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Advertising industry in Canada - statistics & facts

The Canadian advertising market is among the largest ad markets worldwide. In 2021, ad spending in Canada amounted to 11.2 billion U.S. dollars, and according to industry professionals, Canada's ad expenditure future is looking bright as it is projected to grow in the following years. This forecast is particularly interesting as it is common for advertising investments to continually decrease in developed markets. That said, it is Canada’s southern neighbor that accounts for the lion’s share of expenditures in North America. Having spent over 285 billion U.S. dollars on advertising in 2021, the United States remains by far the largest ad market in the world.

Advertising in Canada - deep dive

In line with North American and global market trends, Canada’s advertising industry has undergone a profound digital transformation in recent years. Influenced by the increased internet penetration and proliferation of digital content, Canadian advertisers are focusing their attention on digital platforms now more than ever. A look at the distribution of media spending over the past decade reveals that the internet has become the most popular and promising medium for participants in the advertising industry. Digital ad spend in Canada surpasses 5.9 billion U.S. dollars and accounts for over 50 percent of total media ad spend. As some of the most profitable types of digital marketing, search, social media, and display have all seen continuous revenue growth throughout the past decade.

Meanwhile, the ongoing shift towards digital advertising has also left its mark on traditional media formats. As Canadian consumers are spending more time online and turning to digital sources for news and entertainment, marketers are re-alocating advertising funds away from traditional outlets like TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. While television remains an essential platform for advertisers, revenue from Canadian TV advertising has been slowly decreasing since 2011.

Canadian consumers' advertising perception

According to recent survey results, Canadians seem divided on the topic of advertising, On the one hand, close to 38 percent admit that they perceive advertising as a good thing, while in comparison, 22 percent say the opposite. On the other hand, the situation is reversed when thinking of advertising impact on purchase decisions – a third of Canadians believe it has no influence on their buying behavior, and, by contrast, only a quarter think it does. While in majority of cases ads on TV, in magazines, and newspapers trigger no actions from consumers, the second most popular response to advertising activities in these media is searching online for the promoted product or brand, followed by talking about it with others.

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