Trends in ad spend and effectiveness


With so many options available to advertisers today for investing their marketing dollars, they’re looking to better understand and accurately measure the impact of spend on brand and sales goals. To provide a high-level snapshot of ad spend, effectiveness trends and the latest insights on branded entertainment, Nielsen just issued its State of the Media: Trends in Advertising Spend and Effectiveness June report. Some highlights:

Television advertising surpassed $18 billion in Q1, growing almost 9% versus the same period in 2010. Radio and magazines also saw higher spend levels than last year, increasing between six and seven percent. Newspapers, however, saw a 10% drop.

Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser in Q1. It also invested the most in advertising to Hispanics and African Americans. GM, Toyota and Verizon also were top advertisers with a strong advertising presence among both ethnic groups.

Automotive was the leading product category in 2010, with 22% growth over 2009. This momentum continued into Q1, as Automotive companies were top ad spenders and saw the most dollar growth in TV advertising (+$526 M) vs. the same period in 2010.

Mobile advertising is increasingly finding its way into mobile apps, with teenagers being much more receptive than their elders. 58% of teens say they “always” or “sometimes” look at mobile ads. In general, men of all ages are more receptive to mobile ads than women. Only 37% of men say they are not at all likely to respond to an ad on a mobile device, compared to 44% of women.

Some one-in-five apps users say they have used a search engine or looked elsewhere online for more information after viewing a mobile advertisement or told someone about the advertised product or service. 17% have forwarded a link or video to others and 10% have recommended an advertised product or service. 16% have used a coupon and 14% have entered a contest or sweepstakes.

In an age of increasing cultural diversity and ethnic growth, advertising that speaks to different identities has become a vital component of any effective marketing plan. It is incumbent on marketers to understand these differences in order to successfully engage consumers. Nielsen examined the most memorable ads among African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians; while there were some similarities across ethnic groups, such as the M&M’s ad for the new Pretzel variety, each group otherwise recalled a different assortment of brands.

In a Nielsen survey on consumers’ attitudes toward different types of advertising, 76% of US internet consumers said they most trusted recommendations from personal acquaintances (“Trust Completely” and “Trust Somewhat”), while 49% trusted consumer opinions posted online. Those two forms of “earned” advertising were also cited as the most relevant to consumers when they are looking for information on products they need and want. 40% of respondents also ranked “emails I signed up for” as one of the top three most trustworthy forms of advertising.

Because the bulk of those surveyed “Trust Completely” very few ad mediums, the next category, the “Trust Somewhat” category seemed to show a large difference between mobile-delivered ads/social network ads and ads from traditional media like television and radio. TV, radio and magazines were 26%, 24% and 22% respectively; while mobile devices and social networks were 11% and 13% respectively.

More from the report tomorrow.