IPG Mediabrands’ MAGNA and IPG Media Lab Used Social Listening, Proprietary Advertising Research and Media Analysis to Compile First, Annual Gauge

NEW YORK, NY — (Jan. 20, 2022) — MAGNA and IPG Media Lab are joining forces to create a technology heat index that ranks how rapidly innovations are accelerating through business and the general public. The inaugural Innovation Velocity Gauge plots 27 technology-driven systems, ranging from the overarching issue of consumer privacy to highly specific frameworks such as blockchain, based on their future impact.
Taking the lead on the Innovation Velocity Gauge is cross-screen measurement, indicating the increasingly complex pathways of the media mix, Nielsen losing accreditation for its national and local TV metrics, and the subsequent burst of activity around finding an accurate and sustainable solution. Blockchain, spurred by cryptocurrencies and NFTs, was the second fastest-moving innovation on the gauge, followed by visual search and machine learning, spurred by programmatic advertising volume increasing by 35% in 2021, per MAGNA’s own estimates.
Digital health brings up the rear of the Innovation Velocity Gauge, reflecting the familiarity of telehealth platforms, followed by over-the-top (OTT) and wearables, which have also passed their initial growth spurts.
MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, UM’s innovation division, used social listening, news analysis and proprietary ad-spend data to create the Innovation Velocity Gauge, which will be compiled annually. The gauge will be used as a tool for brands to assess which technologies are rapidly scaling and how they could affect their businesses and to prioritize relevant actions.
“Over the last two years, digital transformation has become a catchall to encapsulate how technological innovation is permeating business, advertising, and daily life,” said Brian Hughes, EVP, Managing Director, Audience Intelligence & Strategy, MAGNA. “The Lab has been tracking these territories for a while, but we teamed up to put some additional data behind it, measure how fast we feel these innovations are moving and to spur conversations about where brand marketers should focus next.”
The pace of digital innovation has become so frenzied, some of 2021’s hottest tech trends, the metaverse and social commerce, skirt the top 10. The metaverse, the tenth hottest innovation on the gauge, became a buzzword of 2021 following Facebook’s corporate rebranding, but is still primed for great innovation and activation in 2022, according to Richard Yao, Manager, Strategy & Content, at IPG Media Lab.
“The pandemic accelerated the need for a metaverse: a digital third place that provides a fundamentally different experience from the apps and services used for work, while also allowing connections to socially distant family and friends,” said Yao. “Now, major tech players like Meta and Microsoft are joining the gaming companies, such as Roblox and Fortnite, in incubating the so-called next iteration of the internet.”
Another high-flier, social commerce, landed at No. 11, even though the ranks of social shoppers expanded by 12.9% during 2021, encompassing 90.4 million people, according to eMarketer. Illustrating the pace of innovation, social commerce grew a phenomenal 25.5% in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.
“Considering all the new shoppable features introduced by Snapchat, TikTok and others in 2021, social commerce will remain an important market innovator in 2022,” said Hughes. “But innovation marches on, and other technologies exhibited greater velocity.”

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Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences. Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change. Our expertise, resources and consulting services also help to inform the learnings, strategies and business outcomes of all Interpublic agencies. For more information, please visit https://ipglab.com/.