Morning Brew - ☕ Hold the line

National TV ad spend is holding steady
November 15, 2022

Marketing Brew


It’s Tuesday. More importantly, we hope we’re meeting some of you today at Marketing Brew’s one-day summit, The Brief! (And don’t worry: If you couldn’t make it, we’ll tell you all about it soon.)

In today’s edition:

—Kelsey Sutton, Minda Smiley


Steady as she goes

Steady as she goes Jakkapan Jabjainai/Eyeem/Getty Images

Fall offers us the chance to return to seasonal staples: chunky sweaters, spiced drinks, and classic family recipes.

Many advertisers, though, opted not to return to fall television at the same levels as they have in previous years, according to national TV ad investment data from Standard Media Index. More than half of the major advertiser product categories pulled back their advertising spend on national TV in September compared to a year ago, according to SMI data.

  • Auto brands pulled back their national TV ad spend the most, with their share of ad investment in September being 17% less than a year ago.
  • Financial services brands also pulled back by 14% YoY in September.
  • And CPG, restaurant, retail, wellness, and apparel and accessories brands all dialed back their ad spend on national TV this fall when compared to the same time last year.

But wait: Double-digit increases in ad investment from two major categories—pharmaceutical brands (a 19% YoY increase) and a catchall “general business” category that includes home furnishings and office supply brands (also a 19% YoY increase)—helped keep total national TV advertising spend relatively flat year over year, SMI found.

“Those two sectors really helped stabilize the performance of the overall landscape,” Nicole McCurnin, SMI’s director of advertising insights, told Marketing Brew.

  • Other sectors investing more in national TV year over year included tech brands, which increased spend by 10%; travel, which increased by 4%; and media and entertainment, which increased by 2%.

The data highlights that while national TV ad investment is changing and viewership trends continue to favor streaming, some advertisers still see value in linear TV. For now.

“The fact that it’s flat showcases that there’s promise still there, and it’s holding,” McCurnin said.—KS



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Coworking with Kate Anderson

Coworking with Kate Anderson Kate Anderson

Each Tuesday, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Kate Anderson is head of marketing and partnerships at StartSure, a company she said “makes insurance easy for startups and freelancers.” She’s also the founder of Welkin Memorials, an urn company.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in marketing? I spend my days spreading the word of insurance. Specifically, taking the traditional and technical industry and crafting it into snackable content that can be easily read and understood by the entrepreneurs, freelancers, and risk-takers of today’s world. Our customers have worked hard to get where they are, and those assets are worth protecting, so I’m here to help them understand the importance of insurance.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? Wow, that’s tough. I’ve worked on so many fantastic projects over the years; it’s hard to just pick one. I’m currently working on an entire company rebrand for a startup, and that might take the cake. It’s incredible to see how design elements and a specific tone of voice can completely transform a brand, especially when disrupting a traditional industry. They can really make a company feel so much more relatable and approachable, so it’s really rewarding to be a part of that process, especially in the early days of a startup.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile? I was pretty into skydiving in my early 20s, so much so that I nearly dropped out of college to pursue being a tandem instructor as my career. Good thing I didn’t, or I wouldn’t be featured here. ;)

What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Recently, I read that the USPS conducted a survey and determined that 62% of millennials read through their direct-mail advertisements rather than just discarding them, and I am here for this trend! I personally love receiving physical mail, especially when it is well branded, so as a marketer, I am incredibly excited to lean into this trend and explore creative mail advertisements.

What’s one marketing-related podcast/social account/series you’d recommend? Other than this one?! WorkParty is a podcast I enjoy listening to on my commute to work.




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French press Francis Scialabba

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

: Tracking these 15 Instagram analytics metrics can help you up your game on the platform.

: You’re not imagining it: Inflation has come to Google Ads, per this benchmark report that walks you through what’s happening—and what to do about it.

: Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting competitive ad text research on Google Ads.

Shop your scroll: TikTok wants to make it easier for users to make in-app purchases. Find out if the controversial platform can succeed as a social media marketplace in our latest article, sponsored by mntn.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • Amazon is expected to lay off around 10,000 employees, the largest layoffs in the company’s nearly 30-year history.
  • TikTok officially debuted TikTok Shop, a dedicated in-app feature where users can make purchases.
  • Nike is debuting an online platform where shoppers can collect and display virtual sneakers.
  • Horizon Media has co-created a new sports marketing agency, Horizon Sports & Experiences, with media executives David Levy and Chris Weil.
  • Twitter cut thousands of contract workers without notice over the weekend, the latest mass layoffs at the embattled social media company.
  • Speaking of Twitter, here’s a running list of advertisers who have paused their Twitter spending.


Holiday shopping season is fast approaching, but not all brands are all in: Which apparel brand once ran an anti-Black Friday ad in the New York Times encouraging consumers not to buy a product?

  1. Patagonia
  2. REI
  3. ThredUp
  4. Allbirds


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Answer. 1. Patagonia’s 2011 full-page print ad preceded other Black Friday initiatives, like the brand’s 2016 decision to donate 100% of its Black Friday sales that year to environmental groups.


Written by Kelsey Sutton and Minda Smiley

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