IX Perspectives

Viva Las Vegas? – Marketplace Pulse: June 11

Viva Las Vegas?

It’s the beginning of June, and Ad Spend continues to recover. Even the most hard-hit Ad categories, like Travel, have started to gain momentum. All verticals are up since April 1st, and green shoots are sprouting across the ecosystem. We still have a ways to go, but collectively things are getting better. As we look across all businesses, even outside of Advertising, consumer confidence is stabilising. The US jobs report had some unexpected good news. To top it off, the epicentre of the pandemic, New York City, is starting a long, difficult, but ultimately positive journey towards re-opening.

Washington Post Article: Unemployment Rate Drops and 2.5 Million Jobs Added, after States Reopened
Source: Washington Post, Eli Rosenberg (Economics Reporter) and Heather Long (Economics Correspondent)

Overall, I am encouraged by the progress we are seeing. We are not out of the woods by any means, but each week seems to bring more positive developments. I still believe Digital will recover better than the overall Advertising industry; our current environment has accelerated the shift to Digital. My overall sentiment feels validated when Brian Wieser echoes a lot of the same points:

MediaPost Article: GroupM's Wieser Surprised By Advertising's Resilience, Acceleration of Digital Transformation
Source: MediaPost, Joe Mandese (Editor in Chief)

Last week, I provided a number of resources for those looking to get involved and educated in the fight for Black equality. I want to highlight another resource that is specifically focused on our industry: The Minority Report Podcast hosted by Ad Tech mainstays Erik Requidan and Kerel Cooper. The podcast’s mission is to highlight people of colour, women, and the LGBTQ community within business, media, and tech. It’s a phenomenal listen. I highly recommend adding to your rotation of industry news. 

Hope you are Staying Safe, Healthy, and Happy.

Will Doherty
EVP, Global Marketplace Development
Index Exchange

Tom Hanks

Graph displaying Buyer category spend trends from March till June.
*Tom Hanks is when this got real. Wilson is when things went flat. SNL aligns with hope starting to return, albeit slowly.

Indexing from the April Bottom

Sub-category Buyer spend trends from the months of April to June

It might be hard to remember that two months ago we had no idea how bad the economic fallout from quarantine would impact Ad Spend or for how long. After a couple of weeks into the new quarter, April started to show signs of life. It was sluggish, but it was moving. I was reluctant to call it the bottom because the only certainty was the uncertainty. Since then, we continue to see the signs of recovery in major verticals like CPG and Retail. Auto is starting to find its footing. Every single vertical is up since the first week of April. I feel more comfortable calling it the bottom now. If anyone asks, I’ll tell them. Unless something else happens, of course. But for now, the answer is April. April was the bottom.


Sub-category Buyer spend trends from the months of April to JuneNo industry was hit as hard as Travel. It still has progress to be made before it can come back. It may not have represented the kind of Ad Spend as other verticals but its trajectory is a good example of consumer mood. We are seeing it start to come out of its depths.

Domestic Air Travel is also buoyant with optimism. International travel will probably have a long road to recovery, but domestic and short-haul routes are starting to pick up steam.

Bloomberg Article: We All Might Be Flying in Planes Again Soon
Source: Bloomberg, Chris Bryant (Bloomberg Opinion Columnist)

There are Vegas people, and then there are the rest of us. From experience, there seems to be a lot of Vegas people in Ad Tech, but I am not one of them. The yearly trek to CES is always a good reminder of that fact. Still! I am fascinated by the fact that Vegas is opening back up. There is an undercurrent of optimism amidst its re-opening. It’s probably because Vegas is such a frivolity, it’s the opposite of necessary, and perhaps the easiest destination to hold off from visiting because it is so decidedly non-essential. It is an entire city that takes not taking itself seriously – seriously. Which is why I am so excited to see the enthusiasm for its return with such tacky aplomb. If Vegas can come back, so can everything else. The excitement is much like gambling itself. It’s the anticipation that gets your heart racing, not the actual betting.

CNN Article: A Changed Las Vegas is Now Open
Source: CNN, Matt Villano (Freelance Writer)


There is a lot to be happy about in terms of Ad Spend. While the arrival of Q2 was rife with fear and uncertainty as it aligned with the spread of COVID-19, we can start to look toward Q3 with much more optimism. And with any luck, Q3 will set ourselves up to make “good” to some degree on the low points we’ve seen in Q2.

Summer Reading

Summer Reading Suggestion: A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story by Elaine Brown
Source: Bookshop

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