WARC Report: COVID Causes Digital Consumption To Rise By Over 30%

Woman hand using mobile phone and laptop, Worldwide connection technology interface.

The consumer shift to digital media has accelerated in the past 12 months, with online channels now set to take a greater share of retail, and TikTok’s expansion into social commerce being an even greater challenge to established platforms like Facebook.

These findings by WARC, the international marketing intelligence service, are included in the latest Global Ad Trends report: COVID-19 One Year On, which outlines the new, long-term shifts in e-commerce, social media, online video and gaming for brands and consumers.

E-commerce: $900bn more was spent at online retailers last year

Nearly $1trn more was spent at online retailers last year, per the Mastercard Economics Institute, and the move to online retail has engrained long-term habits. Brands are investing more in e-commerce advertising, which grew far ahead of the wider online ad market last year.

This trend is set to continue even as high street footfall increases in 2021 and major players like Amazon become more attractive – data from Earnest Research show 59% of new COVID-19 Amazon customers were still buying with the company at the end of 2020, the highest retention rate in American retail.

The growing popularity of ‘buy online for pickup in store’, which has seen over a quarter of adults in the US (26%), Mexico (28%) and India (33%) using the service more, indicates flexibility and convenience will be a key consumer strategy in the future.

Social media: TikTok was the social winner of 2020 – user activity doubled and brands are upping their investment

Driven by entertaining content, TikTok is now the social app with the highest level of user activity, having overtaken Facebook for the top spot in Canada (TikTok users spend 17 hours a month on the app), France (17 hours), the UK (20 hours) and the United States (22 hours), per App Annie.

Findings included in WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2021, based on a survey of over 1,000 marketers, show that 44% of brands expect to increase spend on TikTok this year, ahead of Facebook’s 39%. 

Online video: Linear TV advertising falls an estimated $34bn as YouTube, social video and brand integrations lure ad budgets away

Online video is eroding linear TV advertising and now accounts for a quarter (26%) of the global video ad market. Digital platforms like YouTube are becoming more popular, with audiences now watching over 20 hours of mobile content each month, according to App Annie. More than a quarter (27%) of YouTube consumption is via connected TV devices, which now poses a direct challenge to linear TV activity.

Audiences are less concerned with these distinctions, though, and care more about quality content than the delivery platform – one in five (20%) consumers globally sees no difference between YouTube and linear TV consumption, per AudienceProject research. This rises even higher in the US (36%) and the UK (27%).

Gaming and esports: Brands tap into sponsorships, mobile creative and celebrity collaborations as audiences expand

Gaming and esports audiences grew rapidly last year, with streaming platform Twitch approaching three million monthly viewers worldwide. Audiences are also more receptive to advertising in exchange for in-game benefits, and gamers are 7% more likely to buy from brands they have seen advertised, according to GWI. This rises to 15% in Japan, 10% in China and 9% in India.

Esports sponsorship is expected to grow 11.6% this year and top $600m for the first time, per Newzoo forecasts. The creative opportunities for brands extend beyond this, ranging from celebrity collaborations and partnerships. However, a third (35%) of marketers say gaming is not an area of higher focus in 2021, suggesting a potential missed opportunity for some.

Rob Clapp, Senior Analyst, WARC Data, and author of the research, said: “The media disruption from COVID-19 was rapid and severe, but the data suggest that brands were largely able to adapt to the immediate shifts in consumer behaviour. The clear correlation between changes in user activity and advertising spend shows how digital media has benefitted.

“The main takeaway for brands has been a greater focus on agility, innovation and effectiveness, a trend that is likely to perpetuate digital media’s rapid growth in 2021 and beyond.”

Consumer attitudes to advertising reveal a preference for TV over social media

Included in this edition of Global Ad Trends is an analysis ofconsumer attitudes to advertising, digital media, brand safety, and data-driven targeting in the UK and the United States, as measured by target audience company GWI in collaboration with WARC.

The latest research finds:

  • Younger audiences want to connect with advertising on an emotional level, while older audiences look for product information.
  • 34% of consumers say TV advertising is ‘entertaining’ and 30% ‘informative’ compared to 17% and 19% respectively for social media advertising.
  • 53% of consumers say an excessive number of ads negatively impacts their view of the brand.
  • Younger audiences are easily distracted online – one in two (49%) say they regularly switch between multiple smartphone apps.
  • The largest consumers of digital media are most resistant to targeted advertising, undermining one of the main benefits of digital TV and audio campaigns.

Regional findings from Global Ad Trends: COVID One Year On

Americas

  • E-commerce tripled its share of retail sales in Argentina (to 10%) and doubled its share in Canada (25%) and the US (22%) during the peak of COVID-19 in 2020.
  • Mobile audiences in Brazil and Mexico now spend 25 hours watching YouTube content each month.
  • TikTok user activity more than doubled in Mexico (139%), Argentina (115%) and Brazil (106%) last year.

Asia Pacific

  • E-commerce doubled its share of retail in Australia (to 11%) and India (10%) during the peak of the crisis last year.
  • YouTube consumption grew quickest in Asia Pacific last year, rising 19%.
  • Chinese Tmall food sales struggled at the end of 2020, dropping 62% in December.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • UK leads the region in e-commerce’s share of retail (at 24%), followed by France (12%) and Germany (10%). Russia (7%) and Italy (5%) are further behind.
  • EMEA saw the quickest growth in TikTok user activity last year, up 103%.
  • Gamers in Saudi Arabia and Israel are most receptive to advertising – they are 16% and 15% more likely to buy brands they have seen advertised, respectively.

 




Please login with linkedin to comment

Warc

Latest News

MECCA & Fendi Among Premium Advertisers For oOh!media Woollahra OOH Network Launch
  • Advertising

MECCA & Fendi Among Premium Advertisers For oOh!media Woollahra OOH Network Launch

oOh!media has today announced launch partners for the fully digital Woollahra Out of Home Street Furniture network – the first phase of oOh!’s Premium Sydney offering. Luxury brands, including JLR Australia, MECCA, and LVMH’s prestigious brands Tiffany & Co., TAG Heuer, and Fendi, are debuting across state-of-the-art LED screens. These screens are powered entirely by […]

Yahoo Academy Announces Class Of 2024
  • Marketing

Yahoo Academy Announces Class Of 2024

Yahoo is proud to announce the 30 outstanding emerging leaders who have been chosen from more than 200 entries to participate in the Yahoo Academy 2024 program. Now in its 13th year, the Yahoo Academy has a stellar track record as the industry’s leading talent-building initiative, boasting 360 graduates to date. The 2024 cohort is […]

Top 35 Media Leaders Announced For 2024 TikTok Agency Accelerator Program
  • Media

Top 35 Media Leaders Announced For 2024 TikTok Agency Accelerator Program

TikTok has announced the 35 media leaders selected to participate in the 2024 cohort of the TikTok Agency Accelerator Program. The program, which received high interest from Australian media agencies, is part of TikTok’s commitment to fostering the development of talented professionals within the Australian media industry. This year’s program centres around the concept of […]

AiMCO Announces First-Ever Diversity Webinar To Explore Inclusion In Influencer Marketing
  • Marketing

AiMCO Announces First-Ever Diversity Webinar To Explore Inclusion In Influencer Marketing

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AiMCO) has announced its first-ever diversity webinar for members, designed to explore inclusion in national influencer marketing campaigns. Lead image: Ellie Cole The free AiMCO webinar, to be held on April 30, will look at how brands can effectively incorporate diversity and inclusion into their influencer campaigns to resonate with […]

Anthony Ellis Promoted To CEO Of Publicis Media Exchange
  • Advertising

Anthony Ellis Promoted To CEO Of Publicis Media Exchange

Publicis Groupe Australia and New Zealand has announced the promotion of Anthony Ellis (lead image) to the new position of chief executive officer for Publicis Media Exchange (PMX) in Australia and New Zealand. As CEO of the Groupe’s media investment arm in Australia and New Zealand, Ellis will continue to drive the Groupe’s’ client-centric approach […]

Indigenous Stars 3% & Jessica Mauboy Fuel New Supercars Campaign Via WILDCARD
  • Campaigns

Indigenous Stars 3% & Jessica Mauboy Fuel New Supercars Campaign Via WILDCARD

Supercars will reveal its latest TV commercial tomorrow, featuring thrilling on-track moments as well as the 2024 Supercars anthem, Won’t Stop, by First Nations artists 3% and Jessica Mauboy. Lead image: L-R Cam Waters, Chaz Mostert, Broc Feeney. Entering its second year, the “Unforgettable” brand campaign for Supercars continues to immerse fans in all the full-throttle, adrenaline-fuelled […]

Nine Launches New Look Olympic Experience 100 Days Out From Paris 2024
  • Media

Nine Launches New Look Olympic Experience 100 Days Out From Paris 2024

With just 100 days until the Olympic Games Paris 2024, 9Now has unveiled its fresh new look and state-of-the-art upgrade, which will revolutionise the way Australians watch the Olympics and Paralympics, regardless of their device. 9Now will lead Australia into a new era of Olympic streaming with a world-class audience experience never seen before in […]

Must-Watch Marketers At Cannes In Cairns!
  • B&T Exclusive

Must-Watch Marketers At Cannes In Cairns!

With such an almighty slate of content at this year’s Cannes in Cairns, presented by Pinterest, the mind can boggle over which session to attend. When the main stage isn’t being commanded by the showstopping keynotes, there are two content tracks in the Cairns Convention Centre and new for 2024, an afternoon content track in […]

Retail Media Demands A New Organisation Dynamic
  • Opinion

Retail Media Demands A New Organisation Dynamic

Lyndall Campher, former media director at L’Oréal and group director at UM, Mindshare and MediaCom explains that retail media demands a new kind of organisational layout than traditional media. There have been a plethora of articles written about retail media, especially since the Stanley Morgan Report was released in December last year. It has been […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp & NRMA Unite For Urgent Action To Fix Notoriously Dangerous Bruce Hwy
  • Campaigns

News Corp & NRMA Unite For Urgent Action To Fix Notoriously Dangerous Bruce Hwy

News Corp Australia and NRMA Insurance have launched a major advocacy campaign, Help Our Highway, calling for urgent action to fix one of the country’s most important and notoriously dangerous roads. Lead image: Michelle Klein CCMO NRMA Queensland’s Bruce Highway stretches more than 1,670kms from Brisbane to Cairns and is a critical transportation corridor for […]

Tara Ford To Serve On Titanium Jury At Cannes Lions
  • Advertising

Tara Ford To Serve On Titanium Jury At Cannes Lions

Tara Ford, chief creative officer of The Monkeys and Accenture Song, is set to serve on the Titanium jury at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The Aussie adland legend said that she “can’t wait” to join the panel of judges and that the Award was particularly close to her heart. “Titanium is […]

“Be Like A Skunk At A Garden Party”: Author Patrick Radden Keefe On Investigating Pharma
  • Marketing

“Be Like A Skunk At A Garden Party”: Author Patrick Radden Keefe On Investigating Pharma

Patrick Radden Keefe (pictured), author of global bestseller, Empire of Pain, talked to B&T‘s Nancy Hromin at the Samsung Jaipur Literary Festival about reputation laundering, aggressive marketing strategies and the privilege of still being able to practice pure journalism and be paid for it. Keefe’s in-depth reporting in publications such as The New Yorker and […]