Hope everyone had a ‘September to Remember’. At Media InSite we spent some time looking back at all of the 3rd Quarter of this year from July to September. As we all started to gear up for the all-important Q4 reporting period for advertisers. We decided to do a little analysis on the newly tracked data from Q3 2019 to see what it can tell us about the state of advertising this year. We explored the advertising performance in 2019 and checked to see how it stacked up versus the previous results for Q3 2018.
Brand growth is negatively correlated to Activity Growth… huh?
This was a head scratcher for us, when we looked at advertising activity by Brand, in the data, we saw some negative correlation between number of active brands and the overall advertising activity growth.
Across the full data set collected in Q3, for 2019 and 2018 combined, we picked up activity from 10,756 different advertising brands. This activity was spread across 4 markets, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2018 they were 7,630 active brands in the data set while in 2019, we saw that drop to 7,312 brands. Overall this was a 4% fall in the number of active brands. This fall in the advertising brand base coincided with an increase in advertising activity. When we look at overall advertising activity, Q3 in 2019 saw a 6% bump over Q3 in 2018. This was a little surprising, as we might have expected, based on less active brands, for the reverse to occur. We decided to dig a little deeper into the data and see if we could learn a little more on what was happening. We segmented all the advertising brands based on their activity over time and created three categories:
‘New Brands’- brands with zero activity in 2018 but who had activity in 2019.
‘Down Brands’ – brands with less activity in 2019 than 2018.
‘Up Brands’ – brands with more activity in 2019 than 2018.
And then we looked at how much advertising activity could be attributed to each segment from year to year.
Negative Advertising Activity Contraction from 2018 Levels is Balanced by New Brand Entries in 2019:
We tracked total number of brands and also activity of brands expressed as a percentage of the total activity from 2018. We saw 1,955 brands increase their advertising, year on year, amounting to the equivalent of 25% of the total activity in 2018 analysis. This increased activity was more than offset by the 5,651 brands which saw their activity take a down turn. A negative contraction in activity that amounted to -39%. Driving down advertising activity by 14%, year on year. This negativity in the data was turned around by the 3,121 new brands, that started advertising in 2019, who had been absent from the 2018 data. These new brands added advertising activity into the 2019 data that was the equivalent of 19% of the 2018 total. Which was enough to net out the +6% growth we saw overall.
In Barbados new Brands like BOPPA’s Lawn Care Company began advertising in the TeleClassifieds on Barbados’ CBC Channel 8 with a heavy rotation for their new 30 second ad. Guyana’s New Brands category was led by M S Imports who ran TV, Radio and Press adds during Q3. Jamaica’s New Brands like Barbados also saw TV led campaign with GOL Email hosting company running 672 ads during Q3 in 2019. Trinidad and Tobago’s Q3 saw the promotion of the regional Carifesta event. The traveling event drove a large impact on the media landscape you can see an analysis of this impact in our previous blog post.
Trinidad and Tobago Activity Stalled in Q3.
When we drilled down to the market level, we saw that Trinidad and Tobago was lagging behind our other three markets in the advertising data. It was the only market not to show any growth in activity for 2019 over 2018. With a percentage change of just -0.24%. This was in comparison to healthy positive momentum in the numbers from the other three markets. Barbados leading the way with +9.31% of positive growth, over Guyana at +8.30% and Jamaica at +5.13%.
We again segmented the data but this time looking at single market level results for comparison. All the markets showed a similar pattern in the distribution of brands between Up Brands, Down Brands and New Brands. Each market saw a higher number of brands that had negative activity year on year. With more new brands entering the market than brands showing positive growth over 2018.
Distribution of Brands by Market
Then we associated advertising activity with those segments translating the results to percentages of the 2018 overall activity in each market. Trinidad & Tobago showed the most extreme results in the data. They were the highest/lowest ranked in all three segments. Trinidad & Tobago had the highest percentage of Down Brand activity at 22%. They also had the lowest Up Brand activity, with year on year positive brand growth accounting for only 11%. Finally, New Brands accounted for 11% of measured activity, which was also the highest return of any of the markets. Trinidad & Tobago’s high New Brand results was only enough to balance out their high Down Brand and weak Up Brand returns. Resulting in basically zero year on year growth.
Spread of Brand Activity by Markets
Barbados had the highest Up Brand growth at 17%, which helped to explain them having the most positive growth as a market, year on year. Guyana and Jamaica had very similar result patterns although in terms of total change year on year Guyana was able to beat Jamaica by a significant amount.
Now it is important to note that we are not privy to the advertising spends of any of the brands we track, nor do we get to see the revenue figures for the media houses in our data. So what we are tracking is the activity in the market. Advertising Activity measured was confined to pre-recorded broadcast spots and newspaper display ads only. Whether that positive growth in activity is going to translate to positive growth in revenue for media houses is not something we can see in our data.
We will be paying close attention to advertising markets as we head into Christmas!
Q4 is make or break time for retailers and advertisers. We hope to see Trinidad and Tobago’s numbers get less negative and hopefully the other 3 markets will maintain or possibly grow their positive gains.