What Advertisers Can Learn from Financial Marketers in Uncertain Economic Times

By Brad Seitter

During uncertain economic times, the financial and banking industry can provide important information to marketers. How the financial industry adapts their advertising and addresses a recessionary economy can supply helpful strategies and tools for general marketers across categories.

Awareness and Time Spent with Media


Most marketers are looking closely at consumer media habits in order to advertise on the most effective platforms. Findings from the 2022 GfK TVB Purchase Funnel Study banking services category show that 51 percent of banking services consumers said TV advertising was more important for awareness of banking services compared to all other media combined, at 43 percent. Of those that cited TV as more important for awareness of banking services, 64 percent chose broadcast TV compared to 36 percent for cable.

When it comes to time spent with media, adults over age 18 spend 5 hours and 47 minutes with TV (broadcast and cable), followed by streaming programs on TV at one hour and 22 minutes, and one hour and 8 minutes with social media according to the 2022 GfK TVB Media Comparisons Study. Financial and banking marketers' media allocations correlate to these consumer media consumption patterns – TV is utilized as a powerful influencer across the funnel.

Following the Media Money


Looking at how major advertisers with large media budgets have strategized their media spending is a great way for other advertisers to benefit from years of tested media mixes. While some advertisers may not be able to match a large advertiser's spend, they can match their media allocation percentages.

An analysis of Kantar ad spending data highlighted top spenders in the financial category: Capital One allocated 73 percent of their media mix to TV; Chase allocates nearly all (99.5 percent) of their media mix to TV; and Wells Fargo allocates 63 percent of the media mix to TV. For all these advertisers, no other medium came close to TV in terms of allocation percentage.

Large digital companies have similar spending strategies. Kantar ad spending data for Meta and Microsoft (including digital media such as online video, mobile web and video, internet search and display from April 2021 through March 2022), revealed Meta spent 66 percent of their total ad budget on TV and Google invested 62 percent in TV. While some advertisers may not have the research teams and budgets of digital giants and major banks, they can certainly benefit from their strategies.

Ad Exposure


Findings from the GfK TVB Purchase Funnel survey reveal that banking services ads reach more people on TV than social media, streaming TV and streaming video, like YouTube, by a significant margin. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents were exposed to banking services ads on TV (broadcast & cable), compared to 23 percent exposed to ads on social media, 19 percent exposed to non-TV streaming video ads, and only 18 percent exposed to streaming TV ads.

Further, findings also show that the more banking services ads consumers see, the stronger reactions they have, including remembering the advertised brand, going online to learn more, and going to site/app to learn more or contacted/visited a branch/facility. TV ads have the power to influence these actions, strengthening brand recognition and leading directly to purchasing services. While streaming TV is an important channel to utilize, there is only a finite amount of ad space available and the reach is not comparable to that of linear TV.

The banking and financial industry follow a marketing strategy that focuses on consumers' time spent with media and influential media equals media allocation. Additionally, the advertising playbooks of Meta and Chase Bank serve as further examples of effective strategy. Ultimately, these marketers formulate media mixes that are right for their businesses and that work. Their strategies can provide useful blueprints for advertisers across categories.


The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


Brad Seitter is the EVP of local and national business development at TVB.