Carat: A Year in Review

This is an important time to reflect on this past year and look ahead to what's next. We have all heard it before, "this will be the year that..."  

Well, 2022 was definitely a year that we soon won’t forget, as it drove innovative collaborations, partnerships and solutions to further brand’s EQ to connect with consumers. To reflect on the year further, we asked some of our team to candidly look back on the year and make some predictions for 2023. 

What did the industry do really well in this year?  

In 2022, we saw people take back their power – as employees, as consumers, as citizens – and the industry respond in channels like gaming and social consumers can now control their own media experience and create/share content that reflects their unique POV.  

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy 

Remain fairly agile, considering the macro circumstances. It’s been a very tumultuous year for the industry – between inflation, new opportunities (e.g. the influx of AVOD), topics to watch (e.g. the future of Twitter), etc., we’ve had to keep on our toes (something I think we’ve collectively gotten pretty good at over the last three years). 

  •   Alex Brezzi, Director, Strategy 

Where did the industry miss the mark this year?  

Rapid expansion of media didn’t follow consumer trends. We are starting to see fractures in highly anticipated sectors like crypto and the metaverse because the industry moved faster than consumer adoption. Understanding consumer behavior has never been more critical as we look to the future of media.  

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy 

What’s next for brands in building EQ?  

Brands who build EQ in the future will not only provide value in consumers’ lives, they will provide value in society at large. Media can be a growth engine for brands while also being a growth engine for good.  

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy 

In recessionary periods, people default their purchases into need-to-have vs. nice-to-have. In order to be necessary, it’s essential to be valuable, and that’s where building EQ comes in. Even if you’re a ‘nice-to-have’ (e.g. travel, retail, alcohol), there are elements of your proposition that people will deem essential, and it’s important to understand their needs, wants, and desires to cater to that.

  • Alex Brezzi, Director, Strategy 

Something that will change the game in 2023?  

Commerce will be everywhere! The already collapsed purchase funnel will continue to change as more media platforms incorporate commerce capabilities at a rapid pace (excited to see this on TikTok). 

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy

One jargon word you are looking to leave behind in 2022?

Agility. Let’s stop moving so fast and start moving more intentionally.

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy 

Why do you love this business? 

The challenge of meeting consumer needs in a constantly changing world. As we Design for People at Carat, we are constantly reimagining how we can meet consumer needs better than anyone else. This enables us to get creative, build new solutions, and push boundaries like never before. 

  • Joanna Hawkes, EVP, Strategy

The people. I have been a huge fan of dentsu’s continued flexibility regarding RTO and the ability to work remote, but I also love coming together in-person with purpose - for brainstorms, team dinners, client meetings, pitches, conferences. This year has been a year of great balance, and it’s been nice to reconnect with colleagues, some who I had never met before in person.

  • Alex Brezzi, Director, Strategy 


Get In Touch