dentsu's Ad Spend report reveals positive forecast for global advertising investment in 2021

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According to the dentsu’s first Ad Spend report since the COVID-19 pandemic began, global advertising investment is forecast to grow by 5.8% 2021.

The report which combines data from 59 markets, anticipates that $579bn will be spent globally with all regions enjoying positive growth to offset a fall of 8.8% in 2020. 

Regions such as Western Europe (7.5%), Asia-Pacific (5.9%) and North America (4.0%) will see particularly strong growth figures, be driven by uplifts in investment in key countries such as India (10.8%), the United Kingdom (10.4%) and France (8.9%). 

The report adds that the accelerated shift to digital advertising caused by the pandemic will continue in that direction and for the first time, it will account for half of all spend, specifically: Social (18.3%), Search (11.0%) and Video (10.8%) are expected to benefit the most. 

“While a return to growth will be welcomed all round, the road to recovery for marketers should be supported by investing in ways that will put consumer intelligence at the heart of their business strategies,” said Global CEO Media, of dentsu international, Peter Huijboom. “We know from our own CMO survey that understanding consumer behaviour in a post-pandemic world is the biggest challenge marketers face.” 

Meanwhile, the return of major sporting events that were canceled last year such as the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and UEFA European Football Championships will also represent a significant driver of growth. 

TV is set to benefit in particular from these live events as advertisers look to capitalise on the huge global audiences they draw. It is expected to drive a 1.7% increase globally to $169bn TV spend, which accounts for a third of all ad spend globally. 

“To build hyper-empathy in this new reality will require a real focus and investment in data, e-commerce, and new technologies like connected TV as well as building deeper partnerships across all areas of the industry,” Peter said. “Having left 2020 behind and entering the new year with ongoing challenges but also hope of better times, media has a vital role to play by bringing people together through engaging experiences strengthening our humanity.” 

The report also expects industry sectors that have been impacted the hardest by COVID-19 to see the biggest bounce-backs. Based on analysis in eight markets, the Travel & Transport (28.4%), Media & Entertainment (14.5%) and Automotive (13.8%) sectors will all grow significantly and there will also be consistent levels of growth for sectors such as Technology (6.0%), Finance (5.6%) and Telecoms (4.8%).

Despite the positive signs of momentum in 2021, a return to pre-pandemic levels of advertising spend is unlikely until 2022, when spending is likely to reach US$619 billion and grow at a rate of 6.9%, the report states.

View the full report here.

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