New Study Shows Tiered Platforms Appeal To Most Viewers

Though free ad-supported TV platforms (FASTs) are on the rise, Hub’s annual Monetizing Video study found that tiered services account for a greater share of preference than subscriptions with one advertising option only.

The study, conducted among 1,607 US consumers aged 16 to 74 who watch a minimum of one hour of TV per week and have broadband at home, explores the distribution models consumers perceive as most valuable and how they prefer to pay for content.

More than a year into the pandemic, consumers are using more TV providers than ever as giants like WarnerMedia and Disney+ release top content to their streaming platforms. Meanwhile, 82 percent of US households with a TV have at least one inter-connected TV device, including connected Smart TVs, stand-alone streaming devices, connected video game systems, and/or connected Blu-ray players.

As a result of these changes, consumers are getting closer to the amount they think is reasonable to spend on TV—namely, less. In 2020, Hub found that a majority of consumers cited $72 as a reasonable amount to invest in TV but actually spent $94 at the time. This year, Hub notes that most consumers view $73 as the sweet spot for TV spending but actually spend $85 on TV overall.

When tiered services are an option, no other choice gets a greater share, according to Hub’s research. As part of its survey, the firm divided respondents into two groups who were then tasked with choosing from three hypothetical streaming services with identical content.

Group one’s options were: a paid, ad-free subscription, a free-with-ads service and a paid, limited-ads subscription. Group two’s options were the same as group one’s except the limited-ads service was replaced with a paid service offering two tiers to choose from—ad-free and ad-supported.  

Almost twice as many consumers picked the service with tiered options (36 percent) as the service with a limited-ad option only (19 percent). In addition, the limited ads-only service received a much lower share than either the paid ad-free service or the free-with-ads service.

The number of consumers choosing the tiered service, however, was just as high as the number of consumers choosing free-with-ads, and higher than the proportion choosing the service with only a single, ad-free option.

Tiered subscriptions could also increase the total addressable market, as Hub found that 40 percent of current HBO Max subscribers would consider switching to the ad-supported tier. More than a quarter of those who don’t subscribe to HBO Max said they’d consider signing up with a less expensive ad-supported tier as an option.

Hub also found that FASTs like Pluto TV and Roku Channel are gaining traction and this year have the highest perceived value of any kind of TV service, as noted by 66 percent of respondents. Sixty-four percent named subscription video on demand (SVOD) as a good or excellent value while 50 percent named virtual multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) as a good or excellent value. Pay TV bundles ranked last, with 48 percent saying it’s a good or excellent value.  

Aggregation presents a big opportunity for pay TV providers to gain more perceived value, as 66 percent who said their pay TV subscription is a good or excellent value watch SVOD providers through their pay TV set box; 45 percent of the same group don’t watch their SVODs through their pay TV set-top box.

For companies that offer more than just video, such as Amazon, high-quality content is considerably appealing. When Hub asked respondents the primary reason they signed up for Amazon Prime, 50 percent said it was to access shows and movies on Prime Video; the other half cited other benefits such as two-day shipping.

The opportunity for same-day-as-theater releases remains strong, as Hub found that during COVID, more than half of young viewers said they’d pay as much as $30 to stream a first-run movie.

Marketing Budgets Decrease As A Percentage Of Company Revenue To Lowest Level In Recent History

Marketing budgets as a percentage of company revenue have dropped from 11 percent in 2020 to 6.4 percent in 2021—the lowest share allocated to marketing in recent history.

That’s according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, conducted from March through May among 400 respondents in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK.

During 2020, Gartner found that the majority of chief marketing officers saw cuts well above 15 percent of the total marketing budget. Research from Gartner’s CMO Strategic Priorities Survey, however, shows that 56 percent of CMOs expected budget growth of more than 5 percent in 2021.

That decrease reflects a steady erosion of marketing’s funds amid marketing stakeholders’ lack of understanding on the impact that near-term marketing cuts have on brand awareness and consideration. As the report suggests, CMOs need to demonstrate in their next budgeting cycle that the current facade of savings presents a big risk to brand relevance, share of voice and the ability to engage customers with targeted, timely messages.

Accelerated investments in digital have come at the expense of functions such as marketing. All nine industries Gartner tracked were impacted by marketing budgets, with no industry holding a budget of more than 9 percent of revenue in 2021. 

Travel and hospitality saw budgets as a proportion of company revenue down from 10 percent to just 5.4 percent in 2020. CMOs from consumer products companies reported the strongest marketing budgets at 8.3 percent of revenue in 2021.

Investments in pure digital channels — be they owned, paid or earned — dominated CMOs’ investment priorities, accounting for 72.2 percent of the total marketing budget. Social media, digital ads and SEO are among the channels CMOs invested most in.

Almost a quarter of respondents told Gartner that cost reductions are what drove channel reallocations for the following reasons: to better meet the pace of change spurred by advances in digital technology (47 percent), to improve brand awareness (40 percent) and to gather data-driven insights from digital channels (39 percent).

Compared with previous years, marketing channel budget priorities have changed little year-over-year, with marketing technology still dominating at 26.7 percent of the total budget — a slight increase from 2020.

Agencies’ share of the total budget has declined slightly, by 0.7 percent, signaling the increase of efforts being moved in-house. Respondents reported that 29 percent of work previously produced by agencies has moved in-house in the past 12 months. The top three reasons for this, CMOs said, include brand strategy, innovation and technology, and marketing strategy development.

Across marketing programs and operational areas, digital commerce holds the largest share of the pie at 12.3 percent of the total budget, followed by marketing operations (11.9 percent) and brand strategy (11.3 percent). Marketing analytics came in fourth, comprising 11 percent of total budget.

Study: Overlap In Advertisers For Snapchat And Facebook Is Low

Despite a decline earlier in the year due to the pandemic, digital ad spend increased 12.2 percent year-over-year in 2020, giving major advertisers like Google and Facebook a greater share of the pie. With users spending more time than ever on social media and online shopping, eMarketer estimates US digital ad spending will grow 25.5 percent, the fastest growth rate since 2018.

With the proliferation of audio-only platforms and the gradual return to offices amid rising vaccination rates, though, how effective are Facebook ads now compared to ads on Snapchat, podcasts and television? MediaRadar’s latest analysis answers that question with insights from Q1 on how ads from each channel mentioned measure up to ads on Facebook, where 48 percent of advertisers were exclusive in Q1.

MediaRadar first set out to understand the top four categories of advertisers on Facebook in Q1. According to the study, those categories include entertainment, retail, professional services and tech; collectively accounting for nearly 65 percent of all advertisers on Facebook in Q1.

Retail saw the largest volume of advertisers on Facebook in Q1: 4,600 according to MediaRadar’s study. Brands that exclusively advertised on Facebook make up 56 percent of the retail category, with auto dealerships being the top retail brands advertising in Q1. These included Mercedes-Benz of Des Moines, Kansas City Honda Dealers, Audi Layton and Cook Subaru.

It was entertainment companies, however, that spent the most on Facebook ads in Q1, namely Disney+, HBO Max, Discovery+, Sling TV and Amazon Prime Video. Of all the ad spend that quarter, streaming companies comprised 7 percent.

The largest spikes in ad spend in Q1 2021 came from smaller categories. For example, spend in food, restaurant and bar categories increased 303 percent YoY that quarter. The restaurant and bar category surged to an all-time high of $184 million in Q1.

According to the analysis, in Q1, 48 percent of Facebook campaigns lasted one month, 38 percent lasted between two to four months, 10 percent lasted between five to seven months, 5 percent lasted between eight to 10 months and 4 percent lasted between 11 to 12 months.

As for how advertising on Facebook measured up to advertising with TV broadcasters, MediaRadar found that the percentage of overlap between advertisers on NBC and Fox and advertisers on Facebook in Q4 2020 was identical—34 percent. As the study notes, this may reflect Facebook’s pursuit of linear TV advertisers versus any single channel. In addition, Facebook overlap with broadcast advertisers is on the rise YoY comparing Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, which may suggest Facebook is getting better at attracting these advertisers.

Facebook has launched several new audio products in order to compete with the likes of Apple podcasts and Clubhouse. For example, it recently started rolling out Live Audio Rooms and in-stream podcasts. MediaRadar’s analysis found that in Q1 of 2021, the top 10 spending advertisers on podcasts that overlapped on Facebook accounted for 15 percent of all podcasting ad spend. And, correlating spend on Facebook accounted for less than 1 percent of Q1 spend. Lastly, in Q1 2021, 29 percent of podcast advertisers overlapped with Facebook advertisers, according to the report.

The report showed that the overlap in advertisers on Snapchat and Facebook between January 2020 and March 2021 was 22 percent, with the lowest amount of overlap having occurred in February 2020, at 14 percent. The low amount of overlap could be the result of Snapchat having added new features, such as a ‘Sounds’ option that lets users add song clips to their videos, to woo Gen Z.

Being A Good Steward Of Data With Privacy Lawyer, Odia Kagan

Odia Kagan is a Partner and Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy at Fox Rothschild LLP, a US national law firm. She has advised more than 200 companies of varying industries and sizes on compliance with GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act and other US data protection laws.

In this episode, Odia and I discuss why marketers should care about data protection and what they should be paying attention to in the connection between marketing and data. For those unfamiliar with CCPA and CPRA laws, Odia breaks down what each means and why they are relevant to marketing. 

Odia says, “Consumer trust is aligned with privacy compliance.” As the interview continues, you’ll hear more references to the emerging cookie-less world, consumer trust, and mindfulness that all data collection isn’t good data collection.  


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why marketers should care about data protection
  • What it means to be a good steward of data
  • The relationship between privacy laws and UX design and experience 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:31] What led Odia to pursue privacy law 
  • [02:38] Care about data protection 
  • [05:15] Be transparent about what you do with data
  • [10:45] Be mindful of how you share data
  • [12:45] What Odia thinks marketers can solve
  • [19:36] Breaking down CCPA legislation 
  • [24:34] Breaking down CPRA legislation
  • [31:15] Privacy laws with UX design and experience  
  • [35:20] Meeting consumer expectation 
  • [38:00] A defining experience that made Odia who she is today 
  • [39:10] Odia’s advice to her younger self
  • [40:00] Odia’s impactful purchase
  • [41:05] The brands and companies Odia follows
  • [42:38] What Odia says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:


Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Being A Growth Team, Not A Marketing Team With Qualtrics’ Kylan Lundeen

Kylan Lundeen is the chief marketing officer at Qualtrics where he has helped revenue growth increase up to 50% per year. When Kylan started “meandering” in marketing, he began to realize the importance of growth versus marketing alone. He says, “the job of any marketer is to influence other people to take action and do something”, but you can only do that when you understand growth.

In this conversation, Kylan and I discuss skateboards, valuable content creation in a world of distraction, and the power of educating your internal team on what marketing actually does. You’ll also hear Kylan’s perspective on creating a new category, as well as how he and his team have combatted the marketing competition that is the entertainment industry. Listen in to find out how Kylan thinks marketers should be adapting to the future and what you can do to cut through the noise.  

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The benefit of accepting random projects
  • Why you should focus on growth vs. marketing
  • Overcoming the entertainment competition  

Key Highlights:

  • [01:26] Kylan’s favorite hobby
  • [03:30] How Kylan became an accidental marketer
  • [06:15] “Meandering” through marketing
  • [09:32] Getting banned from Dreamforce
  • [11:15] Becoming CMO
  • [15:06] Focusing on growth vs. marketing
  • [19:05] Appreciating the foundations
  • [21:12] Creating a new category
  • [29:00] Marketing, clear and simple
  • [34:13] Competing with entertainment
  • [40:00] Where Kylan gets inspiration
  • [45:37] A defining experience that made Kylan who he is today 
  • [49:35] What Kylan says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 


Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:


Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Report: The State Of CTV Advertising 2021

Since the pandemic, viewership from linear to digital-first ways like connected TV (CTV) has continued to grow. This shift has given marketers a fresh perspective on CTV through the lens of digital, as evidenced by a new report from Innovid and Digiday. According to their findings, 64 percent of marketers and agency executives said that the top benefit they’re hoping to gain by adopting CTV is a stronger connection between digital and TV advertising.

With CTV ad spend projected to reach $11.31 billion this year and $18.29 billion by 2024, Innovid set out to understand where marketers stand in their CTV journey including how they measure success, their top challenges and how CTV fits into their omnichannel strategy.

A majority of respondents only recently began investing in CTV. Innovid’s research shows that 41 percent started allocating budget to CTV one to three years ago and 24 percent only started doing so less than a year ago. Meanwhile, another 24 percent are still figuring out how to leverage CTV.

CTV advertising is especially appealing as of late because marketers can incorporate it into their omnichannel strategy. For example, 83 percent of respondents told Innovid they run CTV ads alongside social media. Other existing channels they’re running CTV ads alongside include display advertising (78 percent), mobile video (77 percent), desktop video (67 percent) and linear TV (54 percent).

Respondents said that CTV investment has boosted brand awareness (59 percent) and brand engagement (50 percent) though just 26 percent can credit CTV for higher conversion rates.

Thirty-nine percent said CTV investment has increased return on ad spend (ROAS); 51 percent either don’t know if ROAS was impacted or have seen no change in ROAS.

As Innovid notes, changing consumption habits have shown some brands that CTV can turn TV advertising into a down-funnel, direct-to-consumer and direct response tactic. That’s been the experience for Allergan Aesthetics. The company purchased ad programmatically on Hulu and Pluto TV for its brands Botox, CoolSculpting and Juvaderm.

Its “New Year, Do You” sweepstakes campaigns for Juvaderm and Botox encouraged consumers to scan quick response (QR) codes with their phones for a chance to win $10,000 in products. The result: more than 6.5 million impressions, about 2,000 QR scans and an average video completion rate of 96.74 percent for Juvaderm, and 3.4 million impressions, 60 QR scans and an average VCR of 93.62 percent for Botox.

Currently, the top three key performance indicators (KPIs) that CTV marketers value most are conversions/revenue, reach and brand awareness.

“When marketers incorporate CTV as an extension of their linear efforts, incremental reach could be their core KPI. But if a marketer uses CTV as an entire substitute for linear in a television buy, examining the cost effectiveness of the household reach across an entire campaign would be useful,” said Jessica Hogue, general manager, measurement and analytics, at Innovid.

Some of the challenges marketers have faced in implementing CTV ads include inconsistent measurement (57 percent), targeting the right audiences (53 percent) and inventory fragmentation (41 percent). To better measure CTV ad performance, 68 percent said they’ve partnered with an advertising technology company while 27 percent have hired in-house experts.

Given each device creates its own identifiers, CTV marketers are struggling to analyze the data needed for effective audience targeting. In response to this, over half of respondents are relying on audience targeting tactics and first-party data.

Though device identifiers such as IP addresses can create specific IDs encompassing a household’s different streaming devices, single-source data sets that translate across providers are critical.

As per Innovid, a few ways to enhance CTV measurement include establishing industry-wide metrics and avoiding ad tech providers that have different interpretations of audience reach. 

Next, marketers should experiment with measuring different performance goals such as incremental reach, household reach or message frequency then use the ensuing data to inform future strategies. Lastly, Innovid suggests taking advantage of adjusting campaigns mid-flight in order to increase return on investment (ROI).

Even as CTV investment increases, marketers still consider linear an important part of the marketing mix. Fifty-four percent of respondents said linear TV will comprise 1 percent to 24 percent of their mix this year and 22 percent say it’ll account for 25 percent to 49 percent of their mix.

Some marketers have even upped their linear spend—23 percent have increased it from 1 percent to 24 percent in the past year while 16 percent increased it from 25 percent to 49 percent.

3 Omnichannel Marketing Trends You Need to Know

After a year or so that required marketers to adapt their strategies to fit digitally-enabled devices at home and shift away from traditional channels, Innovid set out to quantify pandemic-induced omnichannel marketing trends by analyzing billions of global impressions from 2020 across more than 550 advertisers.

Its 2021 global omnichannel benchmarks report, “The Year Streaming Went Supernova” unpacks three key marketing takeaways, including the explosive growth of connected TV (CTV), the importance of programmatic advertising for video and how dynamic creative is serving as a win-win for remaining nimble and driving impressions. 


#1: Make CTV The Center Of Your Omnichannel Strategy

Last year, CTV accounted for 40 percent of all video impressions—up from 31 percent in 2019. eMarketer anticipates this trend will continue this year, when over 25 percent of all US households will cut the cord.

Innovid found that global CTV video impressions saw a 60 percent year-over-year (YoY) increase. CTV ad spending is growing the fastest in APAC, but North America has the largest share of CTV impressions. Outside of North American, LATAM has the second biggest share of CTV impressions and the largest growth in share going to CTV, according to Innovid.

In 2020, mobile captured 43 percent of global video impressions and 68 percent of global display impressions. Meanwhile, global PC impressions in both display and video are still on a downward momentum. 

In 2020, PC’s share of global display impressions was 32 percent, while video impressions dropped to 16 percent—a 23 percent YoY decline. Nevertheless, in 2020, internet time spent on PCs rose 7.5 percent, signaling its importance in the omnichannel marketing mix.


#2: Give Your Campaigns A Programmatic Boost

Pointing to Statista data, Innovid reports that global programmatic ad spend will reach $147 billion this year, up 41 percent since 2019. Brands are increasingly leveraging programmatic for video, as evidenced by the 54 percent YoY increase in video impressions served programmatically. At 54 percent, digital native tied with programmatic as the fastest growing publisher type.

CTV represents one of the largest growing areas for programmatic advertising—in the US alone, it’s expected to hit $6.73 billion, up 54 percent from 2020, as per eMarketer data.

Additionally, Innovid found that programmatic CTV impressions surged by 207 percent YoY, second to CTV impressions served via digital native publishers.

As for share of programmatic CTV impressions by vertical, consumer electronics led the way with 56 percent, followed by auto at 46 percent and gaming at 33 percent.


#3: Leverage Advanced Creative For Agility, Engagement And Brand Loyalty

From the first half last year to the second, Innovid observed a 37 percent increase in the number of advertisers running dynamic creative video and a whopping 100 percent rise in the number of dynamic creative video impressions.

Compared to standard pre-roll, advanced creative ad formats generated a 309 percent lift in engagement and an average of 34 additional seconds earned.

What’s more, interactive CTV produced an additional 63 seconds earned and CTV ads averaged a video-completion rate of over 85 percent.

Brands in verticals that have traditionally led with linear advertising adopted these advanced creative solutions to pivot during the pandemic. Auto brands, for example, utilized geotargeting to alert customers about operating hours and services offered at dealerships. And in response to supply chain issues, CPG brands leaned on dynamic creative to update messaging in real time based on product inventory and availability.

Innovid’s analysis shows that the sweet spot for video ads is between 15 and 30 seconds when optimizing for click-throughs and video completions. Yet it’s worth noting that they saw a 104 percent YoY growth in 60-second ads in 2020, particularly around Q3 and Q4.

Yet another reason to embrace dynamic creative is that within display, it led to a 37 percent lift in CTR over standard display on PCs. On mobile devices, that lift surged to 82 percent.

Ad Tech Companies Measure Efficacy Of Ad Council’s COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign

In February, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative, together with 300 brand partners and the Centers for Disease Control, launched the “It’s Up To You” campaign. Their goal: educate and help audiences, particularly communities of color who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, feel confident about vaccination once it’s available to them.

Now, a group of four ad tech companies has convened to measure the reach and impact of the campaign’s linear TV and out-of-home (OOH) ads with the ultimate goal of maximizing effectiveness and informing TV strategies. TVSquared, Upwave, Kinetiq and Ace Metrix are measuring the “It’s Up To You” campaign 24 hours a day to gather insights on delivery, awareness and performance, campaign-wide and by specific audience segments.

In early March, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative kicked off the “It’s Up To You” campaign nationwide across broadcast TV, digital, radio and social media, with media companies and social platforms such as Adobe, Apple, BET, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Walmart and TikTok releasing custom content and donating media to support the message. As of February 25, the initiative raised over $52 million, and the Ad Council’s COVID-19 efforts alone resulted in over 47 billion impressions, $445 million in donated media value and nearly 33 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.

TVSquared will determine the campaign’s most effective days, times, networks, programs, genres, publishers and creatives for reach and driving response. Upwave will provide in-flight campaign measurement of branding metrics, while Kinetiq is quantifying audience impression and media value of each ad occurrence across 210 designated market areas (DMAs). Lastly, Ace Metrix is letting viewer reaction to video ads determine the effectiveness of ad creative.

The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s efforts to communicate vaccine options to the wider public came as nearly 40 percent of people remained undecided on whether to get vaccinated or not, according to research fielded by Ipsos Public Affairs in February. The findings showed that black and Hispanic Americans who are undecided are significantly less confident they have sufficient information to inform their decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, 75 percent of undecided consumers want information to address their vaccine questions.

According to the most recent data from the CDC, 16.4 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nearly 80 Million Americans Listen To Podcasts Weekly

Nearly 80 million Americans, or 28 percent of the US population aged 12 and older, listen to podcasts weekly—a 17 percent increase over 2020. That’s according to “The Infinite Dial 2021” from Edison Research and Triton, a survey among 1,500 people conducted in January.

The podcast listening cohort is more diverse than ever today as the survey found that monthly listeners are 57 percent white, 16 percent Latino, 13 percent African American, four percent Asian and 10 percent of some other background.

An all-time high number of weekly online audio listeners was also observed—62 percent of the US 12 and over population, around 176 million people.

Smart speaker adoption is continuing to grow, with 33 percent of Americans, or 94 million consumers, saying they own a smart speaker—22 percent more than last year and seven percent more than in 2017. Among the respondents who own a smart speaker, 34 percent report having three or more of the devices in their household.

For the first time in the survey’s history, Facebook is no longer the platform that people use most. Forty-seven percent say they use Facebook the most—a 54 percent dip from the year prior. TikTok may be the source of the decline, with 44 percent of 12-34 year olds reporting that they use TikTok, up from 25 percent last year.

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have also seen an increase in usage among users aged 12-34. The only app other than Facebook for which usage declined is Snapchat, down from 61 percent in 2020 to 55 percent.

Additionally, 20 percent of people say they’ve watched a video game livestream on services such as Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live or Mixer, up five percent from last year.

With the jump in music streaming during lockdowns, shared audio listening is also on the rise. Over half (51 percent) of the survey participants say they “frequently” or “sometimes” listen to audio with other people, with this figure rising to 69 percent among those aged 12-34 years old. The most-listened-to audio service in the last month was Spotify (29 percent), followed by Pandora (20 percent) and YouTube Music, formerly Google Play (16 percent).

The Retail Industry Spent $1.8 Billion On Advertising In January And February

According to MediaRadar’s latest analysis, the retail industry spent $1.8 billion on advertising during January and February 2021, a 24 percent decline from the same period last year.

Between 2017 and 2020, ad spend decreased an average of 34 percent each year, a post-holiday phenomenon that marketers have come to expect. MediaRadar forecasts Q1 2021 retail ad spend will reach $2.73 billion, which represents a 33 percent dip in ad spend between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.

With rising vaccine availability and declining COVID-19 rates in some parts of the world, the economy is slowly opening back up. This has prompted big-box stores like Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s to increase their spend month-over-month. In February, their spend comprised 70 percent of general retail and department store ad spend, reports MediaRadar.

The increased spend aligns with encouraging consumer sentiment about the future of in-person shopping. An Ad Age-Harris Poll found that 62 percent of consumers plan to shop in stores this spring at least once a week.

Retail and department stores overall are still recovering from the pandemic, as spend is down 26 percent year-over-ear (YoY), which marks the same level of recovery observed in Q4 of 2020.

Building on their positive momentum from the end of 2020, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) invested $500 million in ads in January and February. That’s a 33 percent decline YoY, but a marked improvement from 2020 when their spend was down as much as 65 percent, according to MediaRadar.

McDonald’s and Subway ran spots during the GRAMMY Awards show, while Jimmy John’s and Chipotle bought ad space in Super Bowl LVI.

Marketers are eager to recoup lost sales. The CMO Council’s latest survey revealed that 65 percent of global marketers plan to increase their ad spend. The BIA Advisory Services predicts that local retail advertising will grow YoY by 5.3 percent this year. Lastly, The National Retail Foundation expects retail sales to grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent in 2021 to more than $4.33 trillion, the highest projected YoY growth in 17 years.