Media Inflation Means Brands Must Step Up Their Creativity

Food…energy…gasoline…housing…used cars…inflation has been spiking at an alarming rate across all consumer segments. Unfortunately, marketers can expect ad prices to go up this year too. So, how will media inflation affect your marketing?

According to a study by ECI Media Management featured in an article on MediaPost, digital ad prices in North America are expected to increase by 5.4%, while broadcast TV ad prices are estimated to go up 15%. This means that the rise in the cost of advertising on broadcast TV is outpacing food, shelter, and all other media advertising, as well as the overall rate of inflation.

Unless your annual marketing budget increased for 2022, your advertising dollars will not go as far as before. This could be bad news when you consider the fact that media spend, which directly correlates to brand size, is the number-one factor in overall ad effectiveness. We all know that the best way to drive memorability is frequency. But what do marketers do when frequency isn’t an option?

The good news is that there are other ways to make sure your ads are effective. As we highlighted in our Advertising Risk CMO Minute, the second and third factors in determining ad effectiveness are related to the quality of the creative. So, as marketers, we can mitigate the negative impact of media inflation by working on the level of creativity and by applying psychological codes to get more out of our creative.

As a psychology-based marketing agency, we’ve talked a lot about memory science and how applying certain strategies helps us create more memorable (i.e. more effective) ads:

  • Being distinctive
  • Using brand codes
  • Creating mental associations
  • Using mnemonics
  • Triggering mental engagement

We’ve also “brought the receipts” for why some tried-and-true tactics are still as effective today as they have been for decades:

However, no matter which tactics you choose to apply, it’s important to understand how the stress and uncertainty brought about by the events of the past couple of years – and that includes inflation – have changed consumers and the way they make decisions, which has wildly impacted marketing. If you missed our recent webinar, we took a deep dive into the “Psychology of the New Normal” and how marketers can apply that psychology to create more effective ads. And if you did attend this webinar, we urge you to watch it again…it’s definitely worth it! To discuss how we can help you turn psychological insights into great creative advertising, give us a call at 833-588-1309 or email

By: Shea Posey, Senior Account Executive, and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer