Financial, Travel, and Automotive Advertising Make a Comeback

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Jan 06

Ad spending is making a comeback in several industries that were negatively impacted by the pandemic, including financial services, travel marketing, and automotive. According to Ad Age Datacenter, spending for the world’s 100 biggest advertisers fell 7.1% to $278 billion in 2020. Here’s a look at how ad spending rebounded in 2021.

Financial services 

The first nine months of 2021 saw double-digit ad spend percent increases for Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup, denoting a major rebound for the financial services category after Capital One fell 29% in 2020. 

Travel marketing

Travel marketing hit spending lows in 2020 but has since returned to near-normal. According to Inside Radio, Expedia and Booking Holdings were up 90% and 58% in ad spend during 2021’s first nine months, compared to their respective 66% and 56% dives in 2020.


The automotive industry shows signs of growth despite the ongoing chip shortage. After a 27% spend decline in 2020, General Motors increased ad spend in 2021. And the used car business has also propelled spending gains. For example, Carvana saw a 71% lift in 2021.

Ad Age Datacenter also reported substantial growth in the consumer packaged goods and sports betting categories. After mixed ad spend in 2020, the consumer packaged goods category is now substantially increasing ad spend. Coca-Cola’s spend is approaching pre-COVID levels, up 50% after 2020’s 35% decline. Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble have also increased spend. 

Meanwhile, sports betting’s pandemic gains have continued. FanDuel and Fox Bet parent company Flutter Entertainment increased its spend 35% in 2020 and more than tripled its U.S. ad dollars during the first half of 2021, according to Inside Radio. 

At the start of 2022, things are looking up for the advertising industry. WPP’s GroupM predicted global advertising would reach an all-time revenue high of $763 billion in 2021 and grow another 9.7% in 2022.

Are you ready to be a part of 2022’s advertising comeback? Contact SMI today to find out how to hear your brand’s message on radio and podcasts.

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