Celebrity Endorsement Market Trends Today’s Office

‘Snoop Dogg syndrome,’ walking the walk & debating FLoC: making sense of US market trends

By Eleanor Lim, Event Producer

October 19, 2021 | 5 min read

The Global View is a monthly briefing from The Drum’s editors and top journalists, breaking down trends and developments in markets around the world. This month, US editor Kenneth Hein and reporter Kendra Clark join editor Cameron Clarke for an exclusive rundown of what’s happening in the US market at the moment.


Funny, celebrity-filled ads are more popular than ever as brands try to reach fatigued audiences

The industry is being shaped by two opposing forces. “Brands want to make up for lost time, for all the sales that didn’t happen during lockdown, so they’re funneling money into adland,” explains Hein. “Last year we saw so many cost-cutting measures, furloughs and layoffs that now there is now a race to staff back up.”

But as marketers rejoice, emerging from a time like no other, they are having to transform their offering – and fast. “Everything has shifted to digital,” he adds. Agencies need people who are experts in gaming, social and new platforms.

Nonetheless, marketers are adapting to a life shaped by the pandemic, as evidenced by an outpouring of refreshingly honest campaigns and dynamic, funny ads. “Everyone said we had to be in the same room to be creative, to whiteboard together, to have drinks,” says Hein. “But we’re not doing that, and the ads are as great as ever.”

And in this wave of great ads, what trends have the team noticed? “There has been a real focus on humor,” observes Clark. “Consumers have pandemic fatigue, and they want brands to address them in a joyful, hopeful way.”

Global Editorial Briefing from The Drum on Vimeo.

From Eos Shave Cream’s musical spot about the trials of shaving ‘down there’ to UberEats’s star-studded, fashion-forward campaign, brands are speaking a language of fun. Hein also notes what he calls ‘Snoop Dogg syndrome.’ “Brands want to stand out, and they think celebrities are the answer.”

The other side of this coin is a rising expectation from consumers with regard to brand purpose. “It’s been a trend for a while, but now more than ever consumers demand authenticity,” says Clark. “Brands know they need to walk the walk.” She cites the Sephora campaign ‘Black beauty is beauty,’ which relates mainstream beauty trends to their Black roots.

“They know they can’t just talk the talk,” she adds, explaining that it is being backed up by an initiative to stock Sephora’s shops with 15% more Black-owned beauty brands. “And that’s just one example of this trend of marrying powerful creative with impactful messages regarding sustainability or diversity and inclusion.”

Beyond creative, concerns about data and privacy continue to shape the news. Beyond the death of the cookie (which approaches more rapidly than most marketers can prepare for), the big tech players are leading the charge on data and privacy. “It’s all eyes on Apple at the moment as it prepares to roll out iOS 15,” notes Clark.

The new update will include new data and privacy updates, giving users more insight into which apps are using their information, which might make things more complicated for marketers. “There’s a lot happening in the regulatory space in the US and around the world. Consumers are demanding more from legislators as well as from corporations,” she adds, “and these changes are shifting the paradigm to a more consent-based model.”

Google is also rolling out its new FloC model, which seeks to help brands address consumers in groups, without relying on the personal information needed for more granular advertising. “While it hasn’t been fully rolled out, it’s already creating a lot of debate!”

The full video is available above for members of The Drum Plus. Don’t miss analysis of The Great Reshuffle (or ‘the big quit,’ if your glass is half empty), life in the metaverse and NFTs, the changing world of B2B marketing and more.

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