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Ad market reports record growth in May

New Zealand’s media agency market has returned to its levels of pre-Covid ad spend in May following a record 67.4 percent increase in year-on-year ad spend. This according to a SMI report released today which indicated the new total spend now 3.7 percent above the pre-Covid level seen in May 2019. 

The result represented the market’s fourth consecutive month of growth and was mostly driven by exceptionally large increases in ad spend from the Tourism, Banking and Toiletries product categories. 

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says that while the market delivered record growth in May SMI’s Forward Pacings data showed an even higher level of growth will be recorded in June with total spend for that month (ex Digital) already up 70.7 percent. 

“It’s really quite extraordinary for the advertising market to have already returned to the same levels of ad spend seen well before the COVID-inspired downturn and highlights the level of confidence now in the market,” Ractliffe says. 

“The total market growth rate reported for May is clearly unprecedented and within that figure we’re also seeing all major media reporting double digit growth in ad spend. And the TV, Digital and Outdoor media are all delivering ad spend totals well above the pre-Covid May 2019 totals.”

The SMI data shows the May 2020 period was the worst month for ad spend ever seen in New Zealand with the market reporting a record year-on-year decline of 45.5 percent, but now the market has returned with an even stronger level of demand. 

Ractliffe adds NZ’s Outdoor industry looks to have set a worldwide first by returning to pre-Covid levels so quickly, with the robust growth trend also continuing into June. 

“We can already see that Outdoor is leading the market’s recovery in June with total ad spend up 141.5 percent year-on-year, followed by Cinema which is already delivering an even more incredible 341.7 percent increase in year-on-year ad spend- and that’s before the month has even concluded,” she says. 

And given the recent strong gains in ad spend SMI is now reporting NZ’s calendar year-to-date ad spend to be up a healthy 23.5 percent, with the total also 4.7 percent above the January to May 2019 totals. 

Digital leads the CYTD gains (+37.5 percent) followed by Outdoor (+26.5 percent) and then Television (+22.7 percent). 

And the financial year-to-date results also continue to strengthen with the total now showing growth of 4.1%.

SMI NZ: May 2021 Ad Spend Trends 

Media Type Variance 
Television 70.4% 
Digital 47.1% 
Outdoor 186.5% 
Radio 32.0% 
Newspapers 45.5% 
Magazines 161.9% 
Other 152.5% 
Cinema 95.4% 
Grand Total 67.7% 

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