Page 27 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
P. 27

Television is shining white hot in the media agency playbook as adver- tisers scramble to get their brands airtime, pushing ad spend growth numbers into positive territory for the first time in years.
The restrictions and regulations of COVID-19 increased consumer time with television in all its forms, including free-to-air and the various catchup and BVOD.
Brands joined the flow, following a hungry audience — attracted by the content and the safety of familiarity — to leverage the power of moving pictures and sound.
Media agency booking numbers, after a long slide starting in 2008, have been growing since September 2020. TV’s total ad spend was 3.4% higher in January/February 2021 than in the same two months last year, according to Standard Media Index (SMI).
“Fortunately, TV has benefitted from record levels of January/ February ad spend from the food/produce/dairy, restaurants, commu- nications and in-home entertainment categories, while the insurance category’s TV investment for this period is at its highest point since 2018,” says Jane Ractliffe, SMI managing director, Australia and New Zealand.
Key product categories such as automotive brand, travel, live enter- tainment and movies/cinema — still reporting significant declines in ad spend — will add to momentum when they return.
The June quarter in 2020 was the trough, the lowest point of the economic fallout from the pandemic, for ad spend. When overall ad spend dropped a record 40.4% in May, television was down more than a third.
Since then there has been a steady improvement, apart from a blip in January caused by a shift in the Australian Open tennis to February.
And advertisers are shifting to a greater emphasis on brand.
Analysts at investment bank Jefferies: “The ad market is showing green shoots of growth, with television benefitting from advertisers shifting
Advertisers emerged from the pandemic chasing the power of the small screen, but how long will the television ad spend boom last?
  SAS Australia: Nick Cummins, Sabrina Frederick, Merrick Watts. | May/June 2021 27

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