It is going to be a year of advertising growth and ad currency proliferation. But, for simplicity’s sake, Dani Benowitz hopes the latter ends up contracting.

At the end of the year, MAGNA published its 2022 forecast for advertising spend, expecting 13% US growth.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, US president Benowitz explains the dynamics driving investment.

Investment drivers

MAGNA’s’s 13% US growth forecast is considerably down from the 25% growth MAGNA reported for the US in 2021, but is nevertheless fuelled by Winter Olympics and mid-term election ads.

Benowitz tells Beet.TV that media factors driving the growth are:

  1. Search and social (+18%), specifically TikTok.
  2. The return of out-of-home advertising.
  3. Video of all kinds.
  4. New audio ad spend.

“As people start to return to the office, they’ll start commuting again, they’ll start travelling on business, you’ll see categories spending there that perhaps were lagging in the pandemic in 2021 – specifically auto, perhaps entertainment and maybe restaurants,” Benowitz says.

“We’re expecting video growth to be about 8% versus last year. Video growth will be fueled by OTT, ATV, CTV.”

Ad land’s new normal

MAGNA’s Benowitz says the pandemic has re-shaped ad land in three ways:

  1. It ushered in an “extreme reliance on flexibility” amongst media buyers.
  2. Following an audience-behaviour shake-up, there is a new willingness to test new ad formats.
  3. Ad buyers are now more likely to want audience targeting than blanket coverage.

She also notes cause-driven marketing, including sustainability topics, are driving a new thirst to communicate brand credentials.

Measuring up

All of this growth may be fine. But there is one area in which Benowitz is hoping for consolidation.

2022 has already kicked off as being a year of proliferation in media measurement currencies, with several agencies and media owners beginning to test alternatives to traditional approaches like Nielsen.

As that happens, many people think the industry is evolving to be one that employs a smorgasbord of measurement practices and pricing currencies. But Benowitz thinks that is a recipe for confusion.

“We have the desire to figure out what our north star is,” she says. “There is currency and then there’s measurement, and they truly should be separate. Finding the right measurement will help us not only measure cross-screen or worry about frequency, it will also help us measure outcomes and truly find a way to reach the audiences we are looking for.”

Searching for the north star

But, when it comes to buying, MAGNA’s Benowitz wants simplicity.

“Currency is the thing we are going to trade on,” she says. “They don’t necessarily need to be the same. With our media partners testing new forms of measurement for currency, I think you will see a lot more testing throughout the year.

“One thing I will say is that we have no desire to have disparate forms of measurement. There needs to be one holistic north star in terms of currency. Otherwise, we’re not going to be able to measure our campaign.

“So we still believe there should be one. We will go with the right one. Doesn’t mean we’re not going to test and look and see what else is out there as an alternative.”

You’re watching “Engaging Stories, Impactful Innovation,” a Beet.TV Leadership Video Series, presented by WarnerMedia. To view more videos from this series, please visit this page.