Major Events Impact Advertising Media Outlook for 2024
As we approach 2024, the advertising media landscape is poised for significant change. Several key factors are reshaping the industry, including the continued rise of digital platforms, the increasing importance of data-driven strategies, the ongoing shift towards personalized advertising, the increasing impact artificial intelligence (AI) is playing in the ad industry and, specific to 2024, significant events or happenings impacting how advertisers approach the upcoming year.
The writers’ strike has ended but the actors’ strike continues as we head into 2024. These strikes have led to a halt in the production of new content and in many cases are pushing advertisers to seek alternative platforms for their campaigns. This could lead to a surge in digital advertising, with platforms like social media and streaming services seeing increased ad spend. The lack of fresh content is also expected to drive up demand and costs for live sports and entertainment content such as NCAA March Madness, The Summer Olympics, live local sports of interest and Entertainment awards shows such as the Grammys and Oscars, to name a few. Even if the actors’ strike ends in the coming days, the effects are expected to be felt throughout the first half of 2024 and, well into the back half of the year as well.
Presidential Election Year
On the other hand, the presidential election is likely to cause a spike in advertising spending, particularly in the realm of political advertising. Historically, election years have seen significant increases in ad spend as candidates vie for visibility and reach. This could offset some of the losses felt from the Hollywood strikes, particularly for news media outlets which typically see the bulk of political ad spend.
Many local broadcast markets in key swing states are expected to see significant inventory pressures and price increases due to the anticipation of heavy political spending. Estimated political ad spending is expected to hit a record high of over $12 billion. This is due to an anticipated record-setting Presidential Primary and General Election along with record spending going into down-ballot races such state and local elections.
It is estimated that three-quarters of the Presidential General Election ad spending will be concentrated in local markets across seven key battle states: Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Media buyers with campaigns planned in these markets need to buckle up and brace for a wild ride throughout 2024. Ohio and Florida are also on the fringe of swing-state status and will face additional media pressures during the election cycle.
2024 Paris Summer Olympics
Last but definitely not least, the 2024 Summer Olympics will take place in Paris, France from July 26 to August 11. This major global event will attract millions of viewers across different media channels and devices, creating a massive opportunity for media advertisers to reach a wide and engaged audience.
The Olympics will also present some challenges for media advertisers. The entire event happens in just 2 weeks, so there is an extremely limited amount of advertising inventory available. Advertisers will have to compete with others who are vying for the same coveted spots and time slots during the event. Also, audience levels of other non-Olympic programming tend to take a hit during the summer games which can impact the quality and quantity of other video advertising opportunities.
There is a 6-hour time difference between Paris and the Eastern time zone of the US which will have an impact on viewership. Yet, key events are expected to see viewership increase over the 2020 games (which actually took place in summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic), simply because the time difference is smaller than it was for the Tokyo Games (14 hours).
The upcoming 2024 games are also expected to continue to set new streaming mobile viewership records which will be in line with the continued trend toward more hours of video consumption on streaming platforms.
Turn Challenges into Opportunities
Fortunately, there are tactics our media planners and buyers are already doing to help clients avoid the pitfalls and take advantage of the opportunities presented by these major events. Things like “political proofing” campaigns with tactics like local sports packages that can’t be preempted. Or going dark during election or Olympics coverage to avoid paying premium prices and getting lost in the clutter. Sports programming and other live content also provide opportunities to reach your audience while the networks are running reruns due to the strikes. If these alternatives don’t fit with your plans and objectives, you may consider moving dollars to non-video tactics such as digital and social or an increased audio strategy. The key is for advertisers and media outlets to plan ahead and adapt your strategies now to account for these major events.