The 20 biggest Australian advertisers of 2020

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 1 February 2021

Supermarkets, the federal government, Harvey Norman and streaming media from Foxtel were the big spending advertisers of 2020.

Analysts at Nielsen Ad Intel have explored the shifts in ad spend during 2020, the pandemic year, identifying those who increased activity.

The retail category topped the ad spend league table with $1.67 billion.

Communications ($527 million), finance (almost $400 million), gaming ($252 million), food ($235 million) and education ($104 million) increased spend, with key messaging around COVID-19 and promotion of product offering adjustments.

Other categories such as travel and entertainment and hospitality had to cut or suspend advertising campaigns.

The communications category reported an increase compared to 2019, with internet content services increasing significantly.

Financial institutions are promoting e-banking services along with brand activity featuring "here to help" campaigns.

Fast-moving consumer goods for diet and health food also increased as well as campaigns for biscuits and confectionery.

Skincare lines and hair colourant brands also used the pandemic as an opportunity with mindfully created campaigns for  Australians seeking affordable vices during the crisis.

The top 20, according to The Nielsen Ad Intel 2020 Top Advertisers Report:

nielsen advertisers 2020

top 20 categories nielsen 2020

Nielsen says its Ad Intel spend estimates provide the comprehensive media coverage including metropolitan and regional free-to-air television, metropolitan and select regional newspapers, select consumer magazines, broadcast metropolitan radio, national out of home, national cinema and digital display and pre-roll video (no search, social or in-app).

The Nielsen Ad Intel 2020 Top Advertisers Report looks at the advertising spend volumes across Australia's Top 20 Advertiser Groups/Advertisers and the Top 20 competitive categories/industries, for the period Jan- Dec 2020.

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