As we near the halfway point of 2022, media buyers face a confluence of trends. Whatever an organization’s creative looks like, it’s going to play out within the broader context of the shifting media landscape.
If your organization is prepping for a media buy in the coming months, here are five important considerations:
1. Get ready for politics to gobble up airtime.
Last year, the political ad spend in U.S. media broke records for a non-election year. This year, some prognosticators are estimating overall political ad spending will be above $7 billion.
Due to equal-time legislation, politicians get the lowest unit rate on over-the-air advertisements in the 45-day runup to a primary election, and in the 60-day runup to a general election. A side-effect is that media outlets will not sell advertising to anyone at discounted rates, lest they be required to lower rates for political candidates. Add the deep-pocketed political action committees—not beholden to the same equal-time requirements and thus able to bid up the remaining airtime—and you have a perfect storm.
Finding reasonably priced airtime in September and October might be as difficult as finding toilet paper in the spring of 2020.
2. Find some, but not total, relief in digital advertising.
Google, Meta, and Amazon accounted for 74 percent of digital ad spending last year, and may even account for more than half of all ad spending in 2022.
There’s both good and bad news concerning digital media purchasing in later 2022. The good news is that internet platforms have the ability and inclination to bow out of political advertising. The bad news is that an increasing number of companies are pursuing digital ads because they’ve been crowded out of airtime. This may be fine for platforms in which the supply is plentiful, like Google’s search ads. But if you’re looking to take advantage of video and streaming outlets, such as the increasingly popular Spotify, you might face heavy competition for a finite supply of desirable ad placement.
3. The rise of the short video format still impacts ad buying + production.
Within the Meta family, Instagram continues its upward trajectory in popularity since the Instagram Reels short-video platform debuted in August 2020. According to Hootsuite, Instagram Reels ads reach a whopping 10.9 percent of the total U.S. population over 13 years of age. Meta says Instagram Reels has a reach of over 675 million users. While these numbers don’t eclipse TikTok’s massive reach, they do present a more established advertising outlet within the realm of short video.
The takeaway is this: Clearly consumers are hungry for raw, real footage, even at the expense of a professional, polished look. Both media buyers and those who create video ads should pay heed to the still-rising consumer demand of these channels.
4. Connected TV is still coming along but proceed with reasonable expectations.
Streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and a host of smaller, ad-supported apps clearly are growing. So are promises that these platforms will offer ever more efficient TV advertising with the ability to target ads.
While they are worth looking into, it’s not yet reasonable to expect better targeting than traditional on-air media. Certainly the technology is on the rise. But there’s also the fact that the world of data collection itself is facing a shift to protect consumer privacy, which is impacting the way even internet advertisements are targeted.
Don’t dismiss streaming TV. There’s both value and room for growth. But also, don’t assume the grass is greener on the other side of TV advertising. At least not yet.
5. Traditional advertising…it still works!
Marketers are tempted to stay in a bubble, as we rely on technological advancements and are surrounded with early adapters to new technology.
But traditional outlets, including outdoor advertising and print-driven campaigns, are still being used to achieve healthy ROI. Not only are they still ideal ways to reach people who don’t share the same level of access to tech and high-speed internet as most marketers, they also have been used by companies to cut through the digital clutter.
Harvard Business Review reports that traditional advertising spending may be on the upswing. Don’t shy from being a part of it.