Australia’s biggest advertisers during COVID-19

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 June 2020

The ad spend canary has taken a record beating during the coronavirus crisis but there are some parts of Australia's economy launching campaigns like never before.

Media agency bookings as a whole are down a record 35.4% to $331.13 million in April, according to final numbers from the SMI (Standard Media Index).

However, analysis by Nielsen shows some sectors are increasing advertising in April compared with the same time last year.

“Faced with uncertainty about the future, advertisers and marketers have exercised caution and are closely scrutinising their spend and activities to ensure their people and businesses remain viable once life returns to normal,” says Nielsen.

Government campaigns top ad spend growth, up 67% in April, followed by household furnishings (57%), media (48%) and computers (37%).

top categories - nielsen april 2020

But the automotive sector is leading the way by ad count:

ad spend april 2020

“Keeping potential auto shoppers engaged at the right time is important, especially as companies are reopening their offices and people are faced with the dilemma of taking public transport, or possibly purchasing a new car,” says Nielsen.

“The pandemic swiftly transformed all aspects of daily life, including how consumers engage with the media and retail landscapes.

“Adaption will be the key to survival, and the marketers who can begin to strategically evolve their approach to changing consumer behaviors now will be way ahead of the game when consumers find post-pandemic balance.”

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