Consumer electronics brands switch back to traditional channels as digital drops

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 30 June 2017

Consumer electronics brands are turning back to traditional media channels as digital spend decreased in the first quarter of this year, according to Standard Media Index (SMI) figures.

Overall, ad expenditure was down by 7.7% to $20.1 million in the first four months of 2017 for the category, after a year in which ad spend was broadly flat (down 0.2%) at $123.8 million.

The largest area of spend, digital, was down 11% to about $7 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to Q1 2016.

Television spend for the quarter increased by 5.6% to $6.37 million, overtaking outdoor which dropped 17% to $5.65 million. Certain brands have released strong TVCs in the past year, notably Samsung's Rethink Role Models campaign.

There was a huge lift in radio, up from virtually no spend in Q1 2016 to $535,000, while magazines spend nosedived by 75% from $859,871 in Q1 2016 to $217,464 in the comparable period this year.

Cinema climbed 39% to 155,250 and newspapers spend more than doubled to $17,464 - both from low bases.

SMI AUNZ managing director Jane Schulze says the figures indicate media buyers are experimenting in different channels and that the more established consumer electronic brands are pulling away most from digital.

“The consumer electronics market is obviously testing different media options, for example, they’re using radio for the first time in a long time, have dramatically reduced their outdoor spend and even reduced digital spending,” Schulze says.

“It is a matter of testing different media channels to find the most effective return on their advertising investment in what is an intensely competitive sector.”

Smaller personal gadgets actually increased digital spend by 16%, whereas TV products, such as televisions, DVD players, personal video recorders, gaming consoles and streaming devices spent 10.2% less on digital in the first quarter of this year than last.

Sound entertainment contracted digital ad spend by more than 79%, while cameras and video recorders increased digital spend by 189% last year.

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