CLOSE-UP: LIVE ISSUE - ADSPENDS. How four of the biggest advertisers spent in 2002

Why did some advertisers extend their commitment to certain media in 2002? Most readers will be surprised to hear that advertising spend among the UK's 100-biggest advertisers actually rose last year, according to the latest data from Nielsen Media Research. These companies parted with a massive £3.27 billion, up 11.8 per cent from 2001.

The biggest growth medium was outdoor, which attracted £269 million in billings, up from £146 million the previous year. Press too saw a substantial rise: from £692 million to £792 million over the same period. TV remained more or less constant, receiving £1.96 billion in billings, while radio rose from £136 million to £153 million. Cinema's many blockbusters attracted £93 million, compared with £84 million the previous year.

Here Campaign asks four advertisers who have increased their commitment to a particular medium to explain their thinking.

O2

Outdoor spend 2001: £114,000 - 0.38 per cent of total

Outdoor spend 2002: £2.9m - 9 per cent of total

The mobile operator O2's advertising spend remained flat in 2002, but it re-focused its media mix with a massive emphasis on outdoor.

Due largely to the rebranding from BT Cellnet and the need to splash the new O2 name to the mass market, expenditure on outdoor skyrocketed by 1,806 per cent over the 2001 figures.

Will Harris, the vice-president of marketing at O2, explains the change in attitude: "When you are looking to launch a brand you want a big outdoor presence. I am bullish about outdoor, to my mind it is the last big mass medium and the only one that can stand out from the clutter.

"However, one reason the increase is so dramatic is because the BT Cellnet brand didn't really advertise in the year before because the rebrand was coming."

Harris also points out that the figures only encompass spending from May, when O2 was launched, and that outdoor would have been a great deal more than that if a year's spend was calculated.

ORANGE

Radio spend 2001: £1.80m - 4.75 per cent of total

Radio spend 2002: £3.73m - 6.79 per cent of total

Jeremy Dale, the brand marketing director at Orange, says the increased focus on radio forms part of a wider strategy to decrease its dependence on television advertising.

"Historically, Orange has gone heavyweight with television and now we want more balance. But now, the marketing mix is moving toward much more integrated campaigns."

The mobile market is fiercely competitive and with each company offering similar services, the battle is in being able to offer the best deals to lure customers. Dale believes radio is a key communicator of such deals: "Radio is a great medium to put out compelling promotions and offers and a great tool for hitting the youth market. Developments last year, such as photo messaging, colour screens and the massive growth in SMS messaging, are driven by the early-adopting 18- to- 30 market. You have to change media to reach the right audience and we wanted to use radio to hit them."

For 2003 he says: "We are still finalising plans but my guess is television will stay about the same, the market was buoyant last year with our competitors launching rebranding campaigns. We always have a strong presence in cinema and we might spend a touch more on radio, but the media mix isn't going to be radically different."

TOYOTA

Cinema spend 2001: £2.76m - 7.45 per cent of total

Cinema spend 2002: £4.0m - 6.16 per cent of total

Toyota's cinema spend almost doubled in 2002, as part of a total increase in adspend of £29 million to £65.5 million. Mark Hall, the general manager, vehicle marketing, explains: "We are enthusiastic supporters of cinema.

Where we come from is trying to understand how our target audience sees the product. For example, for the Corolla and the RAV4, we know our target audience list their leisure activities as cinema going, therefore this medium is appropriate for them." Hall adds: "We made great ads last year for TV, so cinema was also a great way of showing this work on the big screen.

"Cinema is such a rich and captive medium, with nothing to distract the viewer. We will definitely continue to support cinema this year. Whether it will be to the same extent or not, depends on the product range. The only reason we would become anxious about using this medium would be down to clutter - an over-crowded market."

PROCTER & GAMBLE

TV spend 2001: £86.64m - 76 per cent of total

TV spend 2002: £133.24 - 82.25 per cent of total

In 2002, Procter & Gamble spent a massive £133.2 million on TV, an increase of 54 per cent on 2001's £86.6 million. (The next largest TV spender in the UK, COI Communications, spent £58.5 million.)

This is despite P&G's previous criticism of the cost and reach of TV advertising and therefore suggests the company is capitalising on the airtime deals available at the moment.

Bernard Balderston, the associate director, UK media, at P&G, says the increase in adspend is a result of good sales performance, however: "The figures reflect the need to invest in our business. If you look at the general state of P&G, our global business has been strong, which is reflected in our UK adspend."

He says that the company has not changed its strategy to concentrate on TV, however: "There isn't a particular focus on television. We are spending more generally and when that happens there are limits to spending on non-television levels. In terms of a period of increased activity, television will take more of the pie."

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