Global Ad Trends: Where do successful brands spend their marketing dollars?

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Successful brands allocate an average 13% of their media budget to out-of-home (OOH), while digital accounts for over a third of all outdoor advertising expenditure and is growing rapidly.

This is according to the latest monthly Global Ad Trends report by WARC, the global marketing intelligence service.


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Based on media channel data in 96 countries and detailed findings from the world’s key ad markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – which between them account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global advertising trade, key information includes.

Budget allocation to out of home by successful brands within WARC’s case study database has averaged 13% over the eight years to 2016.

OOH’s share has remained largely stable, which tallies with the channel’s share of global display advertising spend.

The report also finds that government and non-profit organisations (26% of budgeted spend), alcoholic drinks brands (16%) and retail brands (14%) are among the highest investors in OOH.

OOH’s share of global adspend has steadily decreased since 2012, but is stable over the long-term.

OOH has accounted for an average 5.9% of global advertising spend since 1990. The latest verified data show that OOH adspend amounted to $31bn in 2016, a 5.8% share of the global total. Preliminary estimates for 2017 put spend at roughly the same level.

Data show that digital’s share of total global out of home advertising spend reached 34.8% in 2017.


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Long-term projections suggest digital’s share will rise close to 45% in 2021.

Summing up, James McDonald, Data Editor, WARC, says: “Out of home is an industry staple, attracting a consistent share of successful brands’ budgets over the long term. The channel delivers affordable reach with CPM routinely below the all media average.

“Out of home is well-placed for future advancement with rising digital penetration delivering flexible creative informed by rich audience data. New tech, such as facial recognition, is being tailored to improve shopper experience, but advertisers need to heed consumer concerns.”

Global media analysis: A round-up of the importance of out of home advertising

– 3.5% average rise in out of home cost per thousand this year

– 5.9% out of home’s average share of global adspend since 1990

– 7.9% out of home’s share of global display adspend

– 13% successful brands’ budget allocation to out of home between 2009-2016

– 45% digital share of global out of home advertising spend by 2021

– 65% of UK consumers are not happy for facial recognition to be used to offer marketing messages