SMI figures show ad spend back to pre-COVID levels

Latest Standard Media Index figures for May show Australia has had its fourth consecutive month of ad spend growth, and the highest May results in five years

It’s been another month of strong advertising gains, with SMI reporting total Australian ad spend for the month of May soaring over 70 per cent year-on-year and exceeding pre-Covid results for the first time since the crisis began.

The latest monthly Standard Media Index (SMI) report found Australia’s total ad spend in May was up 70.8 per cent compared to last May’s results, reaching $715 million (May 2020: $418m). This also reflected a 4.5 per cent lift, or $30.7m, on May 2019 ad spend, normalised to account for the Federal election that occurred in that 2019 timeframe.

It’s also the highest May total since 2016. What’s more, it represents the fourth consecutive month of increased advertising spend in 2021 and shows ad spend back at pre-Covid levels.

SMI A/NZ managing director, Jane Ractliffe, said all major media reported growth in May, with TV and digital both back to pre-Covid levels.

“It’s really quite a remarkable turnaround given the disastrous results reported at this time last year,” she said. “This level of growth is clearly unprecedented and it’s safe to say that none of us will ever see such extraordinary levels of growth again.”

SMI data showed about $300 million in extra media investment coming into the market compared to May last year. And Ractcliffe expected stronger ad demand to shine through June 2021 results, with SMI’s forward pacing data showing value to be already 36.4 per cent above that reported in June 2021.

SMI resultsCredit: SMI
SMI results


The biggest gains in May were in the out-of-home (OOH) category, which had been significantly impacted by initial Covid lockdowns. SMI figures showed OOH had a 198 per cent year-on-year increase in May compared to the same time last year. Within this figure, programmatic outdoor broke through the $1 million/month revenue mark for the first time.

As to categories pushing ad spend forward, it was retail, food/produce/dairy, insurance and restaurant leading the way in May, with all growing budgets beyond May 2020 levels. Ractliffe also highlighted total travel bookings in May lifted $31.3m compared to the same month last year.

Other highlights from the latest SMI figures include the emergence of the social media sector as digital’s second largest for the first time in May.

Overall, stronger May results pushed Australian ad spend for the 2021 calendar year up 20.1 per cent on last year, while the financial year-to-date results have now also turned positive, up 2.9 per cent.

The current question is whether the latest Sydney lockdown may impact final figures for FY21. Ractliffe told CMO initial conversations suggested there would not be too much of an impact, with the exception possibly being in outdoor.

“The thinking seems to be we’ve now learned how to manage these events given all the Melbourne lockdowns so it’s not quite the shock it used to be,” she added. "There’s also the sense that this lockdown is likely to be the last given the growing level of vaccinations and most businesses are planning for growth.’’

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
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Whose responsibility is it to set the ground rules for agency collaboration?

It’s not that your agencies don’t have your best interests at heart – most of them do. But the only way to ensure they’re 100 per cent focused on your business and not growing theirs by scope creep is by setting the guard rails for healthy agency collaboration.

Andrew Pascoe

Head of planning, Hatched

Sign in