The devastating impact of the pandemic on the world economy was severely felt in the advertising world in 2020. 2021 was a strong comeback year, during which digital media was redefined anda growth rate beyond expectations was achieved in digital advertising. Restrictions on the use of third-party cookies were one of the hotly debated topics this year. Let’s have a look at the critical topics in digital advertising in 2021 together…

A Strong Rebound

Global ad spend, which was approximately $650 billion in 2020, increased by approximately 20% to $780 billion in 2021. This way, a strong rebound from the 1.2% contraction was experienced in 2020. This figure is $120 billion more than the 2021 projections made in 2019. Digital ad spending, on the other hand, increased by approximately 29% compared to the previous year, reaching $490 billion. Before the pandemic, this digital advertising global spending was estimated to reach $450 billion by 2021. Therefore, it can be said that the pandemic conditions led to some problems for digital advertising at first, but over time, media consumption habits changed, and it gained a more strategic position for advertisers.

Digital Advertising Is No Longer About Computers and Cell Phones Only

2021 has been a year that witnessed the growth of digital advertising beyond computers and mobile devices. Television is one of these channels.

CTV advertising expenditures in the US stood at $9.03 billion in 2020, increasing to $14.4 billion in 2021. The closures due to the pandemic and the fact that many companies have started to offer services that provide advertising-supported video content have had a great impact on this huge growth. Although CTV ads are more expensive than traditional television ads, their much more accurate targeting and measurement capacity make them attractive to advertisers. The increase in CTV advertising slots day by day is an indication that the prices will also decrease in the coming period.

One of the areas where digital advertising has grown rapidly has been outdoor advertising. In 2021, 12.5% ​​of outdoor advertising expenditures in the USA were made for digital media. On the media purchasing side, 3.9% of OHH media purchases were made programmatically.

User Data Privacy Has Become Digital Advertising’s Biggest Challenge

In 2021companies joined the efforts of national and international institutions on user data privacy. On the one hand, this change was welcomed due to the emergence of stricter regulations on the use of user data. However, it was also criticized for the risk of data monopolies.

The user data restriction that Apple brought with the new iOS caused the balance to change, especially in the mobile world. However, the issue of Google restricting the use of third-party cookies had a more significant impact.

Google postponed the change to limit the use of third-party cookies, which it had announced to implement in 2022 before the pandemic conditions, until 2023. Advertisers who were not prepared for such a drastic change benefited from the delay.

This change will make it very difficult for players who depend on third-party data for targeting. On the other hand, those who have effective data policies and can perform targeting independently of cookies will be the winners of this power shift.