IPA Bellwether Report Q2 2021: Budgets Increase for First Time Since 2019

The IPA Bellwether Report Q2 2021, released today 15th July 2021, has revealed that total marketing budgets across the United Kingdom increased for the first time since Q4 2019, rising by a net balance of 6% across surveyed companies. This marks a reversal from the -11.5% recorded last quarter, as well as the sharpest increase since the first quarter of 2019.

IPA Bellwether Report Q2 2021: A Positive Shift in Advertising Budgets

Optimism is also on the increase, with a net balance of 34.6% indicating a strong overall level of confidence, the second-highest recorded since 2015 (behind only last quarter’s figure of 36.6%).

Key statistics

  • Video continued its steady growth from last quarter, increasing by 4.2% (3.3% growth recorded in Q1).
  • Audio budgets returned to growth, reversing a 9% decline from last quarter to a 1% increase.
  • Declines still observed in the out-of-home (-7.5%) and market research (-9.6%), though these are substantially less dramatic than the cuts recorded last quarter (-24.1% and -17.8% respectively).
  • Re-opening of the UK economy following the Covid vaccination rollout will drive overall recovery over 2021 (7.5%) and 2022 (6%), before tailing off in later years as the economy recoups its losses attributable to the pandemic.

OOH: Resilience, collaboration, and agility

Barry Cupples: “We’re seeing a really positive return to market from brands across the summer as the UK opens up and over 45m adults receive their vaccination. Out of home – and particularly digital OOH – are projected to outgrow the ad market not just in 2021 but to continue the evolution in 2022, with forecasts expecting its value to increase by 57% in the UK this year.

Consumer sentiment and confidence for a return to the entertainment, retail and travel sectors gives huge opportunities for brands and the OOH channel. This reflects the incredible resilience, collaboration and agility shown by OOH over the pandemic.

We are now brilliantly placed to deliver technology and data advances for integrated media targeting alongside online advertising and we are generating outcome-led campaigns, creativity and truly reaching audiences as they re-emerge from lockdown.

A key factor for us in OOH is the ability and flexibility to deliver effective outcomes alongside TV and social media channels for brands hungry to reconnect with consumers coming out of the pandemic. Our core strengths of reach, engaging young audiences and delivering effective outcomes will pay dividends for the rest of the year, as reflected by the IPA analysis, with brand activity delivering more integrated campaigns across online and offline channels.

If we’ve learned anything from our Covid experience, it is that understanding audiences by their location and mindset is paramount for brands to connect effectively. Digital OOH is back in positive growth with a real ability and benefit to use context to appeal to the new consumer.

Powerful branding and activation messages can be made in the public space, supported by data and digital OOH’s fundamentals to ensure brands can easily deliver relevance to any audience.”

This first appeared in Exchange Wire.