Report: Two-speed ad recovery underway

The latest numbers reveal the recovery in advertising spend is uneven across all markets

Marketing concept: Ads on digital background

Marketing concept: pixelated words Ads on digital background, 3d render.

advert, advertise, advertisement, advertising, analysis, background, blue, brand, business, campaign, communication, community, company, computer, concept, creative, creativity, customer, data, design, digital, display, idea, information, internet, market, media, money, monitor, offer, online, dreamstime

dreamstime_37553409
Marketing concept: Ads on digital background Marketing concept: pixelated words Ads on digital background, 3d render. advert, advertise, advertisement, advertising, analysis, background, blue, brand, business, campaign, communication, community, company, computer, concept, creative, creativity, customer, data, design, digital, display, idea, information, internet, market, media, money, monitor, offer, online, dreamstime dreamstime_37553409

A two-speed recovery from the COVID advertising downturn is underway in the local ad market, with advertisers showing clear preferences for media less impacted by the pandemic, according to the latest Standard Media Index (SMI) report.

The agency market continued to recover from the COVID pandemic, reporting a reduced year-on-year decline of 2.6 per cent to $557.9 million as the start of a two-speed recovery begins to emerge. Television returned as the largest media after temporarily losing that title to digital in January as it delivered by far the strongest growth with total bookings up 8.5 per cent. This was led by Metropolitan TV (+12 per cent), which was buoyed by the delayed Australian Open broadcast.

Digital ad spend grew just 1.2 per cent in February, revealing uneven demand with strong growth in ad spend to social media (+12.3 per cent) and video sites (+12.7 per cent). However, the value of ad spend in the largest digital sector of search fell by 8.4 per cent.

SMI AU/NZ MD, Jane Ractliffe, said advertising trends would best be described as patchy given the varying figures across the key digital and outdoor media. “Key outdoor sectors such as aviation and transit continue to be affected by COVID given fears of travel disruption, while in the digital media there was also a large decline in spending onto comparison websites as well as search,” she said.

Ractliffe also said the slowdown in digital’s growth was surprising given it has reported double-digit gains for the past four months.

"But this month we’ve seen a large decline in finance-related spending across the digital media, while other key categories such as restaurants and travel also dented overall digital demand with reduced ad spending," she said.

On the positive side in digital ad spent, there has been an uptick in spending on premium content sites, with the total up 7 per cent in February as companies such as NEC, News Corp, Spotify, ViacomCBS and eBay saw strong growth in the value of their directly sold inventory.

Looking ahead, Ractliffe said this should be the last month of lower ad demand as SMI’s Forward Pacings data shows the entire market will be reporting growth from March onwards given the depths of decline experienced last year. 

"SMI recorded the largest declines in history in April and May 2020 so the prior year comparisons are very easy and we’re expecting very strong double digit advertising market growth for all media in those months," she said.

"The only question will be where advertisers allocate their increased ad spend across the media, so subscribers to our Forward Pacings data will have a key competitive advantage as they get an early view of product category ad spend and will be able to direct their sales teams to the categories showing the strongest demand."

Ractliffe also confirmed that with today’s data release SMI has finished the process of adding the IPG Mediabrands data back into its Australian database.

"We are thrilled to have included Mediabrands as it gives all media stakeholders even more confidence in the SMI data as we continue to track the market’s COVID recovery," she said.

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in