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H1 2023 is a wrap: Five trends from advertising industry events


Kirsty Langan

Published On:

July 6, 2023

Published In:

Industry Events & Webinars | PR & Communications | PR and marketing

H1 2023 is a wrap: Five trends from advertising industry events

Kirsty Langan, Associate Director and Head of Client Services, GingerMay


Cannes Lions, CES, AOP Crunch, and New Video Frontiers are key events the advertising industry looks to for insights into both current trends and what the future may hold. 

Here’s what we’ve seen and learned from these events in the first half of the year.

Making media sustainable

Less talk and more collective action around sustainability is the mantra for many organisations. During Cannes Lions, GARM and Ad Net Zero announced their guide to sustainable media, which pinpoints 10 areas where advertisers can take steps to address their carbon footprint. These include building cleaner supply chains, optimising assets for decarbonisation, and ensuring media planning and buying operations are sustainable. 

Industry net zero discussions have also highlighted the need for leaders who are passionate about driving progress and are willing to pursue multiple approaches to sustainability. Carbon offsets, for example, are an important part of achieving carbon neutrality, but they are not a silver bullet. Continually evaluating partners and supply chains, setting sustainability metrics for ad campaigns, and driving media efficiencies are further actions advertisers and agencies are exploring.

What’s more, industry leaders are now highlighting the need to tackle all three elements of the ESG challenges — not only environmental, but also social, and governance. While the focus on the environment is critical, discussions are being had around the need for further education on what’s needed to implement effective strategies for all three parts of ESG to ensure advertising creates positive change towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The meteoric rise of retail media 

There has been much discussion about retail media networks being the next big media category transforming advertising. In the UK, retailers such as Boots, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco are monetising their audiences and valuable first-party data to open up a new stream of revenue. This has helped to drive the rapid and significant growth in retail media investment, as brands search for cookieless approaches to reaching their target audiences and increasing sales. 

Retail media is exceptionally good at driving consumer action, but brands are demanding a clearer and comparable view of results across platforms. Standardising metrics for retail media emerged as a key point from CES 2023, with industry trade bodies such as the IAB looking to improve standardisation this year. 

The evolution of AI

Since the rollout of ChatGPT, the technology industry’s reaction to the rise of AI and generative AI in particular has ranged from cautious to evangelical. At advertising industry events in the first half of the year, the sentiment towards AI has been optimistic with experts looking to use its capabilities for testing ad creative, improving media buying, and streamlining day-to-day operations. Businesses are working to build a future where AI-powered solutions liberate professionals from repetitive tasks through automation, expand the industry’s creative horizons, and unlock next-level innovation. 

AI’s potential to transform campaigns and maximise media investment is phenomenal; to deploy it ethically, experts recommend that businesses using AI stay in touch with regulations and build on best practice.

Maximising the value of digital content

Shifting to the supply side of the ad industry, publishers are continuing to refine their approaches to audience growth. A recent AOP Crunch event explored how maximising the value of archive content can be an effective tactic for engaging new audiences. Publishers can expand their reach by repurposing archive content for other channels, including newsletters and social media posts, alongside finding ways to update this content and preserve its relevance. 

Additionally, ensuring search algorithms surface content is a challenge in today’s noisy digital landscape. Content optimisation continues to be highly important, as publishers must not only cater for the needs of human audiences, but also search algorithms to make content more likely to be surfaced. 

What’s up next on connected TV

With Connected TV (CTV) advertising set to experience +13.2% global growth in 2023, both advertisers and media owners are keen to seize the opportunities in this space. Earlier this year, Channel 4 reported record-breaking figures that demonstrated consumers’ appetite for on-demand premium video: its audiences streamed more than 5 billion minutes of content in April. 

The TV and video experience is now multi-platform and multi-screen, enabling brands to connect with hard-to-reach audiences and opening new avenues to fund content production. Discussions at New Video Frontiers 2023 highlighted how CTV’s privacy-centric and data-driven advertising capabilities are supporting brands with achieving their goals and attracting greater spend for media owners as a result.

It will be interesting to hear how these conversations around sustainability, retail media, AI, content, and CTV develop in the second half of 2023. 

To learn how GingerMay can help your business drive brand awareness and support new business at key industry events, reach out on 

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