The Bigger the Campaign Budget, the Bigger TV’s Chunk

February 23, 2021

WARC Media Allocation by Campaign Budget Size Feb2021TV ads hog around 60% share of spending for ad campaigns with budgets of at least $3 million, according to data from WARC. The study outlines the distinction between budget decisions made by companies with larger campaign spends and those with smaller budgets.

Based on data from WARC’s case study database of successful campaigns, including data from more than 1,400 case studies, there is a clear relation between larger budgets and the decision to allocate spend to TV advertising. While this is not entirely surprising (as TV advertising can be unaffordable for smaller budget campaigns), the extent of the differences are striking, with TV’s share growing from 9% of spend for campaign budgets of up to $500K all the way up to a full 61% share of spend for budgets of $20 million or more.

The inverse is true for digital ad spend, which is at its highest share (61%) for campaigns with budgets of up to $500K.

The share of spend dedicated to other media types does not reach comparable figures, with OOH/experiential advertising peaking at a 16% share of spend for campaign budgets in the $500K-1 million range. The share of spend dedicated to print advertising is smaller still, not rising above an 8% share of spend, for campaigns with budgets of $20 million or more.

The above adds a new dimension to late 2020 research from Zenith Media, which forecasted that digital advertising would account for more than half (51%) of global ad spend in 2020 while the share dedicated to TV ad spend would decrease.

Elsewhere, dentsu predicts that digital will dominate global ad spend over the next few years, accounting for 50.0% of expenditures this year and 51.2% in 2022. Next to this, TV is expected to account for a comparatively smaller 29.9% of ad spend in 2021 and 29.6% in 2022.

About the Data: Findings are “based on an analysis of over 1,400 case studies from WARC’s case study database of successful campaigns.”



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