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Exclusive – Australians have their spend swagger on as advertising smashes records 

Exclusive - Australians have their spend swagger on as advertising smashes records 
Written by publishing team

Credit: Dennis Lyon via Unsplash

Advertising spending is expected to continue its record high despite eroding confidence due to the rise of the omicron variable, according to industry players.

Advertising spending, as determined by media agency bookings, hit a record $852 million in November 2021 and preliminary data for December shows a strong approach to the year.

Jane Rachtliff, managing director of SMI AU/NZ: “Given the level of uncertainty within the economy, it’s amazing to see such a resilient advertising market.”

Ben WillieMD, Managing Director and Media Director, Spinach: “More good news for Australian media owners and investors.

While the economy is solid and consumer confidence remains high, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the January-December 2021 market is stronger than pre-pandemic levels.

“More uncertainty is coming and the challenges for media owners and traders to strike the right balance between the many levers affecting prices in an increasingly tight market.”

Yaron FriesonC., CEO of MediaCom AUNZ: “It’s long been known that ad dollars lag a little bit behind the rate of GDP growth, and I think it’s not surprising to see record numbers looking at Australia’s growth in Q421.

“Australians are taking back their choices; consumers are looking forward to this Christmas holiday more than ever, and their wallets are getting cashed out.

“Brands have been planning to recover from last year, and finally, they can benefit from this new version of normalcy.

“Black Friday and Internet Monday during November were our top sales (with online spend up 22.8%), with Australians spending more daily and over a longer period, and brands wanting a share of this.

“Retail chains achieved record sales during the pre-Omicron period. Brands need to follow these trends to maintain their SOV (Voice Share) and benefit from this growth.

“I think as we go to 22, although it does look like it’s rearing its ugly head again in the first quarter (after the slowdown in third-quarter GDP and the pandemic peak), as we move forward in the second quarter, we’ll go back to normal and see continued growth, specifically At OOH and the cinema we also get back to the outdoors.

“Video investment will continue to emerge as all advertisers become less platform focused and more consumer focused. Monitoring GDP dynamics over time and counting potential outbreaks we might see in the future can give us a good explanation of quarterly consumer behavior changes and take advantage of these changes disproportionately.”

Simon Reed, National Head of Partnerships, Initiative: “Well, it’s a welcome title for sure. We always knew it was going to be a strong end to this year given global post-pandemic trends.

“Domestic consumer sentiment was on the rise until the fourth quarter as we emerged from the shutdown hibernation, the national vaccination launch was also in full swing and the third quarter national household savings rate was 19% which is an increase in the second quarter.

“So with the easing of COVID-related restrictions across the East Coast and the cashing in on consumers, we’ve seen a number of categories re-enter the advertising market that had been relatively dormant for a very long time, finally becoming active like travel and entertainment. Government ad spending growth also remained strong at around.40 % during the month of November.

“As we now navigate Omicron, consumer confidence is seeing a slight decline in the short term, but I expect the advertising market to remain strong for now. 2022 is also an election year, so we should see continued growth across most channels throughout 2022.”

Natasha BaileyDirector of Media Analytics – Publicis Media Exchange: “We remain pleasantly surprised by the continued resilience of the advertising market, despite ongoing uncertainty. Wherever possible, advertisers are maintaining their investment and taking a long-term view of the benefits of doing so.

“In November, it was good to see radio investment growth compared to 2019 for the first time. Although this puts total radio advertising spend of 9% behind 2019, it is a strong signal at the end of a challenging year. Of course, outdoor cinema and cinema, which suffered most directly from the closure, were slower to recover.However, November was also a relatively encouraging month for those as well.

“The nearly 40% growth in digital agency ad spend in November is phenomenal – and continues to demonstrate the catalytic impact of the pandemic on the digitization of media planning and purchasing. However, there are strong signals for Linear TV as well, with ‘real’ growth at +2.7% vs. 2019.”

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