INFOGRAPHIC: Global TV ad spend trends in March

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 17 April 2020
Getty / Thinkstock

Global TV ad spend across pharma, travel and retail categories have undergone dramatic fluctuations during the month of March in line with the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2020 marked the first full month of a homebound economy for consumers and advertisers across the world.

To uncover how brands have adapted to new viewing and response patterns, TVSquared analyzed TV ad spend and performance throughout March.

Pharma TV ad spend has grown 44%, followed by consumer packaged goods (CPG) up 12%, personal care and beauty up 11% and finance up 11%.

The travel category experienced the greatest decline in TV ad spend dropping 80%, followed by brick and mortar retail dropping 30%, food and beverage down 18% and insurance down 14%.

tv1.jpgWhile TV viewing is increasing as people adopt the new #StayHome movement, advertisers are adjusting and trying to
find the best way forward.

For automotive and online retail and services, ad spend dropped mid-month but it has since returned close to pre-COVID levels.

For healthcare, mid-March marked an increase in ad spend, but it dropped to early March levels by month's end.

Fluctuations in spend and strategy will likely continue as advertisers adjust creatives to directly reflect the pandemic and evaluate performance to ensure TV investments are working.


TVSquared found that a variety of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands experienced astronomical performance throughout March.

As TV's role in consumers' daily lives continues to increase, categories such as DTC and home improvement are seeing performance peaks.

DTC categories across education, personal care and fitness all saw increased TV performance rising 250%, 160% and 136% respectively. 

Home improvement's TV performance also rose 43%.

Meanwhile, TV performance for the sports and ticket industry, travel and brick and mortar retail saw declines of 94%, 74% and 58% respectively.


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