After seeing one of the worst years on record for advertising in pandemic 2020, the global ad market is poised to experience a double-digit recovery this year before witnessing record-breaking ad spends in 2022, according to new projections released by marketing research firm WARC.

According to WARC’s latest “Global Ad Trends” report, the global advertising market is set to rebound 12.6 percent over the course of the year, hitting $665 billion by the end of 2021 before reaching a projected $700 billion for the first time in 2022.

Global ad investment was particularly strong in Q2. It rose by nearly a quarter (23.6 percent) to $158 billion—an uptick of $30 billion from 2020’s second quarter—which followed the 12.5 percent gains the ad market has seen during the first three months of the year.

Driving much of this growth, unsurprisingly, was online ad spending, which saw year-over-year gains of 31.2 percent rise in Q2. But the star performer was eCommerce, which was up 60 percent during this time. Offline media—particularly linear TV—also fared well, up 12 percent.

Percentage change of global advertising investment forecast by product category (2021 vs. 2022).
Percentage change of global advertising investment forecast by product category (2021 vs. 2022).

The WARC report claims that ad budgets continue to move online in the future, with digital media comprising more than 60 percent of ad spends in 2022, a 10 percent increase from pre-pandemic 2019.

Tradition media, meanwhile, is expected to grow 8.8 percent this year but will slow to a growth of 3.1 percent in 2022.

Specific product categories expected to see the greatest global advertising investment next year include transport and tourism, telecoms and utilities, media and publishing, financial services, business and industrial and technology and electronics.

WARC’s report drew on data aggregated from 100 markets worldwide and collaborated with Nielsen to measure net advertising investment data across 17 product categories.