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By Alan Gottesman





Fast-Change Artistry Ad outlays in the U.S. expanded by slightly more than 50 percent between 1992 and 1996, but the five fastest-growing advertising categories grew materially faster. Electronic entertainment supplies--a category that barely existed five years ago (accounting, then, for .03 percent of all ad spending)--won the growth-rate race by a wide margin. It's still, even after a 13-fold increase, puny, at .3 percent of total advertising. In 1992, the segment routed 54 percent of its ad budget into magazines. Last year, that proportion dropped to 16 percent. Where did the rest of the money go? To network television. An examination of the five fastest-growing categories reveals a marked shift from print--whether magazines or newspapers--to TV. Two of the speediest growers, electronic games and computer software, were coming of age during the period; another, pets and pet supplies, saw the rise of the category-killer superstore. There's no obvious explanation for the two other hot categories, smoking accessories (not including tobacco) and bath toiletries (not cosmetics), but their preference for television is clear.





--Alan Gottesman (westendal@pobox.com) is principal of West End Consulting.








THE GOTTESMAN FILE





A look at the change in media mix for the five fastest-growing ad categories shows a marked shift from print to TV.





..........TV share.....Print share.....Four-year





..........1992.....1996.....1992.....1996.....growth rate





.....Electronic entertainment.....31.5%.....69.6%.....62.5%.....25.0%.....1392.1%





.....Computer software.....10.8%.....24.0%.....88.2%.....72.9%.....381.5%





.....Smoking accessories.....16.5%.....78.5%.....82.9%.....21.3%.....319.0%





.....Bath toiletries.....29.5%.....70.0%.....70.2%.....29.9%.....267.1%





.....Pet supplies.....70.1%.....72.4%.....24.9%.....24.4%.....255.4%





.....Source: Competitive Media Reporting. Growth rate represents aggregate change for entire category.





Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





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