Last year’s 19.7% increase in total ad and marketing spend from the top 200 advertisers – 166 of which increased ad spending in 2021, for a record $196 billion – may not be matched this year, but continued double-digit growth is predicted by both Group M and Publicis Groupe's Zenith, at 12% and 11.6% respectively, according to Ad Age’s annual report on marketers and marketing.
With estimates for 2022 driven by political advertising and the Winter Olympics, 2023's predictions from those sources see ad spend up 2.6% (6.0%, factoring out political) or 4.5%. Advertiser categories expected to benefit most include media and entertainment companies, and travel – the former showing 41%, 29% and 16% year-over-year spend increases for DraftKings, Alphabet and Meta during first-quarter 2022, with the latter showing a 149% boost during Q1 2021 for Booking Holdings, parent of Booking.com and Priceline. The outlook is mixed for financial services, with first-quarter spending down or barely up for LoanDepot and Rocket Cos. and insurer Progressive Corp, while Capital One's spend has so far in 2002 matched last year's 83%.
For 2021, ad budgets were up significantly among sports bettors such as Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International (BetMGM) and Flutter Entertainment (FanDuel), and luxury purveyors Compagnie Financière Richemont (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels) and Chanel, both more-than-doubling U.S. ad spend. While cryptocurrency's spend went through the roof, with Coinbase Global’s estimated ad spend up 1,085% in 2021, the business has since crash-landed back to Earth given cost reductions and layoffs in 2022.
Ad spend from internet-born or online-based advertisers, accounting for 34 of Ad Age's top 200, gained 50.0% in 2021, far outpacing the 14.6% spend increase for the other 166 listed advertisers. Thirty-two of these 34 increased spending year-over-year, among those Amazon, top-ranked for the third straight year and the first advertiser with an estimated U.S. ad spend of more than $10 billion, up by $3.6 billion or 53%.
In addition to the ad spend increases seen in 2021 by travel (six advertisers up 97%), entertainment/media (24, up 32%) and financial (32, up 21%), the 32 listed retailers with 31% spend growth included brick-and-mortars such as TJX Cos., Macys and Gap, up 71%, 40% and 37% respectively. Among those 32, 26 spent more in 2021 than during pre-COVID 2019.
Also notable was the upward trend for agency revenue in 2021: up 13.5% based on Ad Age's latest Agency Report, the highest growth rate since 2000. This followed a 6.8% drop in 2020, the second-largest since 1945, when the report began, the largest (-7.5%) having come in 2009 during the Great Recession.