1. The winter update of MAGNA’s “Global Ad Forecast” predicts that global media owners net advertising revenues (NAR) will reach $853 billion this year, +5.5% above the 2022 level, and will grow by +7.2% in 2024.
  2. Advertising spending accelerated and grew by +6.3% yoy in the second half of 2023 following a weaker first half (+4.7%) to average +5.5 growth full year.
  3. Traditional media owners (TMO) from the TV, Audio, Publishing and OOH industries, are typically vulnerable during this slow, uncertain macro-economic climate, causing 2023 TMO ad revenues to shrink by -4% to $266bn.
  4. TV advertising revenues are shrinking by -6% this year to $158bn while Publishing ad sales drops by -5%, Audio Media drops by -2%, and Out-of-Home keeps growing by +7% to reach $32bn (back to pre-COVID market size).
  5. Digital Pure-Play media owners (DPP) ad revenue, on the other end, grew by +10.5% to $587bn (69% of total ad sales). DPP ad sales are driven by organic growth factors incl. the rise of ecommerce, retail media.
  6. Keyword Search remains the most popular ad format, approaching the $300bn milestone this year (+9% to $298 billion). Social Media owners (e.g., Meta, Tiktok) re-accelerate (+15% to $182bn), while short-form pure-play video platforms (e.g., Youtube, Twitch) grow by +9% to $70bn.
  7. The fastest-growing market this year is once again India (+12% to $14bn). China recovers from zero COVID (+9.8%) while Northern European markets slow down: UK +3.9%, Germany +2.5%.
  8. The US market grew +3.6% to $338 billion this year (National TV -6%, Local TV -22%, Audio -4%, Publishing -7%, OOH +2%, Search +10%, Social +14%). Non-cyclical ad revenue is up +5.4% in 2023 and will accelerate to +5.9% in 2024 (+8.4% including cyclical ad spend – including almost $10 billion in political spending).
  9. In 2024, economic stabilization, lower inflation, digital innovation, and the return of major cyclical events (elections, international sports events) will drive ad spend +7.2% to $914 billion, +8.4% in the US. TMO ad revenues will recover by +2.2% while digital pure players ad sales will increase by +9.4%.
  10. Automotive, Travel, and Pharma will be among the fastest-growing ad spending verticals next year. CPG/FMCG brands will benefit from lower inflation, retail media opportunities and sports events. On the other hand, Entertainment marketing may suffer from the lower-than-usual volume of US shows and movies being released.

Vincent Létang, EVP, Global Market Research at MAGNA, and author of the report, said:

“As expected by MAGNA back in June, advertising spending re-accelerated in the second half of 2023 after four slow quarters from mid-22 to mid-23. The recovery is driven by easier year-over-year comps and stabilizing economic conditions (inflation slowdown), and these improvements mostly benefit pure-play digital advertising formats. Search formats are driven by retail media; Social and Video formats recover to double-digit growth thanks a better monetization of the fast-growing short vertical video impressions. Meanwhile traditional media owners’ ad revenues – including their digital ad sales – are down by -4% this year (TV -6%). The cyclical events of 2024 (sports, elections) will make reach media and contextual advertising attractive again and stabilize TMO ad revenues: overall +2%, TV +3%.”

The winter update of MAGNA’s “Global Ad Forecast” predicts media owners net advertising revenues (NAR) will reach $853 billion this year, growing +5.5% growth vs. 2022. 2023 ended up stronger than anticipated by MAGNA in its mid-year forecast update (June 2023: +4.6%) as second-half digital ad sales accelerated by +6.3% yoy following a weak first half (1Q23: +2%, 1H23: +4.7%) thanks to economic stabilization and easier comps.


Traditional media owners (TMO) historically focusing on Television, Audio, Publishing, OOH, and cinema media, are typically the most exposed in an uncertain macro-economic and business climate, as some brands seek to reduce marketing budgets or prioritize performance-based digital ad formats. Global TMO ad revenues shrank by an estimated -4.1% to $266bn globally. This rate of erosion is similar to what was observed in the ten years pre-COVID.

The non-linear ad sales of TMOs (AVOD, podcasting, DOOH etc.) continue to grow steadily. They increased by +7% this year to reach 20% of total TMO ad revenues on average (11% for TV and premium streaming video, 44% of newspaper and magazine publishers, 23% of radio broadcasters), but this is not yet enough to offset the continued erosion of traditional linear ad formats (-6.3%).

The introduction of advertising on Amazon Prime Video will be a game changer for AVOD globally. Ads will first appear in January 2024 in the US, followed by Germany, Canada and the UK in the first half, and France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year. Amazon Prime will bringing massive scale and reach from day one as viewers (111 million monthly users in the US alone) will be will defaulted into the ad supported tier.

Despite the growth of digital ad sales, total television advertising revenues have been shrinking by -6% this year to $158 billion while Publishing ad sales dropped -5% to $45bn and Audio Media NAR was down -2% to $29bn. The only traditional media types to keep growing in 2023 are Out-of-Home, up +7% to reach $32bn (now above its pre-COVID market size), cinema (+14% to $1.9bn but still 35% smaller than pre-COVID).

Digital Pure-Play (DPP) ad formats (Search/Commerce, Social, Short-Form Video) grew by an estimated +10.5% to $587bn (69% of total ad sales). DPP ad sales are driven by several organic growth factors including the rise of ecommerce, retail media, digital media consumption, and stabilization in the data landscape after the restrictions suffered in 2021 and affecting the 2022 ad sales.

Search/commerce formats remain the most popular, approaching the $300bn milestone (+9% to $298 billion). Social Media ad sales (e.g., Meta, Tiktok) re-accelerate strongly (+15% to $182bn) after stagnating for most of 2022, while short-form pure-play video platforms (e.g., Youtube, Twitch) grow by +9% to $70bn. Social and Pure-Play Video platforms both benefit from better monetization of the rapidly growing short vertical video formats.

Retail Media Networks generated $124 billion of ad revenues globally in 2023 ($43 billion in the US). This represents 15% of global advertising revenues. Most of it (87%) goes into keyword search-based formats, and Retail Media represents 23% of total search advertising revenues outside of China. MAGNA predicts global Retail Media Network (run by ecommerce platforms like Amazon or traditional retailers like Walmart) to grow ad revenues by +20% outside of China.


Looking at key markets, the strongest growth this year comes once again from India (+12% to $14bn), that becomes the 11th largest ad market globally. China (second-largest market) recovers faster than expected from the stagnation caused by zero-COVID in 2021-22 (+9.8%). At the other end, Northern European markets underperform due to sluggish economic activity: UK (#4) +3.9%, Germany (#5) +2.5% with TMO ad revenues down heavily in both markets. For once, Southern Europe shows more resilience this year, including France (#6, +5.7%), Italy (#12, +5.8%), and Spain (#14, +7.8%).

In the US, media owners NAR increased by +3.6% to $338 billion (National TV -6%, Local TV -22%, Audio -4%, Publishing -7%, OOH +2%, Search +10%, Social +14%). Excluding cyclical ad spend (elections, global sports events), NAR is up +5.4% in 2023 and will accelerate to +5.9% in 2024 (+8.4% including cyclical events).

In 2024, economic stabilization, lower inflation, and the return of major cyclical events (US elections, Paris Olympics, Euro Football) will drive ad spend +7.2% to $913 billion, +8.4% in the US. TMO ad revenues will recover by +2.2% while digital pure players ad sales will increase by +9.4%.


Automotive and Travel were, as expected the most dynamic industry verticals in 2023. In both cases a supply-driven business cycle trumps consumer anxiety (which would normally hurt big ticket items and discretionary services). Auto ad spend was up almost everywhere this year, except in the US, but MAGNA predicts the US will join the growth club in 2024 as the electrical transition spurs competition between old and new brands (and now Chinese brands in Europe) and electric cars are increasingly affordable in every market segment. CPG/FMCG brands will benefit from lower inflation, retail media opportunities, and the 2024 sports events (Food, Drinks).

Pharma marketing continues to grow organically driven by population ageing, competition, and innovation (major new drugs being launched for Cancer, COVID, Mental Health, etc.). Government/Political advertising will grow due to general elections taking place in three major countries among the few where political campaigns are allowed on television: Mexico, India, and the US.

On the other end, Media & Entertainment marketing activity could benefit from the launch of yet another ad-supported tier from a major streaming platform (Amazon Prime) but will suffer from the lower-than-usual volume of US shows and movies being released in 2024 due the Hollywood strikes in 2023 (the actors’ strike lasted from July to November). Betting brands would normally benefit from more sports events, but the regulatory pendulum has now switched back to tightening in Europe (Italy, Spain, Netherlands) and the Betting industry engages in voluntary moderation where it’s still allowed to advertise.


Media Vendor Concentration Grows Again. After stagnating for several quarters, the global advertising sales of Google, Meta and Alibaba re-accelerated since 2Q23 to reach a year-to-date 1Q-3Q growth of +4%, +13% and +5% respectively.

These three media owners account for a combined 49% of global advertising revenues. Outside China, the top three vendors are Google, Meta, and Amazon, capturing 80% to 90% of digital ad spend and 56% of total ad spend (the market share being lower for national consumer brands higher for small, local, direct advertisers).

Among the world’s top 20 vendors, Amazon, Bytedance and Apple posted the strongest growth over the first nine months (between 20% and 23% each), while the traditional media companies all reported heavy revenue declines: Comcast, Disney and Warner ad revenues shrank by -14% to -15% while Discovery and RTL Group lost -7% to -8%.









The MAGNA market research is media centric. It estimates net media owners advertising revenues based on an analysis of financial reports and data from local trade organizations; other ad market studies are based on tracking ad insertions or consolidating agency billings. The MAGNA approach provides the most accurate and comprehensive picture of the market as it captures total net media owners’ ad revenues coming from national consumer brands’ spending as well as small, local, “direct” advertisers. Forecasts are based on economic outlook and market shares dynamic. The full Ad Forecast report (80 pages) and dataset contains more granular media breakdowns and forecasts to 2028, for 70 markets.

Next Global Forecast: June 2024 – Next US Forecast: March 2024.


MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers.

We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity, and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity, and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: follow us on LinkedIn.

MAGNA has set the industry standard for more than 60 years by predicting the future of media value. We publish more than 50 reports per year on media and advertising market trends.

To access full reports and databases or to learn more about our market research services, contact [email protected].



Published on Ad Age

New research shows ways advertisers can shift media strategies to better engage with younger TV viewers

The divide between viewing habits for older versus younger generations continues to deepen, which means advertisers may need to embrace new media strategies in order to fully capture Gen Z and millennial consumers’ attention.

While viewership has been shifting from linear TV to connected TV, and streaming platforms broadly, the medium is particularly impactful for reaching Gen Z and millennial viewers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both age groups spend over half of their time consuming video content on connected TV, while Gen X and Boomers still watch mostly on broadcast and cable, according to new research from Magna Media Trials and Samsung Ads.

Engaging Gen Z and Millennials is far more complex than simply shifting spend from one platform to another, and each group shows unique viewing habits compared to one another as well. For example, a Gen Z viewer watching TV throughout the day was attentive to the most ads during late night TV (12 a.m. to 6 a.m.), followed by daytime hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The opposite is true for millennials: ads were most viewed during primetime hours (7 p.m. to 12 a.m.).

Gen Z and millennials also show opposite behaviors for the type of content that they were most receptive to seeing ads during. Gen Z was most open to advertising during multi-hour viewing sessions, specifically while watching movies over user-generated content or TV shows, while millennials showed their highest receptivity during viewing sessions of less than an hour and during user-generated content such as YouTube videos.

For brands looking to engage young audiences, the research isn’t meant to signal advertisers should immediately shift all media buys to movies viewed after midnight. Rather, “I would consider these untapped opportunities where advertisers should explore and test and shift some in that direction,” said Kara Manatt, executive VP of intelligence solutions at Magna.

Manatt said that as advertisers have followed audiences to CTV platforms, “a lot of the focus was on being more personalized with who [the client] is reaching…but we have not yet taken full advantage of the creative aspect of CTV.”

CTV and streaming platforms offer advertisers greater capabilities to serve different ads to different viewers, or evolve the creative served to one viewer over time, as well as new formats such as shoppable and interactive ads.

Magna and Samsung’s research found that millennial viewers were receptive to brands that showed multiple creative variations when they were served multiple ads from the same brand, while Gen Z preferred consistent messaging. However, both age groups were less attentive to ads being shown multiple times within short time periods and were most tuned in when an ad was spaced out by at least three hours.

Media buyers have long criticized frequency control in streaming and the inability for some platforms to reduce frequency while still delivering audience guarantees, which they say won’t happen until ad-supported streaming grows audience numbers.

However, the length of ads can also determine viewer attention and can create more cost efficient opportunities for marketers. On average, Gen Z and millennials watched nearly seven seconds of 15-second ads, according to the research. Attention increased for longer ad formats, but not at an even rate. Both age groups watched approximately 10 seconds of 30-second spots; Gen Z watched about 12 seconds of 60-second ads while millennials watched them for nearly 14 seconds. Millennials were tuned in for 15 seconds of 90-second spots, while Gen Z’s attention dropped to under 11 seconds for the longer ads.

Largely, “brands should be considering the different patterns” of Gen Z and millennial TV viewers when developing media strategies, said Manatt. A brand “may want to even deliver a different message to a millennial than they would Gen Z. They’re in very different life stages, so it makes sense for all advertisers to start exploring and looking at generations uniquely.”


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Research finds that ads on CTV are better quality and more relevant, according to Gen Z and Millennials

New York, NY – November 2, 2023 – MAGNA Media Trials, in collaboration with Samsung Ads, released a new study today that explores the viewing habits of Gen Z and Millennial audiences. Their onward march toward digital platforms, such as Connected TV (CTV) sets viewing habits apart from previous generations, creating new challenges – and opportunities for advertisers vying to secure their attention.

The new study, Capturing the Attention of our Youngest Generations, The Digital Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Gen Z + Millennials on Connected TV, explored highest attention to ads by time of day on CTV, average attention spans by content type and their reactions to repeating ads. One finding, untapped by advertisers, is that Gen Z spends the most time looking at ads on CTV during late-night, locking in for an average 9.63 seconds per spot, while millennials dial up focus during traditional primetime at 9.8 seconds per spot.

Daytime and late night are Gen Z prime times as data revealed viewability rates are at their highest (62%) during late night and daytime capturing a 57% viewability rate and 55% ad receptivity. Millennials’ viewability rate is highest, at 59%, during traditional primetime hours.

“Each new generation claims their own unique viewing behaviors, as evidenced by the shift toward CTV and short-form content,” said Kara Manatt, MAGNA’s EVP, Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions. “Our research hints that other trendlines are more eternal, as Millennials, who are raising families and entrenched at work, clock peak viewability being during primetime and Gen Z, still by majority students, having the bandwidth to watch during daytime and late night.”

Previous MAGNA research has tracked younger generations progress toward CTV. A 2022 MAGNA Time Spent Report determined that streaming networks receive a 56% share of Gen Z TV time and 52% of Gen Y/Millennials’. Gen X and Boomers devoted 30% and 15% of their viewing time, respectively, to CTV.

The study enlisted a nationally representative panel of 2,717 individuals who installed TV visual attention technology in their households to capture automatic content recognition (ACR), resulting in 73,531 ads analyzed for viewability and visual attention. Researchers also recruited approximately 1,022 Gen Z and Millennial CTV users to keep a media consumption log.

Ads viewed on CTV were perceived to be of better quality and more relevant than those aired on broadcast and cable, according to Gen Z and Millennial respondents. For example, 60% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials agreed that CTV featured better quality ads than cable and satellite and 67% of Millennials and 62% of Gen Z believe they are more relevant.

Other findings include:

  • Gen Z has a greater tolerance for advertising during long-form content, of an hour or more at 46% receptivity, compared to shorter spurts of less than an hour. (38%). In turn, 52% of the cohort was more open to ads during movies, and less so to TV shows at 44%.
  • Millennials are more attentive to ads during sessions of less than one hour at 62%. They were most open to ads aired during DIY programming at 61%.
  • Repeating the same ad in tight timeframes taxed visual attention rates. Gen Z (43%) and Millennials (28%) peaked in attention when the same ad should air three or more hours apart.
  • Gen Z pays more attention to ads appearing on FAST channels, at 31% vs. 27% for non-FAST outlets.

“This research adds powerful context to what we observe every day at Samsung Ads. TV for Americans, particularly younger generations, is streaming-first. It calls for brands to rethink how and when they should engage them on the biggest and best screen,” said Justin Fromm, Head of Insights, Samsung Ads. “This research underscores the highly nuanced behaviors of Gen Z, and Millennials that marketers should approach strategically, based on the multiple layers of data that are now available.”

The full study can be found here.


MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers. We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn.


About Samsung Ads

Samsung Ads is Samsung Electronics’ advertising ecosystem, spanning hundreds of millions of smart devices across TV, mobile, desktop, and beyond. Our deep understanding of consumers and unmatched position at the intersection of hardware, software and advertising delivers quantifiable results for brands on a massive scale.

With the largest single source of TV data in the market, reaching 3 in 4 U.S. households, Samsung Ads unlocks unmatched opportunities to engage consumers during connected moments that matter. Today, Samsung Ads serves over 25 countries around the globe.


Brands Can Gain Favor and Support Behavior Change by Educating Consumers, Marketing Industry Has a Role to Play

NEW YORK – October 6, 2023 – MAGNA, the investment and intelligence arm of IPG Mediabrands, today announced the release of a study conducted in partnership with Teads, the global media platform, and Project Drawdown, a nonprofit focused on climate solutions, entitled Sustainability Speaks: Breaking the Barrier of Climate Communication via the MAGNA Media Trials program.

To uncover data about consumers’ perceptions of brands’ sustainability endeavors, MAGNA Media Trials and Teads sought to better understand the consumer perspective on sustainability, especially as it relates to barriers that prevent a more sustainable lifestyle. The results of the study uncover how brands can help bridge these barriers and reveals consumer expectations when it comes to taking action on sustainability.

The study’s key findings include:

• 82% of people experience barriers to living more sustainably, with most citing expense or lack of access to the right resources as the paramount barriers to a sustainable lifestyle.
• Among generations, Gen Z and Millennials were the most likely to experience barriers (91% vs. 75%, respectively). However, prior research has pointed to the cost efficiency of sustainable behaviors, suggesting a disconnect between perception vs. reality for consumers.
• Despite these barriers, people remain motivated to ensure a better future, with 99% of people agreeing that they can be motivated by something to take sustainable action.
• Respondents also selected reasons to be sustainable and 78% agreed with statements that ranged from “ensuring the well-being of humankind” to “protecting one’s own health” and “saving money.”

MAGNA surveyed 9,112 people in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia and held five focus groups in the U.S. In addition to determining why people and brands are not doing more, Sustainability Speaks: Breaking the Barrier of Climate Communication explores how advertisers can more effectively communicate their sustainability goals while also supporting brand growth.
“As governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals grapple with climate action, we can take heart that the majority of people surveyed – across multiple markets and demographics – agree that living more sustainably aligns with their personal values,” said Martin Bryan, Global Chief Sustainability Officer at IPG Mediabrands. “Among the key barriers to climate action we uncovered in our research is that people aren’t sure their actions can make a difference – and they fear that a sustainable lifestyle is cost-prohibitive and inconvenient. These are hurdles that the private sector can address through brand solutions made affordable and simplified. The ad industry can help promote and accelerate adoption by promoting these types of solutions.”
“The climate crisis is, in part, a communication crisis,” said Jonathan Foley, Ph.D., Executive Director of Project Drawdown. “We already have the solutions we need to turn things around, but we are still paralyzed by misinformation, fear, and the lack of will to act. We need a clear and compelling vision to move forward — a vision of a better future, where we come together to stop climate change, and build a better world for all. That could change the world.”

Additional key findings include that consumers are looking to brands to be part of the conversation; 77% of respondents said they wanted brands to take a stance on sustainability. Furthermore, 75% somewhat or strongly agreed that if brands took a stance on sustainability, it would have a tremendous impact on the environment, and 35% would be motivated to act, if they saw brands had, too.

A brand that offers tangible, relevant data in advertising, like a statistic on how much water was saved in manufacturing, scores better than ambiguous messaging. Defining sustainability itself, a broad term that can vary by product category, makes a difference in helping consumers align around a company’s actions.

The study also ranked which channels consumers favor more when receiving sustainability messaging. Advertising, at 66%, was the optimal channel, followed by social media accounts (62%), newsletters (57%) and influencers and other brand representatives (52%).

“Sustainability practices are good for business, with innovation, transparency, and information key for brands to strengthen their customer relationships long-term,” added Neala Brown, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Insights, Teads. “While brands should ease customer hesitations toward adopting a sustainable lifestyle and given advertising as an optimal channel for that messaging, we are simultaneously working with our brand partners to reduce their own digital carbon footprint with supply chain and media optimization via direct publisher relationships.”

Survey respondents said the other climate actions brands can take are to:

• Educate: Help people waste less and show them how carbon-friendly the brand’s product or service is
• Innovate: Develop new formulas, sourcing sustainable materials and packaging and donating to causes
• Collaborate: Join forces with customers around causes and work with climate experts and their campaigns
• Propagate: Take part in pushing policies for eco-activism while establishing credibility through third-party verification and certification

The full study can be found here.

About MAGNA:

MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers.
We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity, and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity, and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn.

About Project Drawdown

Project Drawdown is widely recognized as a leading resource for climate solutions. The organization’s mission is to help the world stop climate change — as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.

About Teads

Teads operates a leading, cloud-based, omnichannel platform that enables programmatic digital advertising across a global ecosystem of quality digital media. As an end-to-end solution, Teads’ modular platform allows partners to leverage buy-side, sell-side, creative, data and AI optimization technologies.

For advertisers and their agencies, Teads offers a single access point to buy the inventory of many of the world’s best publishers and content providers. Through exclusive global media partnerships, Teads enables advertisers and agencies to reach billions of unique monthly users in brand safe, responsible advertising environments, while improving the effectiveness and efficiency of digital ad transactions.

Teads partners with the leading marketers, agencies and publishers through a team of 1,200+ people in 50 offices across more than 30 countries.

Climate Scientists Are Facing an Era-Defining Communications Challenge. Can Media Help?

Published on Adweek

IPG and Teads are working with Project Drawdown to identify messaging gaps

Authorities agree that climate change will never be effectively addressed if ordinary consumers don’t make responsible choices. But there’s a problem: Those ordinary people also tend to assume their choices aren’t going to make much of a difference.

To understand when and why people find it hard to make sustainable choices, climate-focused nonprofit Project Drawdown is working with media and ad-tech partners to identify strategic messaging opportunities. A new survey, Sustainability Speaks: Breaking the Barrier of Climate Communication, which was conducted by IPG Mediabrands in partnership with ad-tech firm Teads and shared exclusively with Adweek, identified real and perceived barriers that consumers face when trying to cut back on their own carbon emissions.

It’s the beginning of what Jonathan Foley, executive director at Project Drawdown, hopes will be a broader effort to use strategic media to address misinformation around what regular people can do to combat climate change, which is estimated to account for roughly 30% of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The other 70% must come from corporations.

“In the climate conversation, we’re small environmental nonprofits—a bunch of scientists with small budgets—and we’re hopelessly outmatched by folks who want to keep on polluting,” Foley said. “It’s really important for us to find good allies who can help us understand how better to communicate and how better to tell the story.”

In IPG Mediabrands and Teads, Foley believes Project Drawdown has found those allies. The first consumer survey from the group highlights where strategic media could have the greatest impact, laying the groundwork for future campaigns to spur behavior change that will reduce emissions. IPG will also share its findings with clients that want to support climate action through their media buys, highlighting where profitability and consumer emission reductions align for brands.

People underestimate their impact
While it’s true that corporate reductions make up the majority of potential emissions savings, lifestyle changes for regular people will make up nearly a third of the necessary cuts to overall generation of greenhouse gases.
But when asked how much of an impact people could have on emissions reduction, most survey respondents (67%) guessed that it was below 20% of the total possible reductions, significantly underestimating their impact. Around a quarter (24%) estimated that individual and household changes could produce between 21% and 30% in emissions reductions.

It’s something that a 2022 United Nations climate report highlighted in its analysis of emissions reduction opportunities. The report also specifically pointed to the power that the marketing and advertising industry has to sway consumer behavior away from high-emissions consumption patterns and toward lower-emissions alternatives.

“We are the architects of desire, we shape culture, let’s use that to drive urgent action among people and brands,” said Martin Bryan, global chief sustainability officer at IPG Mediabrands, pro bono agency of record for Project Drawdown. “Our ambition out of this research is to take these findings and build a global climate action campaign for Project Drawdown.”

Sustainable living doesn’t have to cost more
One of the main barriers to climate action that people perceive, according to the survey, was cost.

“People believe they need to purchase goods and services and expensive technology in order to live more sustainably, like an electric vehicle,” Bryan said. “But, in fact, there are simple things that people can change in their daily lives and in their pantry, for example, to be more sustainable and also have the co-benefit of saving money.”

One of the most impactful ways that consumers can reduce their individual or household emissions, according to Project Drawdown’s research, is by reducing food waste, a practice that also saves money. Similarly, cutting back on beef consumption and switching to LED lightbulbs and smart systems can also result in savings on both emissions and costs.

“A lot of this challenge of climate change is a communication challenge,” Foley said. “We have big scary problems and—not or, and—we also have very promising solutions. We all need to be part of moving solutions forward.

“It’s really crucial to work with folks who really understand how people are thinking and how we can influence and inform some of that conversation to be a little bit better.”

Can the ad industry get out of its own way?
Still, the tension between polluters and climate scientists that Foley described is playing out within the industry broadly—and within IPG itself. The holding company had 25 active contracts with fossil fuel companies between 2022-2023, according to a report released last month by activist group Clean Creatives.

But while it’s pledged to carefully vet new clients based on sustainability-related criteria, long-term clients that are major players in the oil and gas sector remain on several IPG agencies’ client rosters.

The question, then, is whether—in the vast arena of strategic climate communications from a wide variety of players—efforts like this one from Project Drawdown can win out.

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