Bank spending down 14 per cent while automotive up 15.8 per cent according to SMI

SMIPaid media spend for both domestic banks and financial services is down year-on-year 14 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively, new data has revealed.

The finding is one a number of insights from new category breakdowns for both the finance and automotive sectors in the Standard Media Index (SMI) monthly report which shows paid media spending by the major local banks fell from $127.1m in Jan-May 2014 to $109.4m in the same period in 2015.

Among the biggest declines was bank metro TV spend which fell $7.7m to $20.8m, a decline of 27.2 per cent.

“We believe the 14 per cent decline in ad spend by domestic banks reflects a proportionally lower level of large branding campaigns by our banks so far this year, when they were very much a feature of last year’s media landscape,” said Jane Schulze, managing director of SMI.

The data also shows positive results for the automotive sector with dealer spend surging from $92.7m last year to $107.4 this year for Jan-May, a rise of 15.8 per cent, while automotive brand media spend rose a more moderate 4.2 per cent to $291.5m up from $279.7m last year.

Schulze noted the automotive sector breakdowns also show interesting trends between brand and dealer campaigns, especially across media.

“We can now also clearly see the differing trends within the two distinct sectors of the Automotive market,” she said. “For example, automotive brand ad spend onto metropolitan TV is down so far this calendar year (down 1.9 per cent), but the spend by auto dealers/parts/commercial has grown 9.7 per cent. These are very different advertiser markets.’’

Among the changes in the finance category there is also a shift to digital and also radio.

“The banks are also changing their media mix with the SMI data showing a very large increase in spending to online search (up 58 per cent) and to a lesser degree metro radio (up 28.4 per cent),” Schulze added.

“Interestingly, this huge increase in search spend is isolated to the domestic banks as the rest of the finance sector has slightly reduced its spend on search. These fundamental changes in ad spend within the broader finance sector were never able to be known before SMI split Banking/Finance into discrete categories in May.”

Media breakdowns show print continues to lose advertising spend with Jan-May spending down 10.1 per cent in automotive brand, a fall of $1.5m, while spending by the big banks on print fell a massive 36.2 per cent in Jan-May year-on year, shedding $2.7m.

Schulze argued the new data was an important innovation in the SMI product: “SMI has always been committed to product development, and in the past year we have increased the number of our product categories by 25 per cent. This is delivering hugely valuable insights to our subscribers, many of whom are otherwise grappling with category spend especially in key media like digital and outdoor.”

The company has previously released category breakdowns of data for food/alcoholic retailers, specialty retail, home furnishings/equipment, restaurants, food/produce/dairy and household supplies.

SMI defines domestic banks as all advertising for all Australian banks and their subsidiaries while financial services is is defined as all advertising for financial services that exclude the main operations of Australian banks but includes all credit card advertising, advertising for overseas banks, accountancy, legal and financial advisory firms; wealth management and superannuation companies etc.

Nic Christensen 


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