“As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to greater digital media consumption, it has never been more important for brands to have a robust, comprehensive and efficient digital advertising strategy to succeed in the market. With digital activities on the rise, brands will need to utilize the extensive array of media channels and technology in order to reach their target audience.”
Andrew Zmijak, Research Analyst, Consumer Behaviour

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the digital advertising market.
  • How the market for digital advertising will fare post-COVID-19.
  • Media consumption, changes in media consumption compared to pre-pandemic, exposure to digital advertising, reaction to digital advertising, sharing personal information with brands and attitudes towards digital advertising.
  • The challenges the market faces, market factors impacting the category, marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as innovations and trends in the market.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • Impact of COVID-19 on digital advertising
                • Summary
                  • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities
                  • Canadians are consuming more content across most mediums
                    • Consumers are exposed to a variety of digital ads
                      • Plenty of potential for social media advertising
                        • Challenges
                          • Consumers skip ads
                            • Half want a guarantee brands won’t sell their personal info
                              • Smartphone ads are not viewed in the best light
                              • Market Factors

                                • Rising inflation to impact consumer spending habits
                                  • Immigration to help bolster growth
                                    • Figure 2: Immigrants as a proportion of Canadian population, 1871-2036
                                  • Big tech brands grant users additional privacy control
                                    • Alphabet saw notable search revenue growth in 2021
                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                      • Platforms are testing the waters with live shopping
                                        • Recognizing inclusivity and taking strides
                                          • Figure 3: Dove Instagram post, 2021
                                          • Figure 4: Toyota Canada Instagram post, 2021
                                        • Influencers can help brands raise awareness and credibility
                                          • Figure 5: Veronica Chu Instagram post, 2021
                                          • Figure 6: Audible Instagram post, 2021
                                        • Video gaming well positioned for significant role in digital advertising
                                          • Telling a real story
                                            • Figure 7: Volvo Cars – One of a Million – Summer, 2020
                                            • Figure 8: Volvo Cars – One of a Million – Linda & Molly, 2020
                                        • Market Opportunities

                                          • Targeted digital video ads should play a growing role
                                            • Leveraging nostalgia in a time of uncertainty
                                              • Figure 9: Everlane Instagram post, 2021
                                              • Figure 10: Honda Canada Instagram post, 2021
                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                            • Video/TV streaming rules, but half still watch cable or satellite
                                              • Users are watching more content vs pre-pandemic
                                                • Consumers are best reached via social media, email and ads on a website
                                                  • Skipping ads is the norm
                                                    • Half want a guarantee that brands won’t sell their info
                                                      • Most want a choice of what ads they encounter
                                                      • Media Consumption

                                                        • Video/TV streaming rules but half still watch cable or satellite
                                                          • Figure 11: Media consumption, 2021
                                                        • What are people watching more of?
                                                          • Figure 12: Current habits vs pre-COVID-19, 2021
                                                          • Figure 13: Diesel Instagram post, 2019
                                                        • Audio streaming is a young person’s game
                                                          • Figure 14: Audio media consumption, by age, 2021
                                                        • Video game streaming appeals most to young men
                                                          • Figure 15: Video game streaming, by age and gender, 2021
                                                          • Figure 16: Twitch Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Younger men also more likely to be watching live streaming TV
                                                          • Figure 17: Live streaming TV and recoded videos, by age, 2021
                                                        • Older consumers stick to traditional media
                                                          • Figure 18: Media consumption (select), by age, 2021
                                                          • Figure 19: Attitudes towards social media and digital advertising (% any agree), by age, 2021
                                                        • Asian Canadians have different media habits
                                                            • Figure 20: Media consumption (select), Chinese and South Asian Canadians vs overall, 2021
                                                            • Figure 21: IKEA | Assemble Together, 2021
                                                            • Figure 22: Digital ad exposure (select), South Asians vs overall, 2021
                                                        • Digital Ad Exposure and Reaction

                                                          • Consumers are best reached via social media, email and ads on a website
                                                            • Figure 23: Digital ad exposure, 2021
                                                          • Social media is key in drawing younger consumers
                                                            • Figure 24: Digital ad exposure, by age, 2021
                                                            • Figure 25: Daniella Perkins Instagram post, 2021
                                                            • Figure 26: Pokimanelol Instagram post, 2021
                                                          • A quarter marked emails as read without reading
                                                            • Figure 27: Reaction to email-based ads, 2021
                                                          • Skip them if you can
                                                            • Figure 28: Reaction to video-based ads, 2021
                                                          • A third skipped audio-based ads, but a similar share also discovered new brands/products
                                                            • Figure 29: Reaction to audio-based ads, 2021
                                                        • Sharing Personal Information with Brands

                                                          • Half want a guarantee that brands won’t sell their info
                                                            • Figure 30: What brands can do to make consumers feel more comfortable about sharing personal information, 2021
                                                          • Older consumers are warier of brands selling their info
                                                            • Figure 31: Sharing personal information with brands, by age, 2021
                                                        • Attitudes towards Digital Advertising

                                                          • Most want a choice of what ads they encounter
                                                            • Figure 32: Select attitudes towards digital advertising (% any agree), 2021
                                                            • Figure 33: PLUS Sabine Zondag Instagram post, 2021
                                                            • Figure 34: Select attitudes towards digital advertising (% any agree), by age, 2021
                                                          • Two thirds think auto-play ads are the most annoying
                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes towards type of ad (% any agree), 2021
                                                          • Smartphone ads are not viewed favourably
                                                            • Figure 36: Attitudes towards digital advertising on smartphones (% any agree), 2021
                                                            • Figure 37: Attitudes towards digital advertising on smartphones (% any agree), by age, 2021
                                                          • Social media as a place for brand discovery
                                                            • Figure 38: Select attitudes toward digital advertising (% any agree), 2021
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Data sources
                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                  • Abbreviations

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