How global media budgets will change in 2022? Research

Friday, October 21

2020 was marked by a dramatic drop in media investment. Now the ad industry is recovering from this decline with advertising being one of the main instruments to fasten the recovery. Since consumer behavior is changing and evolving, brands need to know which consumer and marketer interests have changed, and which are staying with us.

Media Reactions 2021 is a global ad equity ranking of media channels and media brands among consumers and marketers. The agency collected the data of over 14,500 consumers. The research covered over 290 brands in 23 markets and 900 senior marketers globally. These data are aimed to help brands navigate the new media environment, follow the trends and increase their engagement rates. The market research includes a ranking of media channels and brands according to consumers’ preferences, detailed information about these channels, and recommendations on planning future ad campaigns.

Top-ranking media channels

A global pandemic has boosted the rise of online sales. However, despite the rise of digitalization, Media Reactions noticed that many people still prefer offline advertising. According to the market study, consumers are still positive about cinema ads, sponsored events, magazine ads, point of sale (POS), and local news brands.

The podcasts have entered the media ad scene in 2020. As the Media Reactions study reveals, podcast ads are positioned at number 11 in the overall ad equity ranking. Ads in podcasts are considered to be better and more relevant compared to the previous year. On the other hand, consumers mention that these ads become more repetitive. This is no surprise as the ad spends on the platforms also increased.

Media Reactions’ data shows that ad campaigns are seven times more impactful among a receptive audience. So, before launching their campaigns, marketers need to ensure their strategies meet these consumers’ preferences.

TikTok remains on the top ad equity chart

TikTok holds its position as one of the top platforms in the ad equity ranking. Although it is ranked number 1 (overall) on the Taiwan market only, TikTok is still the leading digital platform on other important markets, such as the US one.  Also, this social media is the first or second-ranked digital platform in 9 of the 22 measured markets.

E-commerce platforms have also been included in the ranking, which showcases their growing role in the digital advertising landscape. Amazon, as one biggest platforms, is holding the top spot in the ranking. Media Reaction data showcase that Amazon ranks second globally among consumers, heading the list in four markets.  Another e-commerce giant Mercado Libre leads in Argentina.

The three media dilemmas

Together with insights into the changing media platforms, Media Reactions 2021 addresses the top 3 media dilemmas.

1. The digital dilemma

How can brands and marketers maximize consumer engagement rate and trust in a constantly growing digital world?

People spend more and more time online. But consumers are still less positive about digital ads and their trust rankings are low. Hence, marketers need to find the best channels where they can build trustworthy relationships with their customers. But they have to do it without overloading consumers with content. Marketers still prefer using digital platforms for that purpose although the recent cookie data policy update makes it more complicated. That’s why understanding the current digital world is crucial for brands and marketers. It will help them to raise consumer engagement in the world that goes digital with the speed of light.

The borders between online and offline channels are disappearing as modern technologies are becoming an essential part of our life. Hence, there is a need for a holistic approach to media.

2. The glocal dilemma

How do marketers balance the benefits of global and local media platforms?

Local media brands and localized versions of some global brands are top-ranked at the 16 of the 23 markets surveyed. This popularity of local media brands highlights the importance of balancing the benefits of scale of global media platforms with the promise of greater relevance from local media.

3. The innovator’s dilemma

What strategy should media brands choose to reach the balance between maintaining trust while driving innovation?

The research highlights that it is challenging for brands to fully respond to their consumers’ preferences while prioritizing their own values and brand positioning. Marketers prefer media channels that can both provide trustworthy relationships with their customers and be an innovative advertising environment. Instagram is considered to be the best platform to reach this goal.  YouTube, Google and Facebook are trusted platforms but they are less innovative for the marketers.

TikTok lacks trust yet as it is comparatively new ad media. But it has moved far forward in 2020. This platform is one of the most innovative places for ads and more marketers are using the platform now.

Future prospects

Along with the evaluation of the current situation in the ad media landscape, the survey provides insights into media growth channels for 2022. The majority of marketers are planning to increase financing of such ad formats as video, influencer content, and social media ads.  Many of them will cut spends on printed ads. YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are the most trusted and beneficial ad platforms.

Forecasted changes in media budget and/or resource allocation in 2022 (NET +/-%)

Expected change in budget and/or resource allocation in 2022 (NET +/-%)


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