Online businesses such as Amazon and Google are increasingly investing their ad pounds into television, helping the sector to “hold firm” despite wider economic challenges.
Last year, Amazon spent 21% more on TV advertising than in 2017. The £60m investment makes the online retail giant TV’s third-biggest spender behind Procter & Gamble (£169m) and Reckitt Benckiser (£79m), up from fifth last year.
Thanks to additional dollars from Google, Just Eat and Trivago, online businesses remain TV’s biggest spending category, spending a total of £760m in 2018, up 7% year on year.
Overall, UK TV ad revenue (including broadcast TV spot and sponsorship, broadcaster VOD, addressable TV, interactive TV advertising, and product placement) totalled £5.11bn in 2018, according to full-year figures provided to TV marketing body Thinkbox by UK commercial broadcasters. That is flat year on year and comes in spite of a challenging economic backdrop and increased investment in performance media.
Food, which is TV’s second biggest spending category, was down 3% to £534m, while cosmetics & personal care was up 1% to £437m. Entertainment & leisure was flat at £380m and finance was up 18% to £378m.
The big increase in finance ad spend is in part due to Capital One and Visa returning to TV after a period of not spending.
“TV is a trusted, high quality environment for brands, and we are seeing signs of money moving back to TV from lower quality online environments that can’t guarantee a safe environment for brands,” says Lindsey Clay, CEO of Thinkbox.
“It is a testament to TV’s continuing power to deliver that a company like Amazon, which understands its customers so well, is using TV to power its success.”
Last year there were 867 new or returning (after a gap of at least five years) advertisers on TV.
While the average cost per thousand for broadcast TV ad views was up 1% year on year to £5.13, TV advertising is now 21% cheaper than a decade ago.
According to BARB, an average broadcast TV campaign in the UK gets 240 million views, with TV advertising responsible for 71% of total ad-generated profit.