We are closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on industry advertising trends. Here are some very broad trends we have noticed. This is the start of a series of posts tracking industry advertising trends, and we’ll be updating and adding more information on a monthly basis.

For specific data points about any of the below industries, please contact John Link at jlink@advertisinganalyticsllc.com

Due to the wide-spread closure of car dealerships, spending on automotive advertising has significantly decreased.

The total number of unique automotive ads for January and February was similar to 2019 totals. Declines in spending began in March, but the effects of COVID-19 became most obvious in April:

The number of automotive ads which aired last month was a little more than half of those that aired in April 2019, with the sharpest declines in high-population states such as California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Washington DC.

Besides the automotive industry, brick and mortar storefronts, entertainment and event centers, and retail services have seen a consistent decline in ads aired since March.

Advertising in May will confirm whether this is an ongoing downward trend, or a temporary spending freeze.

PSAs, government services, and other ads promoting advocacy and public services have increased in frequency more than any for-profit industries as communities work to fight against the virus. Spending for non-profit organizations and government services have nearly doubled in New York and California since January, as did spending in many of the states in the Great Lakes region – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.

Other industries which have increased spending slightly since March are consumer packaged goods, insurance services, pharmaceuticals, and television station promos (including streaming services).

Ad examples:

Non-Profit Call for Donations – COVID-19

Station Promos on Public Health practices

Government PSA from the CDC