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13 July 2021
Global advertising spend roars back
Media & communications budgetsMarketing budgetsDigital media planning & buying
The global ad market has rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 downturn last year, according to new quarterly investment forecasts in WARC Data’s latest Global Ad Trends report, which indicate that spend rose 23.6% to a total of US$157.6bn in Q2 2021 – a new high for a second quarter period and the strongest rise in over a decade.
That followed on from 12.5% growth in the first quarter; consequently, at US$311.5bn, global ad investment was 17.8% higher during the first six months of the year than during the same period in 2020.
This puts the market on course for 12.6% growth during 2021, almost double the 6.7% initially projected. Further growth, of 8.2%, is forecast for 2022, by when the global advertising market will be worth more than US$700bn.
COVID-19 accelerated a digital shift in marketing
2020 spend on offline media such as print, radio, TV and cinema fell by a fifth, or US$63bn, equating to the worst downturn for this sector in WARC’s 40 years of market monitoring.
Spend online, however, rose by 9.4% ($29.2bn) last year, buoyed by rising e-commerce (+27.4%), social media (+18.3%) and online video (+15.9%) investment.
Online media gained ten percentage points in budget allocation last year in the automotive and financial categories, a rate of increase that was double the pre-pandemic average.
Spend on e-commerce advertising is projected to rise 35.2% this year, mostly to the benefit of Amazon. Brand spend on search – where Google is the largest player – is set to rise by over a quarter (26.2%) this year, while online video spend is expected to be up by 17.7% and social media by 13.1% this year.
“Growth in online adspend has typically tracked some 20 percentage points ahead of offline media, but in the final quarter of 2020 this leapt to a remarkable 41 points – an absolute difference of $41bn” – James McDonald, Managing Editor, WARC Data.