Editor’s Note: Here are two related articles on adverting during this crisis. First, a report on the enormous change in TV ad categories from February 24 to April 6, with unprecedented spikes in Government & Services as well as Advocacy & Corporate, while ads for Cars and Entertainment declined. The second report reveals an unexpected boost in the number of brands since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and explores the reasons for this development
Advocacy and corporate reputation television ads are spiking, while other industries continue to pull back spend, according to data from Advertising Analytics.
Why it matters: Brands are expected by consumers to address the coronavirus issue in a direct and empathetic tone. This means that any messaging that a company would typically do around sales that would place their ads in a different category, like retail or entertainment, have likely been cut or replaced by messaging around corporate responsibility or advocacy linked to the virus.
The big picture: Advocacy, or any type of cause and appeal advertising, usually recedes during election years, because corporations and interest groups like to hold off messaging to lawmakers until elections are over and they know which party will control Congress and the White House.
Between the lines: More brands are flocking to television than this time last year, owing to more people watching TV, according to data from iSpot TV.
The chart shows the Change in TV ad airings by select industries.
Data: Advertising Analytics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios, NOTE: Data reflects ad airings in top 25 media markets
Source: Fischer, S. (2020, April 21). 3. Media industry sees advocacy avalanche. Axios.
Data company iSpot.tv, which does always-on, real-time tracking of essentially every commercial that airs on U.S. nationa
l TV, has been conducting a detailed study of how marketers have been shifting their TV ad budgets as the coronavirus pandemic has escalated and over time. Here’s one of the most striking findings: Nearly 26 percent more brands—1,247 more—are advertising on TV today vs. a year ago.
iSpot looked at national advertising from March 14 through April 12 and logged creative by 6,126 different brands. (March 14 was selected as the starting point because it marked the first Saturday at the start of pandemic lockdown without live sports broadcasts.) In 2019 during that same date range, 4,879 brands advertised on national TV.
Why this is happening: First, with the disappearance of lots of high-priced live-sports ad inventory, networks suddenly have a lot more lower-priced inventory that’s accessible to a wider range of marketers. Second, networks, even before the pandemic, were expanding their offerings to marketers—in some cases offering more budget-friendly entry points—to better compete with digital behemoths Facebook and Google.
Source: Dumenco, S. (2020, April 17). More Marketers are Flocking to TV, the Pandemics Data Gap and Millennial Misery
. AdAge Datacenter Weekly: Ad Age
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