“Finally stop this advertising!” That is the motto of this year’s “OWM Summit”, at which the members of the organization advertisers in the brand association discuss the topics that concern brands and agencies. Why the provocative motto? As an industry, you are actually convinced of yourself: According to a survey among the member companies of the OWM, 100 percent of advertisers say that advertising is “the fuel for brand success”. As a counterbalance and a healthy self-assessment, only 26 percent assume that advertising enjoys a high level of acceptance among consumers. At the OWM Summit, the industry therefore wants to discuss how advertising can be designed to be relevant to customers and how it can credibly convey a brand message, especially with regard to the topic of sustainability.
The industry also has completely different problems, as became clear at the Advertisers’ Night that took place on Tuesday evening, the informal part of the event that preceded it. Despite the good mood, the talks in Berlin’s E-Werk seemed serious. Like many other industries, advertising has been hit by the economic downturn, inflation and poor consumer sentiment. “Actually, tomorrow we should be much more concerned with how we deal with the crisis,” judged one participant with a view to today’s upcoming program.
Your judgment is not unfounded. In the survey, 97 percent of member companies said the overall economic situation would deteriorate. After all, 56 percent assume declining income. 44 percent, on the other hand, expect income to remain the same or even increase.
Hope after two hard years
Despite the negative economic outlook, members largely assume that advertising budgets will remain stable in 2023. “Expenditure on advertising is still the third-largest item for a company after personnel and raw material costs,” explained another participant at the Advertisers’ Night. OWM Managing Director Susanne Kunz, who presented the results of the survey, spoke on Wednesday of the hope that advertisers would defend their advertising investments after two tough years.
Most of these budgets currently go to digital video advertising. 55 percent of companies want to increase their spending in this area. This is followed by increasing budgets for advertising on smart TVs. 43 percent want to spend more money on this. 32 percent want to focus more on advertising in social media. Advertising close to the point of sale, for example in online shops, is becoming more popular. 57 percent of those surveyed are expanding their budget for this.
reflection in old age
Despite all the shifts to digital, some things will remain the same. One must also keep an eye on demographic change, said one participant on Tuesday evening. “As people get older, the way media and thus advertising are consumed also changes. Print and TV advertising are still very relevant for those over 50.”
Times are difficult for advertisers. Nevertheless, one is optimistic: “Hopefully next year it will be about how we have mastered the crisis,” said the participant of the Advertisers’ Night.