Riding The Pandemic Roller Coaster

May 15, 2020

The only thing certain about marketing and advertising in the pandemic is that nothing is certain and there is no road map to follow.  Last week we saw a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel with marketers predicting a 3Q rebound in ad spend.  This week we see a pretty bleak projection for ad spending in the TV Network upfronts with a 33% decline over last year.  

TV Upfront Spend Projection

It remains to be seen if this means that marketers will look to repurpose TV dollars to other media, such as digital.  We do know that consumers are buying online and e-commerce is expected to be the new norm, so the ad spend should follow. 

Shifts in Supply and Demand

Omnicom Media did an analysis of trends in the supply and demand of programmatic inventory.  As the public is told to stay home on March 12 the supply of ad impressions is on the rise as media consumption grows.  Conjointly, marketers hit pause or cancel on campaigns.  Lots of supply, less demand.

Trending Avails GrowthAnd so begins the decline of CPMs. (Data based on OMG spend across major formats.)  Display CPMs drop by 40% across all formats.  But things seem to have stabilized and begin to climb.

Programmatic Display CPM trends

However, now that both businesses and consumers have adapted to the COVID-19 restrictions, their focus is shifting to opportunities.  Discounted inventory and surging viewership should bring advertisers back to the marketplace.  And, shifting demand from direct to programmatic gives advertisers plenty of tools to dissect the media marketplace so smart marketers can interpret trends and respond to the constantly changing landscape.

Adapex CPM Trends Week of May 12

Another week of good news from Adapex as we see a continued uptick in the News category, and growth in Travel CPMs this week.  Overall for the first two weeks of May vs first two weeks of April, we see +22% in the News and +8% in the Health categories.  

CPM Analysis


We’ll continue to monitor reports and data as the story unfolds.  Adapex remains hopeful that the worst is behind us and we’ll continue to ride the roller coaster with our publisher partners.  Let’s stay ready and prepared for the opportunities ahead.

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