Santa Claus Is Coming to Madison Avenue: Q4 Is Looking Up!



Christmas is around the corner, and it’s still anyone’s guess still how Santa’s trip will go, with supply-chain break downs, pent up consumer demand, the pandemic unresolved. But Standard Media Index’s forward-bookings data, and the perspective of several industry pundits we interviewed, provide reason for optimism that advertising is in for a strong 4th quarter. 

“The rebound and upward trends continue and I think it will be significantly better than 2020,” says David Shiffman, executive vice president of research at iHeartMedia. 

Out today, our SMI Insights Holiday Report 2021 offers a look at data from forward bookings, which indicates that October, November and December 2021 are likely to see ad spending levels above last Q4 by double-digits.  

Source: Standard Media Index, SMI Core & SMI Forward Bookings

We also examine a history of spend trends in the Toys & Games category, one traditionally dominated by Linear TV but has since evolved to more of a Digital mix with Gen Z kids. 

Hear directly from industry leaders at Zenith Media, iHeartMedia, Roku, GroupM and others, all of whom are also bullish on the 4th quarter, calling for robust ad outlays to match expected healthy consumer spend.  

“It’s clear that the demand is there from advertisers…. I would expect the continued strong emphasis on ecommerce, both advertising by retailers and brands to direct traffic towards platforms, but also by the platforms themselves,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith Media. 

For more insights on pricing and spend trends in Q4 this year, download the SMI Insights Holiday Report 2021 below (requires unblocking pop-ups).

Download the full press release in PDF format.

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