2021 Mid-Year TV Ad Trends and Benchmarks Report

The first half of 2021 spurred newfound optimism for TV advertisers. Between successful vaccine rollouts and reopenings, industries plagued by the pandemic, like travel and retail, roared back to life. Just in time for Super Bowl LV, TV advertisers captured the shift in tone with the resurgence of “funny” messaging in H1 TV and video ads. 

Sports TV advertising scored big with seasons mostly back to pre-pandemic schedules. The top three programs (by impressions served) come in the form of live sporting events and totaled almost 120 billion impressions combined: NFL Playoffs, NBA, and College Basketball.

While the pandemic initially drove an increase in purpose-driven TV ads, diversity and inclusion themes have led the way in 2021 as brands reevaluate their messaging to resonate with consumers. The most empowering ad from Q2, “These Hands” from Procter & Gamble, is just one of many from the first half of the year. The spot delivers a message about inspiring young Black youth to aspire to be more than just professional athletes. 

To get more notable TV advertising trends, insights and top-performing ad creatives from the first half of 2021, download the latest report from iSpot. Exclusive industry-specific insights, Q2 benchmarks, media buying recommendations and creative best practices are provided throughout to help marketers evaluate their own TV ad performance and make the most of their investments going forward.