Covid-19 has put an extreme damper on the global economy and also hit the advertising market hard. A current first quarter study by the measurement service provider Nielsen now illustrates the effects that the coronavirus has had on German investments in various advertising genres, and also shows a shift in advertising content.
In January and February, all advertising categories still recorded an increase in advertising investments. The analysis only marks the noticeable turning point with the contact ban on 22 March, after which a general decline in advertising expenditure can be observed.
Compared to the same month last year, the cinema (-24 per cent), radio (-21 per cent) and regional newspapers (-20 per cent) lost a considerable proportion of advertising spending in March. Outdoor advertising, on the other hand, came close to the level of the previous year, with only one percentage point less. Nielsen justifies this with the ongoing campaigns, which cannot be stopped from one day to the next in the out-of-home medium.
Every tenth campaign over here still deals with Corona
But not only was the volume of advertising campaigns reduced - the content also changed and Corona became ubiquitous. In March alone, German advertisers ran campaigns on the virus for almost 100 million euros. More than half of this was still flowing into the media in the 13th calendar week, which at that time represented eleven percent of total advertising investment.
The retail sector stands out in particular. The numerous thank you or "Stay At Home" campaigns are certainly still well remembered by everyone. According to Nielsen, however, the ads and spots predominantly addressed the fact that the brand behind them was still doing business during this period. In addition, they often addressed security, contactless delivery, repair, installation and payment, and the implementation of other hygiene measures.
Winners and losers in Corona times
Nielsen was able to identify the telecommunications industry, and in particular video conferencing platforms, as the ones that have ramped up their advertising efforts after this significant cut. Unsurprisingly, the largest losses were suffered by the tourism industry, as it was already affected by the restrictions imposed by Corona in February - unlike retailers, for example.
However, the situation would actually be predestined for more advertising, after all people spend more time with media due to social distancing and home office. On the one hand, however, there are no budgets for advertising and on the other hand, many brands avoid the Corona environment. Unfortunately, Nielsen does not foresee any improvement in this situation. The analysis service provider paints a very bleak picture for the advertising market in April.