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Data: M&E advertisers continue to spend despite recession

August 9, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, MediaRadar reports that it uncovered numerous categories that flourished while lockdowns were enforced. Streaming services, pet supplies, home furnishings, direct response companies and alcoholic beverages became a sweet spot for ad sales. Now, as the market shifts once again, MediaRadar is seeing a change in ad spend.

MediaRadar conducted an analysis based on a sampling of top categories that heavily invested in advertising during the pandemic but are now reevaluating their budgets due to the recent recession fears. MediaRadar reviewed the advertising of millions of companies covering ads running from January 1st 2021 through June 30,=th 2022. The advertising data used was from US national TV, magazines and newspapers from top DMAs in the US, as well as online channels that included websites, podcasts, Facebook, Instagram, Commerce Media and YouTube.

“Similar to the beginning of the pandemic, we are seeing a shift in advertising investment,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO & Co-Founder, MediaRadar. “Categories that thrived during the pandemic, like home fitness and streaming media are pulling back investment now as we see the return of travel advertising and promotion for box office blockbusters taking off.”

Key findings include:

  • Media & Entertainment
    • Media & Entertainment companies continue to spend advertising dollars in 2022. While investment in this category was driven by streaming companies in 2020-2021, we now see movie promotion emerging within this category. 
    • Over $1.2 billion was invested in ad sales to promote movies so far in 2022. This is up over 325 per cent YoY.
  • Travel
    • Although gas prices continue to be in influx, it hasn’t impacted the travel industry’s advertising desire. 
      • This category is up 83 per cent YoY to nearly $2.1 billion invested in ads during the first half of 2022.
      • Cruise lines invested over $363 million this year so far (up 250 per cent YoY). 
    • Airlines are up nearly 140 per cent to $190 million from January – June 2022. 
      • Delta, Southwest and United make up 71 per cent of airline ad spend. 
    • International and domestic tourism are both up considerably in 2022. 
      • Florida, California, South Carolina, Virginia and Michigan tourism have a combined spend of over $140 million during the first half of 2022. 
      • International tourism groups like Brazil Tourism have invested over $1.3 million so far in 2022 encouraging people to visit; while in 2021 there was no investment.
  • Education & Training
    • In person university ad spend was up 79 per ent YoY during the first half of 2022, while online education was also up 264 per cent YoY with a first half 2022 investment of $199 million. 
      • The data sampling shows ad investment in key areas like construction and trucking education courses up 13X and 11X respectively thus far in 2022. 
      • As the “great resignation” continues to unfold, other areas to watch are executive education ($37 million, +651 per cent YoY), business schools ($52 million, +33 per cent YoY), culinary schools ($17 million, +1545 per cent YoY), and the humanities offerings ($12 million, +1122 per cent YoY). 
  • Technology
    • Tech advertisers are increasing their ad buys in 2022 as well. From January – June 2022, MediaRadar saw spend in this category increase 34 per cent YoY to over $6.7 billion. 
    • As semiconductor chip shortages are coming to an end, mobile phones, tablets, and consumer electronics ($71 million, +284 per cent YoY)  all  increased ad spend. 
    • Mobile phones make up 10 per cent of this market and Alphabet, Apple and Samsung are all pushing new phones during the first half of 2022. Together they invested over $597 million to advertise their new phones. 
    • We also see a rise in business related software, financial ($196 million, +128 per cent YoY), advertising/marketing software ($127 million, +274 per cent YoY), and HR software ($95 million, 417 per cent YoY) all increased ad spend during the first half of 2022.

Companies Feeling The Impact of a Recession: 

  • Home Furnishings
    • Home Furnishings’ ad investment was $3.2 billion and the category was up 17 per cent YoY from January – June 2022. 
      • In June 2022, home furnishings leveled off and is down 1 per cent YoY in comparison to June of last year.
  • Financial and Real Estate
    • This category experienced high demand during the pandemic as people fled cities and bought homes embracing the “work from home” change From January – June 2022, over $6.5 billion invested in ads from financial & real estate advertisers. This is up 15 per cent YoY. 
    • However, with home loan interest rates rising, low housing inventory, and people migrating back to the cities – this category experienced a 15 per cent YoY decline in June YoY. 

Categories Cutting Ad Spend Significantly:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
    • Brands invested $724 million into advertising during the first half of 2022 – down 21 per cent YoY from the same period last year. 
    • MediaRadar’s sample data shows alcohol subscription companies are down 96 per cent YoY; this is mostly driven by Winc, who reduced ad investment for their wine boxes by 98 per cent YoY during the first half of 2022. Wine Importers have also reduced ad spend by 65 per cent YoY to $499K from January – June.
    • Key alcohol holding company, Anheuser-Busch’s ad spend was 211X more during the first half of 2021.
  • Restaurant and Bars
    • This category is down 25 per cent to $1.6 billion so far in 2022. 
    • From January – June $2 billion was spent on advertising within this category; this is down 11 per cent from last year. Last year, the lack of people going out to eat encouraged brands to explore alternative advertising ideas, like QR codes. 
    • Desserts & sweets advertisers decreased their ad investment by 81 per cent YoY. The Milk Bar, for example, is down 99 per cent YoY and Krispy Kreme is down 76 per cent YoY.
  • Pets and Pet Supplies 
    • During the pandemic, many people bought pets and pet supplies. The initial costs of pet ownership: shots, crates, beds, etc. were incurred last year. Based on that, data showing the pet market is down 8 per cent YoY so far this year isn’t a surprise.
    • When diving into June 2022, data shows this category is down 7 per cent YoY to $69.2 million. We also see that the animal health category is down 2 per cent YoY in June 2022

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