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Clicks vs. Bricks Ad Spending Shrinks in 2009

According to an article in the Dec 7, 2009 Wall Street Journalhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704825504574582310496271156.html, US ad spending shrank about 15% last year. Due to fewer store openings and general economic activity, my sense is that store fixture and POP display spending also shrank at a double-digit clip in 2009. What does the future hold for all forms of advertising?

The only segment that grew substantially – 11% – was online advertising. The biggest losers were print – newspapers and magazines. Clearly some media buys have shifted from physical media to the metaphysical web media. This historic shift won’t be reversed. Have dollars moved from in-store permanently, too.

No. And I’ll tell you why.

Especially during the holiday gift-buying season, there’s much talk of clicks-v-bricks. Though billions will be bought online, many more billions are being bought by people who want to interact with the product literally not virtually. Customers want answers to such questions as:

How thick are those chenille mittens?

How heavy is that coat?

How does the size of that sweater run?

The primary point of purchase remains the actual store, the only place where the product, potential purchaser and the cash come in close proximity to one another. Ad spending shrank last year and may not recover for some years.

In-store advertising spending, however, will rebound substantially in 2010 as shoppers seek the best value, marketers seek the best ROI for their money, and retailers employ their growing arsenal of sensory tools to attract, educate and convert shoppers into buyers.

Michael Lauber
Tusco Display