Will 2020 end up looking like a “V”, a hockey stick or a cliff edge?

So far, the advertising industry has been whacked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Frost Prioleau, CEO of Simpli.fi, a local-focused programmatic ad platform, gets under the hood of current ad trends, which some sectors showing a return.

Spending returning

“Starting in mid March, we saw a downdraft, with advertisers, pausing, pulling, changing creatives, that sort of thing,” Prioleau says.

“The good news was, we saw that bottom out in April … it’s all heading back to the right direction.”

Prioleau says automotive, food, restaurant and healthcare advertisers are “coming back nicely”.

eMarketer forecasts 2020 US retail sales will dip 10%, whilst ecommerce sales will climb by 18% to comprise 14.5% of total US retail sales.

National is local

In an intriguing twist, Prioleau says the recent situation has forced advertisers to re-assess the audiences they are going after, driven partly by state-by-state lockdown restrictions.

“We see a lot of national advertisers acting locally because, all of a sudden, what they were thinking of as the national (ad) buy, they may have very different priorities as different parts of the country are opening up,” he says.

“And so they want different messaging in different parts of the country.

“Sometimes, they want to be running campaigns or not running campaigns in different parts of the country. So we see a lot of national advertisers taking their campaigns and acting more locally with them.”

The OTT election

Prioleau thinks the idea of targeting individual households with connected TV ads has matured tremendously in recent years, but still has a way to go.

He says the quality of inventory has improved significantly, just as it did in the evolution of standard display and mobile advertising.

Next up, he thinks the 2020 US presidential election “will really be defined by the way candidates use connected TV”.

Prioleau says the campaign will see advertisers target households by party affiliation, with the ability to track ad views through to subsequent candidate donations, sign-ups or other actions.