Advertising Trends Shaping up the Industry in 2018

Being immersed in the direct response and television advertising industry for over 15 years, Kingstar Media is fully aware of the constantly emerging trends in offline–and now online–sphere. As we say goodbye to 2017, we take a look at a few emerging trends in the industry we think will continue to grow and develop throughout 2018. Let's break it down.

1. Addressable TV Is Coming

Addressable TV advertising is an emerging advertising trend whereby different ads are served to different households that are watching the same TV program or show. This method increases precision in targeting and brings advertisers one step closer to their ideal customer. Addressable TV is more established in the U.S. currently, totaling nearly $900 million in advertising spend in 2017, and is expected to double in 2018 to $2.2 billion.

In Canada, media companies like Bell, Rogers, Corus and Shaw have been slowly taking on addressable TV over the past year, however Corus entertainment is one of the broadcasters that began serving addressable ads to linear TV. This is done through Set Top Box Data which collects a second-by-second log of viewing behavior per household. There are still some challenges to the promise of addressable TV, particularly when it comes to the extent of accuracy behind the collected data and its ability to paint a complete audience picture. Direct response advertisers should see a benefit from this development and a bigger promise to get the most out of their advertising dollars.

2. TV and Radio Ad Spend Is Still Growing

While there still seems to be a tug of war between TV advertising skeptics (also known as die-hard Digital advertisers) and TV advertisers as to who is dominating the overall ad spend across all mediums. Well, the debate isn't that simple to settle, but that doesn't deny the fact that TV's steady ad spend will surely continue to grow as we go into the new year. As we learned back in November from the ERA D2C conference, TV and radio are still sought after for delivering mass reach and creating measurable results. Not to mention that among Canadians surveyed by Environics, trust in traditional methods of advertising like TV and radio increased to 37% this year compared to 31% in 2016.

3. Net Neutrality...What's Going On?

Last month the Federal Communications Council voted to repeal the laws of net neutrality in the United States, sparking many fears and questions around the effect of the end of net neutrality on online advertising, and possibly direct response marketing forms like brand response.

Put simply, the repeal of net neutrality gives internet service providers leeway to block access to lawful content and deliberately alter web traffic and charge companies for different 'lanes' of traffic options. This means that an internet provider could charge companies and sites for speedier data delivery to their audiences, and yes, that includes ads as well. Since there is no law stopping ISP's from doing so since the repeal, we could very well see a change in the digital advertising sphere. For one thing, advertisers are speculating harmful repercussions for their ads; if their advertisements do not load fast enough online, they will certainly be skipped and a potential customer may be lost, all on the advertisers' expense.

What will online ad space cost without net neutrality? Some marketers predict increased prices for digital media buys, but the impact of that remains split; while this will definitely hurt advertisers, will it in turn decrease competition? There are still many questions to be answered about what's next without net neutrality, and 2018 is sure to bring those answers.

4. Influencer Marketing is Here To Stay

Ad spend on influencer marketing is set to grow in 2018, with 40% of marketers looking to increase their investment in influencers. Endorsing and promoting new products and services through celebrities on TV transitioned into digital influencers as social media progressed. Those with an existing large follower base on social media, influencers, are targeted by all brands–large and small–for promotion and marketing ideas of all sizes. We certainly see a continuous growth in celebrity and influencer endorsements in the new year, as more familiar faces are predicted to make and appearance on our TV and digital screens.

We are looking forward to new adventures this 2018 and would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!