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Home appliance ad spend surges on the back of home improvement trend

Consumers are splashing out on cookers, washing machines and dishwashers like never before

The UK is set to become the third-fastest-growing ad spend market for home appliances across 12 key territories, including China, Germany and the US, with projected average annual growth of 14% between 2020 and 2023.

The prediction is made in the latest ad spend forecast from Zenith and comes as the white goods sector posts a remarkable comeback, with home appliance advertising expected to surpass its pre-pandemic peak as early as 2023.

Home appliance boom

  • Consumers are splashing out on cookers, washing machines and dishwashers like never before after prioritizing home improvements with money saved from socializing and holidays.

  • This has propelled the sector ahead of advertising as a whole in 2021, with a further 6% annual growth rate for home appliance spend projected through 2022 and 2023.

  • Home appliance brands are reaping the rewards of this shift in priorities with their collective advertising expenditure jumping from £3.4bn in 2020 to £3.5bn in 2021 – far ahead of the £3.5bn spent in 2019 and with better results still to come in 2023, when the figure should hit £4.4bn.

Digital drives demand

  • In common with most sectors, digital will power the bulk of this growth, increasing its share of home appliance ad spend from 55% in 2020 to 57% in 2023 in the process.

  • In turn, brand building and e-commerce are driving 10% annual growth in digital ad spend, predominantly in online video, native advertising and social media.

  • In particular, paid search has been a focus for brands as they seek to reach consumers in the short window between product failure and any replacement purchase.

  • Home appliance brands have been quick to seize the opportunities of e-commerce, rising rapidly from just 23% of sales in 2019 to 32% in 2020. This outpaces the market as a whole, where e-commerce penetration stood at 16% and 21% respectively.

Television holds its own

  • Amid this digital focus, television still holds sway as an important brand-building channel, with home appliance brands allocating 29% of their marketing budgets to the medium in 2020 and 7% on out-of-home (OOH), outpacing the market as a whole where the equivalent figures were 24% and 7%.

  • Looking ahead, Zenith expects OOH spending by home appliance brands to grow at 8% per annum through to 2023, outpacing television on 6% growth per year.

India and Russia emerge as kitchen superpowers

  • While mature markets remain relatively sedate, consumers in Russia and India are driving the sector forward with first-time purchases, hitting growth rates of 18% and 16% a year between 2020 and 2023.

  • This strong paper performance must be set against steep declines of 15% and 22% during the pandemic.

  • By contrast, the slowest growth rates are expected in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, where annual growth in home appliance ad spend will be no more than 4%.

In Zenith’s own words

  • Zenith UK business director Tommy Wong said: “Ad spend was down last year as some advertisers struggled to keep up with demand, and therefore scaled back spending.

  • “The good news is we have seen a recovery this year: spends in 2021 to date have been approximately 36% higher than that seen in 2020 over the same period. We expect this to continue as the housing market continues to be buoyant. However, short-term supply and logistical challenges may continue to impact the market.”

  • Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith, said: “In most markets, the increased appetite for home improvement is incentivizing home appliance brands to step up their communications activities substantially.

  • “Most of this growth is going to digital channels to support increased e-commerce activity, but traditional media such as television and OOH will remain essential tools for maintaining mass brand awareness.”

  • Earlier this summer Zenith, part of the Publicis Groupe, projected UK ad spend would grow 13.5% in 2021 to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

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