Future Gazing: Advertising | DMA

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Future Gazing: Advertising


In just five years, the amount of time people spend online has almost doubled from an average of 59.6 minutes a day in 2010 to 109.5 minutes in 2015. According to the Media Consumption Forecasts report, this figure will stand at 144.8 minutes in 2017. It’s stats like these that show just how fast things can change.But how are these fast-moving media advances and transformations impacting the advertising world? Here, we look at some of the current key trends and consider how the advertising ‘pie’ is likely to be sliced in the future.

Outdoor advertising

A study from ZenithOptimedia revealed a rise in exposure to outdoor advertising. Between 2010 and 2014, it increased by 1.2%; from 106 to 107.2 minutes per day. The reasons for this increase are “more displays being built in public spaces, migration to cities in emerging markets, and consumers’ greater willingness to spend their leisure time out of the home.” The study also predicts that, between 2014 and 2017, exposure to outdoor advertising will rise by 0.2% each year.

TV advertising

Television remains one of the most popular media platforms globally, attracting more than three hours of consumption per day in 2014. Although there are dramatic regional variances, television made up 42.4% of global media consumption in 2010. The internet boom reduced this to 37.9% last year, and this figure is expected to drop to 34.7% in 2017. TV’s decline, however, is likely to be slow and gradual.

Mobile ad spend

ZenithOptimedia also revealed that mobile internet advertising will surpass newspaper advertising next year, making up 12.4% of global ad spend, compared to newspapers, which account for 11.9%. This will make mobile internet the third-largest advertising medium, behind only TV and desktop internet. Mobile ad spend is predicted to increase by 38% in 2016 to reach $71 billion, while newspaper advertising will decline by 4% to $68 billion. It seems that mobile advertising is the main driver behind the entire ad market, accounting for 83% of all new ad spend between 2014 and 2017.


For years, Snapchat has been thought of as a tool for “fun” marketing experiments, but it’s now a platform through which advertisers are targeting users – 100 million consumers who are looking to digest social media in real-time. Over in America, even the 2016 presidential candidates are using Snapchat to engage with voters and, since its launch of the ‘Discover’ feature at the beginning of this year, brands are increasingly pushing their messages across to consumers through the platform. With 71% of its user-base falling into the 18-34 age group, it’s the ideal way of connecting with the younger demographic.

Internet of Things

According to Marketing Magazine, the Internet of Things is becoming an everyday reality, and is set to be “the future of advertising”. No longer a hi-tech fantasy, wearable devices have brought interconnectivity into the lives (and homes) of consumers – largely driven by their convenience and usability. The Internet of Things will take advertising to an entirely new level, giving advertisers unparalleled access to consumers and their habits, meaning ads can be more relevant and tailored than ever before. From cars to drink bottles, these smart devices offer granular data on behaviour, spending habits and the most influential touch points.

Virtual reality

“Without a doubt, we’re going to witness a shift from obsessing over what advertising looks like, to what advertising feels like”, says The Guardian. And the tech that provides the most immersive experience has to be virtual reality (VR). It’s predicted that, by 2018, the VR market will be worth a staggering $5.2 billion. But how will advertisers use it? They will allow consumers to “step into” brand experiences, with adverts being shot with 360-degree cameras. Thanks to the likes of Oculus Rift, people will be able to enjoy these adverts from the comfort of their own homes. Brands that don’t offer a VR experience to potential customers could see a drop in sales.

Drone technology

Next year could be “the year of the drone”. Referred to by some as “drone-vertising”, they are slowly but surely entering the advertising sphere, and are certainly a way of standing out and grabbing the attention of potential customers. The hype began after Amazon introduced the concept of using drones to deliver packages to its customers’ doorsteps. In advertising, they could essentially be used as “flying billboards”. Looking to the future, this trend is likely to continue gaining momentum.

Other search engines

While Google is still the current search engine king, the future of search will see other contenders – aside from Bing and Yahoo! – enter the scene. Facebook, for one, is already working on tests for its own search engine and – coupled with its ‘buy’ button set to become standard in 2016 – it could create an all-in-one platform. Could the future of search be a more integrated social experience? Will users make purchases, post images of their new item, chat with friends about what they’ve just bought – all without having to leave the platform to ‘Google’ the online website they want to purchase from? It’s certainly a possibility.

Have you noticed any major trends emerging in the advertising world? And what are your predictions for the future of advertising?

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