A Look Back on 2021 to Inform the Market for 2022 – an ACA Webinar


Author: Kelly Fedoruk, Senior Manager, Client Solutions, SMI

On February 3, 2022, Standard Media Index collaborated with The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) on a webinar to look back at what 2021 brought to the ad market and how it will affect 2022.  In this webinar, attended by 40+ professionals across multiple brands and categories, Kelly Fedoruk, Senior Client Solutions Manager at Standard Media Index, presented a look at 2021 National Brand ad spend across Canada and other English-Language Markets.  We looked at Canada’s role on the global stage, as well as our place in the return of advertising dollars lost to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.  The presentation showed the recovery Canada began to see in Q1 of 2021 and examined the health of the market as we closed out 2021.  We analyzed overall media mix, the acceleration of Digital media, the continued strength of Linear TV, the role that OOH, Radio, and Print still play in a brand’s media mix, as well as which media owners and advertising categories increased volume and share in 2021, vs both 2020 and vs a pre-pandemic 2019.

You can view the full presentation below.

Canada finishes the year up, on par with other English-Language Markets

Like other English-Language markets, Canada saw ad dollars leave the market in 2020 due to the uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.  2021 saw those dollars begin to return, but the real benchmark of growth was to compare investment levels to the pre-pandemic period of 2019.  Canadian national advertisers came back in 2021, spending over $6 Billion across all media channels, an increase of +4% vs 2019.

Canada saw highest share of Digital compared to other markets

When looking at media mix across English-Language markets, we saw Digital growth YoY in every market with Canada seeing the highest proportion of spend to Digital at 56%.  Unlike our U.S. counterparts who gained Digital share at the expense of Linear TV, Canada’s Linear TV share remained relatively flat, with Digital growth coming at the expense of other media types such as Radio, Print, and OOH.

CPG, Automotive, and Financial Services led spend across Categories in 2021

Across twelve advertising categories, all saw YoY growth in 2021 with most also seeing increased investment vs 2019.  CPG, Automotive, and Financial Services were the top-three spending categories, with only Automotive failing to surpass 2019 spend levels.  Entertainment & Media and Travel Services, two categories that were hit particularly hard in 2020 both saw significant YoY increases in 2021 and are slowly closing the gap on meeting their 2019 investment levels.  Wellness and Apparel & Accessories, although smaller categories from a volume perspective, are both seeing double-digit growth vs both 2020 and 2019 which we expect to continue into 2022.

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