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How COVID Has Changed The Digital Landscape

“The total adspend for South Africa in 2020 was just over R41bn, based on rate card values. This represents a 7% decline overall due to the pandemic and lockdown interruptions” – AC Nielsen and IAB.

In March 2020, the world as we knew it changed completely. Companies moved entire staff complements online, Zoom calls replaced face-to-face meetings, and the world of advertising was turned on it’s head.

Consumer behaviour habits and media consumption patterns shifted almost overnight, as more and more people turned to online platforms for shopping, working, and entertainment.  

This shift saw an immediate DECLINE in ATL (Above the Line) media channels with a 21% INCREASE in digital channels.  The digital channel of choice was Paid Search Campaigns (55%), followed closely by Paid Social Campaigns (20%), made up predominately by Facebook and Instagram (73%).

The IAB SA Digital Landscape Survey Report powered by Narratiive, indicates that digital advertising spend amounts are now making up between 21% and 40% of total ad spend compared to only 9.2% in 2017.

The question now is whether this is the ‘new normal’? Will ATL the media channels continue to decline, with digital channels continuing to increase, or is this just the tip of the iceberg, with more dramatic shifts in advertising media spend and platforms still to come.