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2022 Trends - Even the Terms Are Different!

Each year, Wunderman Thompson (the ‘old’ J. Walter Thompson organization) publishes a list of trends that will impact us for the year as well as for the foreseeable future.  This year’s list has a couple of new categories (there are always 10 categories with 10 trends in each) and terms that ‘don’t spell check’!  Here are the categories - and a couple of the trends that you might find of interest. 


  • Unbounded optimism:  brands are projecting a progressive and positive outlook for 2022, encouraging playfulness and creativity.  (We really need this today!)
  • Renewed intimacy:  we are tired of being isolated . . . . . and venues are prepared to have you back! 

2.Tech & Innovation

  • Finite social networks:  social networks that cap either how many users there are OR how many life-time posts you can make.

3.Travel & Hospitality

  •  Microadventures:  tied to renewed intimacy (above), we are tired of being home.  Local  adventures are a short-term yet satisfying fix.  

4.Brands & Marketing

  • New company manifestos:  companies are updating their messaging to attract new       customers and/or employees.   

5.Food & Drink  

  • Foraged cocktails:  farm to table for food; why not expand the trend to cocktails?   
  • Haute veganism:  vegan dining is moving to fine dining (from earthy-crunchy). 


  • New beauty labels:  mainline companies are being more transparent about their practices (especially environmentally). 

7.Retail & Commerce (the ‘& Commerce’ is new for 2022)  

  • Private domains:  chat-commerce (or c-commerce) is becoming the norm when interacting with retail websites. 
  • NFT marketplaces:  non-fungible tokens that can be used in the metaverse. 

8.Luxury (it’s back as a category in 2022!)

  • Long recovery spas:  it is no longer a spa day.  Spas are offering longer-term stays, especially when the guest is focused on recovery from long-COVID. 


  • Prescription gaming:  doctors are prescribing (video) games and virtual reality to treat conditions including ADHD, depression and post-traumatic stress. 
  • Emotional health:  public spaces for mental healthy and emotional well-being are popping up.   

10.Work (the category is back - replacing Finance which was NEW for 2020 which replaced the Lifestyle category)

  • Chief impact officers:  a new ‘C-suite’ role designed to showcase a brand’s community and societal impact. 
  • The nomad economy:  businesses are popping up to support the growing number of remote workers who can be anywhere (globally). 

See to get the details. 

The employers linked to each of these categories are growing - and will continue to do so.  (We look forward to doing search work in one or more of these areas!)