Here’s How Financial Services Companies Invested Their Ad Dollars Last Year

October 22, 2019

Globally, financial services had a median revenue ROI of 3.71% in 2018, per the Global Ad Trends report from WARC. Here’s a look at where the financial services industry invested their ad spend last year.

WARC reports that financial services brands spent $43.2 billion in advertising worldwide in 2018, up 13% year-on-year (y-o-y). Internet advertising accounted for the largest portion (45.5%) of the total, with the $19.7 billion invested in online ads in 2018 representing a 24.4% y-o-y rise.

Financial services brands tend to weight their ad spend to the internet slightly more than all advertisers. Warc’s data indicates that advertisers in general allocated 44.1% of their ad spend to digital platforms last year.

Data from eMarketer shows that the financial services industry in the US accounts for 12.1% of total digital ad spend, behind only the retail and the automotive industries.

Financial services brands also increased their global ad spend on traditional channels in 2018. The financial services industry invested $12.9 billion in television advertising and $3.7 billion in radio (up 4.0% and 5.1% y-o-y, respectively). Compared to advertisers as a whole, financial services brands were lighter last year on TV ad spend (29.8% share versus 33.3% for all advertisers) and heavier on radio ad spend (8.5% and 5.4%, respectively).

Here’s where some other industries are investing their advertising dollars:

  • Unlike financial services, the food industry is still investing heavily (65.2% share of category ad spend) in TV advertising,
  • The soft drink industry also invests a large share (70%) of its total ad spend on TV advertising, compared to the 12.8% share it spends on digital advertising.
  • Of the $62.3 billion that retailers spent advertising last year, 34.5% of it was spent online (compared to 44.1% of all advertisers), despite retail being by far the largest spender in US digital advertising.
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