Media buyers see cinema, outdoor and radio a stand out opportunity

By AdNews | 6 June 2022
Some parts of the advertising market post the federal election appear to be reporting slower growth.
However, outdoor, cinema, and radio look to strengthen and many media platforms are report continuing strong demand.
Ad spend, as measured by media agency bookings recorded by SMI (Standard Media Index), was up 5.5% in April, ensuring a record for the first four months of 2022. The key driver was pre-federal election-related ad spend.
However, without government and political party spend, the underlying total market demand was weaker.
Paul Wilkinson, head of commercial, Half Dome: "Pre-Election spending was always going to be the main driver through April, so the boost to the overall spend was somewhat expected.
"The growth in radio and press is interesting to note – both have been sluggish to catch up with the overall market and both would no doubt have been buoyed by election spending, which gives a small insight into the campaign media strategies.  
"It’s also interesting to note that TV remained flat despite the heavy election presence throughout - perhaps indicating a return to somewhat normal demand.
"Overall, I’m optimistic about the market moving forwards, though I also think we will continue to see a shift in the YOY growth areas with outdoor, cinema, and radio continuing to pull strong numbers, TV flattening or pulling back slightly, and digital remaining in command."

Michael Mellington, head of media partnerships, UM Melbourne: "While advertising demand remains buoyant which is great for agencies and media partners, the same cannot be said for all clients.

"Some channels are using this as an opportunity to be bullish on pricing which coupled with some audience declines, means inflation is a reality that needs to be overcome.

"Those that will win during this time will have flexible approaches to trading like UM. Being ahead of the pricing curve while capitalising on audience clear space, will give advertisers a strategic value dividend.

"With the election now at an end, the consensus is that things will slow down, however many advertisers chose not to compete over this time, so we need to watch for the influx of ‘regular’ spenders.

"Within the television space regional is still heavily underrepresented in spend vs its audience potential, so advertisers should really consider what a ‘national’ buy is rather than considering 5Cap cities only.

"Keeping within the screens mix, cinema blockbusters continue to bring audiences in but spend is not following at the same pace creating a great opportunity."

Melanie McDonald, GM, Investment, Amplifi: "The start of Q2 has, as anticipated, remained strong buoyed by pre-election spend as well as retail activity as foot traffic continues to return, and the financial sector in light of anticipated rate rises.

"We expect May to have similar buoyancy, however the YOY growth may be diminished as May 2021 saw a strong media spend post COVID return at +67.6% on May 2020.

"Underlying these results, we do see a level of hesitance with cost of living and on-going supply chain issues impacting automotive, pharmaceuticals, food/produce, utilities to name a few.

"June/July forward bookings have slowed post-election, but July is often softer as financial year clients finalise the next 12months plans with shorter approval lead times.

"OOH and cinema, the last of the media to see recovery, will continue to strong growth."

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain was surprised by the reporting about slowing ad spend in a post-election environment.

"For us, screen advertising momentum is at a high and is forecasted to continue into June and beyond into July and the new financial year," he says.

"At times we have an unhealthy habit of talking ourselves into a slowdown.

"We are in agreement with the reporting that bookings peaked in April, with Foxtel Media bookings experiencing a 23% rate of growth from April 2021 numbers.

"However, we have been in growth for most of the year across television and digital platforms starting with a 16% uplift in January when compared to 2021 figures. 

"Unquestionably, those in the video market have been experiencing exponential growth which may have come off a touch, but we’re still growing and with great momentum.  

"Political spend was indeed up in April. In fact, it was up a whopping 192% on our platforms at the time. The remaining 20% of our growth for April came from 68 other categories including meal delivery, home services &  machinery.

"We often do see the market steer clear of election advertising at this time and move activity into the next quarter - which further fuels our belief that the growth pattern will continue.

"We also have a different view when it comes to expected ad spend for June. While reporting forecasts this to be lower than expected, at Foxtel Media our June forecast shows double digital growth compared to the same time last year. This is in line with the first half of the year excluding election spend.

"Brands and media owners recognise that amidst inflation, interest rate hikes and global conflicts there lies a clear opportunity for leadership with quality service, trust and positive advertising. From our close relationships with a plethora of iconic brands, we expect video advertising to come out swinging for the rest of the year but most importantly, still growing! Let's not talk ourselves into any form of a ‘slowing’ mentality."

Sebastian Rennie, CIO at Group M Australia and New Zealand: “As we transitioned from a year of recovery in 2021 and moved into 2022 we expected a strong start to the year and the data is validating that forecast.

"The market is up 9.2% so far this year, driven by the carryover of demand from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 and the subsequent
boost of expenditure from the Federal Election.

"As we move to more normalised trading conditions post-election, we expect to see some monthly ebbs and flows in demand but are still confident the market will deliver overall growth, driven in no small part by a very strong video market.”

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus