End-Of-Year Advertising Will Be Stronger Than Some Predict | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

End-Of-Year Advertising Will Be Stronger Than Some Predict


The end of the year is quickly approaching. In the advertising world, the changing of the calendar from September to October signals the beginning of a time-tested and frenzied period of heightened spending activity, during which advertisers and brands seek to capitalize on the looming holiday season.

With the current state of inflation and the threat of a recession, I've seen speculation that advertising teams will draw back spending and that the industry will take a significant hit. However, things might not be as bleak as they appear. Certain categories may pull back due to exogenous factors, but CPMs will likely hold steady with new players entering the arena and a general scarcity of supply, particularly in connected TV (CTV). The advertising industry will be alright, though attention may shift to verticals that haven't been in the focus of late.

Here are some bright spots to keep an eye on:

After Two Years in Quarantine, Travel Is Booming

Consumers have been stuck in their homes for the last two years, so despite rising prices, they're determined to catch up on vacations and travel (who among us isn't?). Ad spend in travel was strong in the first half of this year, and we expect this travel surge to continue well into the holiday season.

For brands unable to put products on the shelf due to supply chain shortages, there are still strategic opportunities to focus on general branding through educational and experience-based narratives. For example, supply chain issues continue to plague the automotive industry, but with a bit of creativity, auto brands can insert themselves into the travel narrative. Lacking certain chips may delay production of traditional gas models, but these roadblocks don't inhibit an educational campaign focused on electric vehicles and the value they add to holiday travel.

Political Midterms Will Carry More Weight Than Ever Before

The 2022 midterm elections are on the calendar this November, with all 435 U.S. House seats and 35 of the 100 Senate seats up for grabs. The competition and demand for ad spots is going to be fierce, as indicated by the $9 billion forecasted to be spent this cycle. While other sectors may experience fluctuations in speed due to normal seasonality, supply chain issues, and inflation, the political industry will fill in, if not surpass, the gap left by certain brands pulling back.

Holiday Advertising Will Accelerate to Avoid Political Noise

A struggle that groups outside of politics should prepare for is that, from now until November 8th, there are only a limited number of ad spots. Like the early bird who gets the worm, the early advertiser will snap up premium placements and initial share of voice.

In Q4, when holiday shopping has historically been a big focus, brands will be battling with rising inflation, supply chain issues, and those coveted ad spots being pricier due to political campaigns. Holiday advertisers may need to take an earlier approach than usual to get in front of the appropriate audiences at the right times. Traditionally, retail has dominated mid-to-late Q4, but we may see those numbers shifting ever so slightly to survive.

Brands Are Enticed by a "Perfect Storm" of Sports

This fall presents an interesting and rare line-up of sports activity that is sure to draw in a wide array of viewers. The NFL season is of course underway, while the NBA and NHL seasons are on the near-term horizon. What's new, however, is that the quadrennial World Cup, which usually takes place in the summer, will run from November 20 to December 18. The global fixture almost always draws a massive global audience and brands from nearly every vertical. This is likely to garner new ad spend that might otherwise be held back or reserved for other times of the year.

Creativity and Flexibility are Key to Success

Relying on historical data and patterns to prepare for the rest of the year will not be advertisers' safest or most strategic move. Unexpected and random market conditions have been impacting areas we'd never expect. Many of the numbers we're used to seeing will change, but that doesn't mean the advertising industry will battle a dramatic decline. Furthermore, market share is easily lost when ad spend is pulled back entirely, so remaining top-of-mind and keeping face time with the consumers is critical to long-term success.

Now more than ever, it is essential to keep a close eye on the trends and to get creative. Don't be afraid to enter new conversations and shift narratives to match market trends.

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.

Katie Long is the head of U.S. demand sales at Beachfront.