Top 3 Verticals for Local Ad Spend Growth in 2021

Top Verticals 2021

In early December, BIA released its 2021-2025 local advertising spend forecast. The five-year forecast examines the ad spend by 12 vertical categories that consist of 95 sub-verticals across 16 media. Overall, BIA is forecasting that local ad spend will increase 2.5 percent over 2020 to $137.5B, with three verticals decidedly leading in terms of year-over-year (YoY) growth.

#1 – Leisure/Recreation

2020 delivered a knock out punch to the leisure and recreation vertical. As vaccines roll out across the United States and the world, there are encouraging signs this vertical will experience the biggest increase in the ad spend forecast, with 16.5% growth between 2020 and 2021. The question is… when? When will we see increased ad spend among leisure/recreation advertisers? The timing of the recovery will depend on when consumers can start moving around safely and freely and return to public places, take trips and even go back to the office. Prior to this, businesses within this vertical will emphasize the opportunities to pre-buy trips and tickets for the latter part of 2021 and early 2021.

BIA is forecasting double-digit increases in local ad spend across all the Leisure/Recreation sub-verticals in 2021. The three sub-verticals with the biggest forecast increase in local ad spend are Tourism and Travel Services, Motion Picture and Video Exhibition, and Airport, Cruises and Other Travel.

#2 – Financial/Insurance

In 2020, one vertical that stayed the course was the Financial/Insurance vertical. With so much emphasis on business and personal estate planning during an uncertain time, this vertical continued to reach out via a mix of traditional and digital media advertising at high levels throughout the year.

Now, looking to next year, BIA projects this vertical will remain committed to local advertising and even increase its spend by 10.0 percent from 2020 levels. Several sub-verticals in Financial/Insurance are forecast to see double-digit growth in local ad spend in 2021 including Saving/Credit Institutions and Other Loan Services, Credit Cards, and Investment/Retirement Advice.

#3 – Real Estate

As reported by the Home Buyers Institute, the real estate market is expected to be very strong again in 2021. Like this year, four specific factors will continue to support the housing market: strong demand, low mortgage rates, low supply and qualified buyers.

BIA ranks Real Estate as the third fastest-growing vertical in 2021 and estimates it will grow 8.7 percent between 2020 and 2021. Both sub-verticals under Real Estate, Realtors and Real Estate Development, are forecast to see growth in the high single-digits in 2021.

For more vertical advertising projections, BIA’s U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2021 is available to BIA ADVantageTM subscribers. They can access the nationwide forecast and updated 2021 estimates for their local markets by logging into the ADVantage platform here. Details on how to purchase access to the U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2021 are available here. Use the code 2021Kickoff to save $350 off the price.

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