Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Shift Happens

Back in January I indicated that 2010 U.S. online Internet ad spending established a record – $25.8 billion, a 13.9% increase vs. 2009. Internet ad spending will continue to hit new peaks over the next few years. Why? Shift happens!

Read On:
In a recent report titled U.S. Ad Spending: Online Outshines Other Media, the author David Hallerman detailed increased quarterly spending for 2010. According to his projections, online advertising when the 4th quarter numbers are published, will set a new quarterly record spend of $7.25 billion! Consequently, analysts now predict double digit growth for five consecutive years; total online advertising expenditures will exceed $40 billion by 2014.

I am not surprised that marketers are shifting their advertising spending to online venues given the amount of time people now spend online. For the record, Internet advertising (the record $25.8 billion) just surpassed newspaper advertising to take second place behind TV among measured media. This shift will be further enhanced by the ease of getting online thanks to the growth in smartphones. Nielsen now projects that one in two Americans will have a smartphone by the time we close out 2011. In recognition of smartphones, digital video appeals to brands as a platform to get their messages broadcasted. Social networking sites is another area marketers are targeting to spend their online advertising dollars.

Sunday’s Big Game will further validate my point that advertisers are following the shift in consumer behavior. A leading research company estimates that two-thirds of viewers ages 18 to 34 indicated they plan to use their smartphone during the game to send emails, text messages, check out advertisers’ websites, post comments on a social network, etc. Then there is the day after when everyone will be on YouTube checking out all the Super Bowl ads. I remember reading that Volkswagen, after dropping out from Super Bowl advertising for nine years, had 1 million people view their 2010 ad online after the game; 850,000 views were on YouTube. No wonder online advertising is gearing up for the next level and ready to break more spending numbers.
Shift happens!


  1. Thanks for the post Jim... I saw somewhere that Audi will use a hashtag (#) in their advertising during the big game so that people can follow along on Twitter. Furthermore, I saw that mobile ad spend will increase 59% this year.

    Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that marketing discipline disappears. We still have to talk to our customers in the channels and ways meaningful to them as opposed to what we'd like to foist upon them.

  2. As I was reading this, I received 3 emails, 4 new RSS updates, my daughter texted me, and something grabbed my attention on the radio.

    Kidding aside, it's not just the channels and the level of multitasking we need to gauge, but the message and how we engage those consumers with relevant content.

    Back to YouTube...

    Paul Mosenson

  3. Paul's comment adds to a thought I had after reading your post, Jim, and that level of interest and retaining of information. If viewers are so busy juggling watching TV, adding content to their FB and Twitter streams, perusing other content sites, oh, and talking with invited guests who are over for a Super Bowl party, how much attention are we really giving to these advertisements. More importantly, how much of the information that advertisers are trying to relay to viewers sticks? I can't help but wonder if the increase in dollars is merely a reaction of following the crowds than really providing a means for engagement and information retention in a world that's increasingly getting noisy.

    Just my pocket of change found between the sofa cushions while looking for the remote.

  4. Here's the article about Audi's ad:

  5. In addition, some advertisers are tying themselves to the SB unofficially by offering online contests and vague tie-ins to avoid the SB ad costs. That's not new, but I suspect that such moves will be much more successful this year than in the past based on the trends you cite. More and more fragmentation and specialization is coming at warp speed. We all gotta keep up.

  6. Thank you everyone for your comments. One common thread I am hearing here is advertisers will be challenged moving forward to vie for their consumers attention when their consumer is multi-tasking, thus utilizing numerous channels at once to field communications. To me it is going to open the door for some outrageous, over the top creative that grabs people's attention and gets them buzzing. Maybe they should entertain nudity like they do in Europe; now that would be over the top.

    Once again thank you for weighing in.

  7. Jim
    I think that with mobility and the ever increasing forms of mobility, more and more promotions /ads/awareness/ etc. will be online