Planning in 2023 – the case for reinvention


The year of the unknown where we experienced monthly, weekly, even daily shifts in leadership. Economic dips and dives and a hokey cokey approach to policy – in out in out …

With a world and country in constant change, marketing plans need to ebb and flow to reflect the now. The days of laying down a marketing plan and doggedly delivering against it through the year are gone.

We know from the latest consumer data that showing consumers you are relevant to their lives here and now is vital to win in the battle of share of wallet. At a time when consumers are assessing the brands that help them live a little, showing how your brand adds value over and over again is important.

The power of PR is that is that it can work symbiotically with the changing cultural and news agenda. Unhampered by media booking deadlines or advertising shoots, powered up PR can give brands a voice simply by responding to what’s happening right now. The agility and pace of PR allows plans to pivot and flex responding to consumer insight in almost real time.

Here are some of our favourite examples from this year:

  1. Airbnb for Ukraine

The short-term rental company hit the ground running in partnering with international and regional non-profits and governments to secure housing for up to 100,000 refugees. More than 28,000 people signed up through to offer temporary housing to others, while Airbnb founders have committed to match donations up to $10 million.

  1. Penguin Random House’s Unburnable Book

In response to schools censoring literature in the USA, publisher Penguin Random House launched an unburnable copy of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The book represents one of many works that has notoriously been the target of book bans. Wrapped in a black cinefoil jacket, the book features white heat shield foil pages, nickel wire binding, stainless steel bands, and high-temperature adhesives to protect the freedom of expression. The book was placed on Sotheby’s auction, with proceeds promised to PEN America to continue protecting free speech.

  1. Butterkist with Here for the Drama

Butterkist took advantage of the fact that more drama was coming from Downing street than Coronation Street with a digital van that poked fun with a ‘Here for the drama’ slogan. Complete with packs of sweet and salty popcorn being distributed to passers-by.

Our advice is to think about how you plan and rip up the rule book. Invest time in a strategy fuelled by the right insight; but keep it open when it comes to activation. Before you plan an activity stop, look and listen. Ask yourself, is this still the right solution for right now?  And finally, don’t let your budget planning suffocate the opportunity to reinvent and respond as 2023 progresses. Build in some flex to make sure you can be part of opportunities you won’t even be aware of yet.

Brands that survive will be those that are contemporaneous, make sure your marketing follows suit.