top of page
2S films creativity for good
  • Writer's pictureJason Jayes

Ad Spend in 2021

At 2S films our goal is to help charities navigate the world of advertising, and there is almost no topic more hotly debated than the value of digital spend where TV has dominated historically.

Successful charities know what their goals are, and know how important every pound is. As such, below are some of our thoughts on how we help campaigns ensure the absolute best return on investment (ROI) in what is an often fast-changing and competitive landscape (even more so since COVID-19). The advice below will hopefully help ensure you know the best platform to use (and when!), how to create curated impactful content and optimize fundraising by channel so you can best effect change as a charity.

Trust in TV

TV (especially DRTV that uses a call to action) still has the ability to capture two of the most important aspects of any successful advertising campaign: emotion and trust. Trustworthiness is critical as it has helped hundreds of non-profits ensure that their ad and overall mission resonates with the viewer.

However, context is key, and it goes without saying that the recent lockdown period has seen a £1.1bn drop in total advertising spend with a 48% drop in spend across cinema, out of home (OOH), press, radio and TV.


The opportunity for non-profits is that in spite of this, households are watching more broadcast TV than they have in years. Across a whole family the average number of hours has jumped from 21 to 25 per week since lockdown began. The jump is even higher among younger viewers - notoriously tricky for broadcasters to attract in the age of streaming - who are watching 67% more.

Trust in digital

With digital now owning the lion’s share of the UK ads spend its no secret that having a strong online presence is vital for any charity. The easy access to advertising, 360 targeting, funnel journeys and no minimum spend is enough to encourage any organization to move a majority of their spend and time to online avenues. And now with a wealth of online tools for charities to utilise, the questions is not when you should move over but how and with what strategy and message.


There are many opportunities available for charities online. Google have launched YouTube Giving for non-profits which provides a number of initiatives to help charities move over to digital. Facebook donate button raised over 10 million for Grenfell and since scrapping their fee, 100% goes to your cause. There are, however, a few caveats with these schemes. For instance, to utilise the Youtube donate feature you will need to have over 100k follows, which most charities in the UK fall short of. A way around this is to engage influences and bloggers who are aligned with your charities cause who have a much larger following. We help our clients navigate this world to make best use of what's available.

How aligning your digital and TV strategies increases your chance to take this opportunity

In our view to make the most of such opportunity it’s important to join up the new innovations in TV, including being able to measure impressions incredibly accurately, identifying demographics via smart TVs, digital wallets, and better ad testing. Utilising the fact that audience now engage in double screen watching, having a screen in hand allows us to provide quick access for TV viewers – with your wider digital strategy.

Having a mirroring campaign to run alongside your TV campaign is vital for consistency and to provide a space for your TV audience to donate or to engage, making the journey as clear as possible to the viewer.

Again, context is everything, and if you look at the numbers, digital ad spend is outperforming other media ad spend in the UK. It also has an almost preposterous 66.4% share of mobile spend, and YouTube reaches more UK adults (18 – 34 years old) than any of the existing cable networks.

Hot Take

So we are not saying non-profits should scrap TV ad spend. The sector clearly stepped up following 2017 where digital ad spend took over lineal, and if your target audience is older than 35 it’s critical to make TV a core part of your marketing campaign to maximise engagement. However, for big charities we recommend supplementing your TV ads with complimentary digital content, creating one big picture that viewers can tie together. Indeed Google recommends you shift at least 24% of your TV budget to YouTube for maximum success.

2S Films

We help a number of charities navigate advertising for both online and for broadcast. When budgets are tight its even more important to ensure a strong ROI on your ad spend. To make sure you're heading in the right direction, get in touch:

0203 925 5723

60 views0 comments


bottom of page