Autumn in Australia saw much of the country return to a new normal. Tourism Australia rebooted its $5 million marketing push for the ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign featuring blue skies and happy days ahead.
The country’s economic prospects seemed bright too - businesses were opening and hiring again. We were seeing record job creation and record economic growth. The Australian economy was thriving, domestic travel for many resumed and digital advertising spends boomed.
According to data recently release by the IAB’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report, the 12 months ending 30 June 2021 saw the Australian digital advertising market grow by a record braking 24.2% versus 2020 and its value increase to more than $11 billion. Retail advertising surged in the same period reflecting the overall health of the Australian economy and increasing consumer confidence.
But as we entered winter, advertisers have found themselves on a familiar path. Governments are once again grappling with lockdowns and border closures across the country - flexibility has once again taken centre stage. Marketers are leaning on the most flexible programmatic options — BVOD, digital out-of-home and audio— for their agility.
How do we deliver flexibility?
It’s clear that brands need to be nimble. They must increasingly avoid one-size-fits-all messaging at all costs. Marketers must recognise the spectrum of human experiences right now - from almost unrestricted on the West Coast to the long lock down fatigue experienced by our East Coast, brands must play a balancing act, ensuring that consumers know they recognise this unique experience.
By using flexible options across the digital landscape, we can equip brands with the ability to scale up and down, be flexible with commitments and allow messaging to be adjusted when needed and keep up with changing media consumption. This is especially important where restrictions and market conditions are changing at lighting speed. Brands need to be authentically in touch with consumer realities and their outreach to reflect that reality.
Qantas has delivered a stunning example of embracing flexible advertising through its Fly Away TVC led campaign which announced extra rewards for flyers fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The messages clearly reflected audience sentiment, and the campaign has gone on to capture many hearts and minds.
Nearly every major advertiser has had to pause or rethink their advertising campaigns due to the pandemic. Nimble companies enjoyed significant growth because they were able to adapt their businesses, pivot their messaging and appeal to consumers as their lives were upended and changed.
Evolving industry with stronger results
We have witnessed the advertising industry in Australia really thrive as we recovered from our first Covid lockdowns and disruptions of 2020.
The flexibility offered by programmatic will ultimately deliver increased confidence for marketers in the months ahead giving them the flexibility to launch and pause in real-time, scale spending up or down at will, and swap creatives on the fly.
As we move out of lockdowns and towards high levels of vaccination, there is reason to be optimistic. Digital advertising will again significantly rebound, with flexibility being the key to unlocking brand success.
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