Direct-to-consumer Brands Take Up TV Ad Slack


By Stuart Thomson

TV advertising by direct-to-consumer – or online – brands on TV by 146 leading companies totalled US$1.2 billion for the first half of this year, according to a report by

According to the Direct-to-Consumer Brands Ad Performance Breakdown report for the first half of this year, some 178 direct-to-consumer brands spend about US$2.61 billion in total on TV advertising in the US last year, up 13.4 per cent on 2018

Though DTC brand spend decreased slightly, down 2.6 per cent year over year,  in the first half of 2020, impressions showed a 13.7 per cent increase compared to the same time period in 2019.

Spend may have fallen as more traditional TV advertising brands pulled back during the crisis and amid lack of tentpole programming. Direct-to-consumer brand advertising may have been expected to take up the slack as more people were confined to home and willing to use the internet to shop.

Carvana led all DTC brands in both TV ad impressions with 9.42 billion and estimated spend at US$76.6 million.

Nearly 25 per cent of all 1H DTC ad impressions on TV came from five brands — Carvana, Wayfair, Grubhub, Peloton and Noom.

Cable news networks – Fox News, CNN, MSNBC –  ­were three of the top four networks for DTC brand impressions as audiences turned to news networks during the COVID-19 crisis.

Top networks measured by ad spend were HGTV, CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN.

Leading industry segments for viewership of ads were health and beauty, retail and restaurants.

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