Video Comes Out On Top in Latest IPA Bellwether Report

Tim Cross 21 October, 2021 

A net balance of 12 percent of UK marketers will bump up their spend in video, according to the latest Bellwether Report from the IPA, a British advertising trade group. The quarterly survey asks marketers to state whether their ad budgets are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same for each various media channels, giving a net increase or decrease overall. And this quarter’s survey picked out video – by the IPA’s definition all video including TV, online video, and cinema – as the strongest performing media channel in the next quarter.

The previous Bellwether Report, published in July, was the first since the pandemic began in which the number of advertisers increasing their overall marketing budgets was greater than the number decreasing, signalling a return to growth. And that trend has continued over in to Q3, as a net balance of 12.8 percent of marketers reported increased budgets for the new quarter.

The IPA’s ‘main media advertising’ segment, which encompasses video, audio, published brands, out of home, and other online advertising, was the best performing segment in Q3, with a net balance of 8.6 percent of marketers saying budgets had increased. And video was the best performing of these, followed by ‘other online’ (+10.6 percent), audio (+6.0 percent), published brands (+5.2 percent) and out of home (+2.0 percent).

The IPA says video’s growth in being driven in part by an increase in spending on ‘big ticket’ campaigns, where TV plays a big role. The trade group said that many firms recognised a need to drive forward with marketing activity in Q3, with demand conditions bouncing back sharply and consumers looking to spend savings built up over the pandemic.

Risks remain on the horizon

This optimistic sentiment from advertisers mean the IPA has revised its ad spend forecast for 2021 upwards for the second quarter in a row, now predicting 6.6 percent total growth in UK ad spend. This healthy growth is expected to continue into 2022, when the IPA forecasts 6.2 percent growth.

But marketers do still see risks on the horizon. As has been the case since the first signs of recovery from the pandemic, advertisers have reported continued wariness that further complications of the pandemic and increasing case numbers could result in further lockdowns, which would harm ad spend. And ongoing supply-chain issues caused by both the pandemic and Brexit continue to hit the UK. Should these continue or worsen, ad spend could be dragged down as product sales fall.


About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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