Aus governments turn to Facebook to spread COVID-19 messaging, intelligence platform, AdClarity finds

Intelligence advertising measurement solution, AdClarity, which recently launched in Australia and New Zealand, has released its findings into digital advertising spend by the Australian federal and state governments on COVID- 19 health-related messaging.

AdClarity is a competitive and business intelligence advertising measurement solution which collects and aggregates hundreds of millions of real-time ad occurrences viewed and interacted by human and virtual panels daily. It provides a comprehensive view of advertising ecosystems covering display, social, in-app and video advertising, placed programmatically or directly across all ad platforms.

Australian governments turn to Facebook to spread COVID-19 messaging, marketing intelligence platform, AdClarity says

AdClarity said that is patented Virtual Panel technology simulates real-user behaviours and digital profiles to accurately measure the advertising ecosystem within publishers while calculating the exposure level of each ad.

Research conducted by AdClarity, found that over $14.9 million was spent on COVID-19 health-related digital advertising by the Australian federal and state governments since the outbreak of the pandemic to June 2021.

The variation it observed between its results and competitor’s Pathmatics recent results on spend, is primarily, down to an expanded coverage of social spend – according to AdClarity, on Facebook alone there are  20,779 advertisers delivering 21.7 billion impressions at a cost of $97 million, to Australians in the past 30 days alone.

AdClarity found that 92% of the total COVID-19 health-related digital advertising spend was made in 2020, with the months of March and July 2020 accounting for over $9.7 million. The largest spender was the Victorian Government with $7.3 million, nearly half the total spend. The Australian Federal Government has spent $6.7 million since the outset of the pandemic.

The Australian Government has spent $6.7 million since the outset of the pandemic.

In the first six months of the pandemic, digital advertising was evenly split amongst social and display advertising, with the second half of 2020 seeing a shift to almost an exclusive use of social media, a trend that continued into 2021.

Of the $1.2 million spent on COVID-19 health-related digital advertising in the first half of 2021, over $1.1 million can be attributed to vaccine-related messaging. The majority of this was spent by the Australian Government almost exclusively on Facebook. 87% of the vaccine-related spend was made in Q1 2021.

AdClarity’s managing director, Ben Sullivan told Mumbrella: “Given the ‘brouhaha’ the Australian Government had with Facebook (and Google) over media content last year, it was interesting to see the change in how digital spend was allocated. I also wonder whether a strategy so focussed on Facebook achieved the reach and impact that was required – particularly for hard to reach audiences and those who do not use Facebook.”

Major campaigns included ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert, Australian Government Department of Health’ (Australian Government), which delivered 480 million impressions and ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important information for Victorians'(Victorian Government), which delivered 460 million impressions.

AdClarity’s managing director, Ben Sullivan

The AdClarity platform tracks the three primary ‘channels’ of advertising on the internet – display, video, and social – the ad types consumers see differ by publisher/platform.

Display ads are those inserted around content (banners etc) and are used on sites like news sites and general interest sites. Using a 300,000 human panel and a virtual panel, the platform tracks advertising on over 1100 publishers in Australia daily, including Youtube channels, Facebook and Twitter.

The platform employs a hybrid model driven by AI algorithms for statistically sampling the online digital eco-system, using both human and virtual panels data to bring together a powerful market survey methodology.

The platforms opt-in human panel is comprised of over five million human panellists worldwide (300,000 in Australia) and growing, which continuously share their online information anonymously, and provide AdClarity a comprehensive viewpoint on the actual digital behaviours and trends in real time. The human panel is critical to getting data from inside the ‘walled gardens’ of social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

AdClarity’s managing director, Ben Sullivan told Mumbrella: “AdClarity provides unprecedented insights into what a brands competitors are advertising online – where and how often. We also surface how visible the ads were. The tool can be used in many ways to refine and improve online strategy and tactics and verify where a brands ads were shown.

Brands can usually see the impact that their spend has on traffic but is unable to see why impact varies. It is like we can show the ‘cause’ behind the ‘effect’. It shines a light into an area of advertising that often lacks the transparency of other mediums.”


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