Overlooked and overhyped: Our 2022 reader survey results

Your thoughts on 2022 marketing trends like the metaverse, direct mail’s comeback, BeReal, organic marketing on TikTok, and more.
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Morning Brew

· 4 min read

We know you just can’t bring yourself to log off for the holidays before seeing the results of our (third annual) reader survey on 2022’s overlooked and overhyped trends. So let’s get into it.

Meta on my mind

This week, Meta reaffirmed its commitment to the metaverse. In a blog post, its CTO said the company will continue allocating 20% of its costs to Reality Labs, the division dedicated to its metaverse ambitions.

Marketers don’t seem as bullish, though. At least the ones who read our newsletter. According to our survey, which more than 450 of you answered, 50% selected the metaverse as the year’s most overhyped trend out of 12 options. Among the reasons shared:

  • “Companies still struggle with getting their employees to master Teams, Zoom and Slack. The metaverse is going to be a long way off.”
  • “It’s too costly, no one really knows what to do with it yet, and consumers haven’t adopted it.”
  • “Not all brands can live in the metaverse. Just because it’s new and shiny doesn’t mean it’s a perfect fit for all...or even most.”

Zoom out: Like we recently wrote, it seems like a lot of brands aren’t sure what to do in the metaverse quite yet or how to approach it. “The headwinds are where you have these terms—metaverse, crypto, Web3—they’ve all been kind of blended together. And that has caused confusion and some problems,” Jeremy Cohen, Publicis Groupe’s SVP and head of Web3 investment, told us.

Sign, sealed, delivered

On the other hand, marketers do seem excited about something that’s a little less technological: direct mail. About one-quarter of respondents chose direct mail’s comeback as this year’s most overlooked marketing trend, handing it the most votes. Only 2% described it as overhyped.

Rewind: This summer, Polly Wong, president of Belardi Wong, an agency that specializes in direct-mail marketing, told us it would help more than 80 brands work on their first direct-mail campaigns this year.

Here’s what you said:

  • “Direct mail is marketing gone full circle. Because it’s not sexy like some of the other trends, I feel it gets overlooked.”
  • “With the inundation of digital marketing, recipients are overlooking the common and finding interest in uncommon practices.”
  • “I think people feel direct mail is a thing of the past, but it still seems to be one of the best ways to actually drive transactions.”

Mixed results

Otherwise, there didn’t seem to be much of a consensus, especially when it came to social trends.

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For instance, while 12% said organic marketing on TikTok is the year’s most overhyped trend, 14% chose it as the year’s most overlooked. But roughly a quarter of you described it as the trend you think will be most important next year. 🤔

Looking back: Small businesses like Nice Shirt. Thanks! and Sani told us earlier this year about how they found organic success on TikTok. Ritika Shamdasani, co-founder of Sani, told us at the time that TikTok accounted for about 50% of the brand’s organic revenue.

  • Why it’s overlooked: “I think executives are quick to spend a bunch of money on the newest social media advertising avenue, but a well-crafted TikTok platform can produce even more results than a sponsored ad. But I don’t think all companies want to put in the time and effort to try organic efforts. They want results fast.”
  • Why it’s overhyped: “The hype fails to realize that while this may work for brands targeting younger generations, it doesn’t take into account the older generations.”

Marketers also seem torn on the value of BeReal; while 10% said that brands on BeReal was 2022’s most overhyped trend, another 10% also agreed that it was the most overlooked.

“I think BeReal is the next big social platform and if brands can make it work this early on, then that is huge since it doesn’t have traditional features for advertising,” one respondent said, while another said they “don’t see realistic growth happening because of BeReal. It seems people join because they want to escape consumerism, not have more of it.”

Best of the rest

Nearly a quarter of respondents said that ad-supported streaming tiers will be next year’s most important trend. On the whole, several of the trends we listed didn’t seem to spur much of a reaction one way or the other. Many of the 2022 trends we listed—like fractional CMOs, retail media networks, and in-game advertising—received fewer than 10% of votes on both sides (overlooked, overhyped).

And which ones did we miss? Below are some of the 2022 trends you wrote in.


  • Community building
  • QR codes on TV ads
  • Interesting brand-brand collabs


  • NFTs
  • Influencer marketing
  • Nostalgia marketing
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