Olympics and banking sector help lift NZ ad spend to double digit growth in August

New Zealand’s media agency market has shrugged off the recent COVID lockdown to deliver yet another month of double digit growth in ad revenue with its August ad spend lifting 17.9 percent year-on-year to $87.9 million. 

And the result also ensures the NZ ad market has now moved well and truly out of the COVID doldrums, with the level of bookings over the course of this calendar year now 4.7 percent above that achieved in the same eight months of the pre-COVID world of 2019. 

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says this was the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year growth and while the result was boosted by a week of the Tokyo Olympics broadcast it’s also clear that underlying ad demand was robust. 

“Never would anyone have expected the New Zealand ad market to be hitting these levels given what we experienced last year and while most of the country has been in some form of lockdown,” Ractliffe says. 

“And the good news is definitely continuing as the early data for September shows the value of ad spend already 5.5 percent above what was achieved in September last year (ex Digital) with growth already evident at the TV, Radio, Magazines and Cinema media.”

The result features a week of abnormal bookings due to the split of the Tokyo Olympics across the July and August months, while last year the market was abnormally inflated as the National election was imminent. 

The Olympics especially assisted Television ad spend in August with that total up 11.2 percent, while Digital ad spend lifted 20.5 percent and reported the fastest growth in the Programmatic and Premium Content markets. Radio ad spend was also robust, up 11.9 percent, while Outdoor and Cinema continued their pandemic recovery by reporting growth of 34.2 percent and 255 percent respectively. 

At a Product Category level Banking, again, led the growth with a 91.5 percent increase on August 2020 investment levels while ad demand from the Retail category was also strong (+45.8 percent) and Food/Produce/Dairy category ad spend grew 25.8 percent year-on-year.

And over the last two months the industry has reported a strong start to the new financial year with ad demand lifting 25.1 percent and all major media reporting higher ad demand. 

For the eight months of the calendar year-to-date the market is well and truly above the pre-COVID 2019 levels after bookings lifted 29.3 percent year-on-year with strong growth from the media of TV (+26.5 percent), Digital (+37.9 percent) and Outdoor (+41.2 percent). 

“New Zealand’s advertising market continues to deliver huge growth in advertising demand as it returns to a new normal, and it seems to be an environment in which growth in ad spend looks set to continue,” Ractliffe concludes. 

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