Can advertising drive incremental results during high inflation? A cross-category analysis

Using natural experiment frameworks and publicly available data, NBCUniversal Media wanted to test one idea popularized at the height of pandemic-related supply chain problems: does advertising drive incremental results during record high inflation?

From people’s everyday lives to academic theory, COVID-19 continues to stump everyone equally as we establish a new normal. Using natural experiment frameworks and publicly available data, we wanted to test one theory in particular: does advertising drive incremental results in periods of inflation? History said yes, but the pandemic upended a lot of historical theories.

Starting in March 2020, the media began reporting mass shortages of necessary goods. While many scarcities were short lived, the impact of turning an entire economy off and on created a scenario most (if not all) marketers hadn’t faced on this scale since the...

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