Not All Traditional Media Expected to Bounce Back Next Year

December 22, 2020

WARC Global Ad Spending 2021 v 2020 Dec2020Cinema, out-of-home (OOH) and print are just some of the ad types whose investment has been hit hard this year, according to WARC’s latest report [download page] on global ad trends for 2020/21.

By all accounts, cinema has taken a hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, according to WARC’s new data, cinema’s 46.5% year-over-year decrease in advertising investment in 2020 is matched by a forecast rebound of some 41.2% in 2021.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is another ad type expected to rebound in 2021, with an expected y-o-y increase of 20.2% after falling by 27.3% in 2020.

However, other traditional media that were impacted by the pandemic are not expected to fare so well. Newspaper ad investment, whose decrease this year (-25.5%) was only slightly less than that of OOH, is not set to see any increase next year, though spending is predicted to be relatively stable (-0.4%). Magazines face a similar prediction of a -0.7% change in 2021 after decreasing by 25.4% this year.

Following the trend from this year (and indeed many prior), online ad investments such as social media (2020: +9.3%; 2021: +12.2%) and online video (2020: +7.9%; 2021: +12.8%) are set to remain more positive.

When it comes to product categories, all are expected to recover to varying degrees in 2021. Transport and Tourism, which took an unsurprising hit this year (-33.8%) is expected to increase by 19.5% in 2021, while categories such as Business & Industrial, Telecoms & Utilities and Media & Publishing are projected to exceed their 2019 spending.

North American ad investment looks likely to recover from a 4.3% cut this year to a 3.8% hike in 2021, with the US seeing similar recovery (+3.8% in 2021 vs. -4.1% in 2020).

Further figures are available in the full report here.

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