Despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemicthrough much of this year, spending from first-time national TV advertisers rose 50% in the first six months of 2020.
Nearly $500 million ($460 million) in national TV ad revenue came from 110 first-time national TV marketers in the first half of 2020, according to VAB, the video advertising trade group -- up from $300 million versus the same period a year ago.
The biggest buyers this time around were pharmaceutical and video streaming marketers.
The highest-spending pharmaceutical brands included Rinvoq ($79.4 million); Descovy ($58.1 million); Kisqali ($32 million) and Ubrelvy ($27.5 million).
Major video streaming/virtual pay TV services included AT&T TV ($27.2 million); Quibi ($24.8 million); Peacock ($23.9 million); HBO Max ($13.6 million).
The VAB (Video Advertising Bureau) analysis comes from Nielsen Ad Intel data in the first quarter of 2020, which includes national broadcast, national cable, Spanish-language cable TV, and Spanish-language broadcast TV.
The brands reflect those with national TV spend over $100,000.
Other significant marketers in the period included Premier Protein ($12.4 million); Visible (a telecommunications company) $12.2 million; and Planet Oat (oat milk/desserts) $9.8 million.
The VAB says 60 direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands accounted for 56% of total new advertisers and 31% of total spend.
Despite the effects of seven months of the COVID-19 pandemic which began in mid-March, the second three months of the year (April, May, June), witnessed the bulk of the $460 million in spending -- $316 million from 60 advertisers. Fifty new national TV advertisers launched in first quarter spending $143 million.
National TV advertising is expected to see a 13.2% decline in the U.S. market for 2020, according to a June projection from Magna, the IPG media intelligence and investment business.
Roughly $45 billion in advertising revenue was spent on national TV networks, according to estimates.