One Year Since COVID: TV Ad Insights

In some ways, it feels like yesterday when everything changed overnight. On March 12, 2020, live sports went on hiatus, production schedules were stalled, and lockdowns became widespread around the U.S. 

The COVID-19 pandemic was part of our everyday lives, disrupting every industry, including TV advertising. Networks and brands had to pivot on a dime to adjust to the changing environment around them. How? In large part, by using the right data to determine how consumers were resonating with ads, what they were watching, where, and when.

For networks, adjustments came in the form of offering increased flexibility as shows were delayed, live events were canceled and dayparts looked entirely different. Concurrently, brands shifted the tone and messaging in their ads to offer support and words of encouragement, while steering clear of insensitive topics.

As a result, TV looked significantly different during these past 12 months than the year that preceded it. Reflecting on these pandemic-induced conditions, we see how TV advertising changed in numerous ways – some of which seems poised to stay long after this over.

Some of the biggest takeaways, from a data perspective:

  • The number of advertisers on TV increased by 6.1%
  • Ad airings increased by 5.6%
  • TV ad impressions jumped by 3.4%
  • Minutes of ad time rose by 9.1%
  • While funny ads declined (until very recently), empowering ads were up

Download our free report to learn more about how TV has changed in the last year, and what trends are likely to continue going forward.