen Elizabeth’s death) dominated searches. People are engaged in debates about government, ethics, and America at large.

Consumers are bringing these beliefs with them to the checkout line. According to Reuters, a quarter of Americans actively boycotted a product or brand they had previously spent money on in 2022.

“The numbers are big, because people have become more willing to come out and take a political stance in recent years,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst, in the Reuters article.

This means that brands must be just as politically aware—if not more so—than their audience.

Celebrities get less of a carte-blanche

Americans continue to closely follow celebrities, though debates around them are growing.

The most searched celebrities in 2022 were Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Amber Heard, Antonio Brown, and Kari Lake—all of whom have been mired in controversy this year.

When it comes to influencer campaigns and celebrity marketing, this is important to keep in mind. Consumers who see that celebrities endorse your brand may not just be associating their popularity with you—they are also likely associating their controversies.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the perils of this issue during The Try Guys controversy.

“Culture is the one thing that enables marketers to create greater engagement, relevance and grow their business… Brands never speak directly to consumers or customers. It’s always through the medium of culture.”

-Rob Fields, award-winning marketer in Forbes

According to Google, the phrase “can I change” was searched more this year than ever before, and we think that’s pretty hopeful.

Other news

  • Meta is beginning 2023 with $410+ million in EU privacy fines over behavioral ads.
  • Football still dominates TV. The NFL accounted for 82 of the 100 most-watched broadcasts in 2022 in the U.S.
  • 12 media executives made their 2023 predictions
  • eBay, Etsy, and other online marketplaces will be required to disclose business seller information as part of the recently passed INFORM Consumers Act.
  • We love it when cool people come together to grow the Austin arts scene. Our friends at Big Laugh Comedy are presenting comedy shows at Inn Cahoots beginning Jan. 11. Check out The Workout Comedy Show at The Studio (1221 E. 6th St.) and subscribe for email updates at BLComedy.com to hear about future events. 

Happy holidays and cheers to the New Year! Check back in January for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.