“Italians are back”: fashion advertising comes back to life for publishers

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Fashion brands are starting to strut their stuff again.

Three months after the coronavirus halted the industry in its tracks, fashion brands are starting to spend on advertising again, not only to promote the fall and winter lines currently in production, but to capitalize on pent-up demand for consumers as stores begin to reopen and hopefully. boost sales of inventory that brands couldn’t move earlier in the year.

Publishers will take the bright spots wherever they can find them. But the budgets that have been released are more focused on results, the editors said, and some say they expect the recent trend for fashion brands to do larger campaigns with fewer partners to accelerates this year.

“The Italians are back,” said Joshua Brandau, Los Angeles Times chief revenue officer, “Fashion houses are questioning big, bold executions, section buyouts and robust cross-platform packages. About the vertical.

For context, apparel and retail apparel advertisers spent $ 4.75 billion on advertising in 2019, according to Kantar.

The coronavirus has hit the fashion industry with a difficult combination of punches. Blockages around the world, not only in China but in Italy and France, suddenly halted production at many factories and fashion house retailers. unable to sell online or in person, briefly wholesale orders canceled they had placed with brands, leaving them millions of dollars in products they had no way of selling.

Adding insult to injury, social distancing regulations in cities like New York and Los Angeles meant brands and their agencies couldn’t muster the teams needed to create the sleek, stylish ads they had. used to show consumers.

“You’ve had a lot of brands that have been creative [assets] since last year, they’ve had to find a way to reorganize and reuse, ”said Addia Cooper-Henry, founder of creative agency VMGroupe.

As a result, fashion brands’ advertising spending plunged in March and continued; Overall, ad spend in the category was down 45% year-over-year in the second quarter. This is due in large part to the decline in print ads, which account for 64% of the category’s spend, by Mediaradar.

But other types of ad purchases have also slipped precipitously. Excluding print ads, year-over-year spending in the category fell from a 6% rise in mid-March to a drop of more than 15% in about a month, according to Mediaradar’s analysis carried out for this article. By mid-June, spending had fallen more than 20% year-over-year, according to this analysis.

Shayna Kossove, director of revenue for fashion and lifestyle publication WhoWhatWear, said most of her clients took a break rather than write off their spending as they tried to figure out what to do. But even as her clients hatched new plans, Kossove said she and her team went weeks without launching new business because buyers were so hesitant. In some cases there was no one to throw.

“In many cases, our customers [contacts] have been put on leave or even fired, ”Kossove said. “It was like, ‘Who are you even calling? “”

Yet in May, conversations began. “The fall conversations have
happened, ”Kossove said. “They really picked up in the last month.”

Some of the recent spending appears designed to capitalize on pent-up consumer demand. Early returns from big box stores opened last month suggest there is some measure of pent-up consumer demand for brands to capitalize.

Publishers who are able to offer an affiliate or performance component to their campaigns are better positioned than those who only offer media. Yuriy Boykiv, president of DentsuX, said that while some fashion brands are still “calibrating” their spending, spending on digital and e-commerce has increased.

Most of the conversation, however, centers around the fall season, Brandau said. While publishers remain wary of retail as a category, they are eager to have conversations about the second half of the year. And fashion advertisers, for now, seem open to having them – despite the growing threat of coronavirus in America’s solar belt.

“I would say that in Q4 we will come back to the numbers we were hoping for,” Kossove said. “We will probably be even closer to the old forecast.”


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