The pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than we can count, and it has had a great effect on the digital publishing industry. We are online more than ever, and the digital ad space has been affected by the influx of users. In the hour’s people used to spend commuting, are more often now being spent consuming media. The increase in media consumption is causing a shift in digital advertisements.

A large virtual market for brands, and a new way of dealing with advertising and digital sales. Similar to the production and demand of masks due to the pandemic there is a need for more online platforms. This has also caused a decline in advertising spending. Data from the first quarter from Publicis states that countries in Europe saw an average reduction of 9%; Germany and France fell 7% and 12% respectively in the first few months of 2020. Media buyers had been putting everything on hold for the pandemic and rebound in the months to come.

Their reliance on digital media has changed the digital experience for both consumers and creators. There has been more emphasis on brands to encourage safety, social distancing, and wishes for everyone to stay happy and healthy. There is still a high demand for entertainment, goods, and other resources that are found online, if anything those needs have increased. Leaning into what consumers need right now that instills comfort, and is entertaining. In television advertisements, this means more relation to safety, vaccines, and overall coronavirus information. The structures of advertisements are more like webinars than ads, and the shift of more informational ads rather than sales have increased during the pandemic.

Companies that deal with travel, or retail have cut back on ad spending due to the change in economy, and lifestyle of people around the world. Most airlines in the United States and around the world have cut back largely ads, doing very little campaigns knowing that travel is nonessential is a waste of money to promote. We are now finally seeing a resurgence in spending across all of these verticals!

Other industries are boosting the chance for more advertising space. While original plans for advertisements for the year 2020 had to be thrown out the window a change in campaigns to ensure that ads were appropriate. A lack of crowds, a lack of others together, and more emphasis on social distancing. Staying relevant while still at home, to reflect the consumer’s lives. Ads with people staying hopeful, and sticking together as a human society. Similar to public service announcements at the beginning of the pandemic when people needed hope.

In 2021, advertisements were revamping to pull away from the public service announcements to a more engaging advertisements. While no one knows what will happen the important part is to keep pushing messaging out there as long as it is sensitive to what is going on in the world and the pandemic as it continues to evolve globally. There are still instances where emphasis on hope is applicable, but there was such an over saturation of those messages; no one had a unique thought until more normalized and even entertaining ads came back to market. The advertisement industry has changed Immensely, and as we keep going through the pandemic they are likely to continue to change. This is a pivotal moment for all brands, agencies and publishers to evaluate how you can provide immense value to your users to better qualify the types of ads you are presenting to your audience and how this shift has created all kinds of new opportunities in the market to expand reach for those able to make the adjustments needed on the fly. The first quarter of 2021 has brought a new wave of digital spending and if publishers are not prepared they will be left behind!