When the coronavirus outbreak took hold in Australia last year, TV CPMs fell markedly as many brands froze budgets. However, some categories bucked the wider trend and increased their spot volume, according to a WARC Data analysis of Adgile data.

The lowest volume of spots was measured in April 2020 (1.23m) as the coronavirus outbreak first hit, a level that had fallen by one-tenth (11.2%) compared to the start of the year. As brands withdrew, CPM fell by 4.9%, per the WFA's agency consensus of cost inflation.

Some categories increased their spot volume during this period, though. Health & beauty brands saw the largest rise, increasing volume by 47.2% between the pre-COVID period (Sept 2019 to Feb 2020) and the outbreak (Mar 2020 to Sept 2020). Finance and food brands also increased volumes by over a third during this period.

Additional findings from WARC Data's Global Advertising Trends: Next Generation TV include:

  • Campaigns ran for longer as production was curbed – FMCG TV campaigns are now over a week longer.
  • Retailers, usually value-led, pivoted to brand-building during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • FMCG advertisers were quick to launch new products.

WARC Data's latest report analyses how video viewing has evolved and how brands are reacting to the next generation of TV. It also includes an analysis of TV spots during the coronavirus outbreak, drawing from over 15m measured ads.

WARC Data subscribers can access the full report here. A free sample report is available to non-subscribers here.