Campaign India Team
May 24, 2021

Alcohol advertising will not exceed the pre-pandemic peak until 2023: Zenith study

Digital spends to grow to 30% by 2023

Alcohol advertising will not exceed the pre-pandemic peak until 2023: Zenith study
Zenith has rolled out a Business Intelligence – Alcohol: Beer + Spirits report on the alcohol ad spend for 2021. 
This study is based on 12 key markets, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US, which account for 73% of total global ad spend. 
It explains how these markets will see an upsurge of 5.3% in 2021, ahead of the 4.9% growth of the entire ad market. 
The report states that alcohol brands spend twice as much on television, but will reduce their spends by 2.4% a year due to shrinking audiences. 
On the other hand, digital spends will grow to 30% in 2023, from 21% in 2019. 
It also revealed that alcohol brands devoted 49% of their budgets to television in 2020, as compared to 24%, and 19% to out-of-home advertising, as compared to 5%. 
However, the closure of hospitality venues led brands through a new route. Breweries, distilleries, bars, and restaurants advertised heavily on digital media, particularly social media. 
Brands therefore, increased their spending on digital media from 21% in 2019 to 24% in 2020. 
Drinks companies invested in owned assets such as brand websites and educational content and leveraged influencers. 
The report also found that the more prominent were the spirits brands. 
Ben Lukawski, global chief strategy officer, Zenith, said “Spirit brands have surpassed beer brands in terms of sales value by offering more premium experiences and rituals around their product and serve. With the pandemic taking audiences away from the on-trade we have seen a greater emphasis on bringing these premium experiences in home through owned digital content.”
In its report, Zenith predicts that brands will expand their digital advertising to support alcohol ecommerce, long after pubs and restaurants are fully open, fuelling 9.2% annual growth in digital adspend between 2019 and 2023, when it will account for 30% of alcohol advertising budgets.
The study also pointed to the fact that the alcohol ad spend market fell by 11.6% in 2020, as compared to 6.4% of the whole market. 
However, brands are now bringing money back into the market as vaccine programmes have
consumers socialising again. Although the return to normalcy will still be 8% below the 2019 level, by the end of 2021, the study states that alcohol advertising will not exceed the pre-pandemic peak, until 2023. 
Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting, Zenith, said, “The alcohol industry has suffered more from the pandemic than most, and that was reflected in the steep drop in ad spend last year. The recovery won’t be as dramatic as the downturn, but investment in digital communication will drive steady growth in alcohol advertising for the next few years.”
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