As today’s consumers spend more time on digital platforms than watching traditional cable or satellite television, companies have been slowly shifting their ad budgets from TV to digital for years. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, advertisers are spending even more on digital advertising relative to TV commercials. 

Despite the fact that more people have been at home during the pandemic than before, TV ad revenue has dropped dramatically according to studies from WARC Data. Digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices, has performed far better than TV advertising—either staying roughly the same or even increasing slightly over the initial months of the pandemic. 

In this article, we’ll analyze why digital advertising is becoming increasingly popular during the pandemic. 

Digital Advertising Offers Better Targeting and Analytics

Television targeting and analytics are relatively primitive compared to modern digital marketing. It’s nearly impossible to target an ad to a very narrow audience segment, unlike digital ads. Most ads only strive for a relatively basic level of granularity, like displaying an ad to a local market. 

Today’s digital marketing and advertising environment is data rich. Digital advertising gives companies lots of different indicators of campaign performance, from total impressions to the clickthrough rate for a small slice of the audience. Once users land on a site, on-site analytics tools like Google Analytics take over, providing companies with vast amounts of valuable information about their potential customers. 

In particular, social media offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads right in between pieces of content that users find engaging and interesting already. Social media platforms know a lot about their users to be able to suggest interesting content, so they are especially valuable ways to put relevant advertising right in front of users. 

None of this type of targeting or analytics is possible without digital marketing. TV advertising generally has a worse return on investment for this reason. 

Digital Ads Are Generally Cheaper to Begin With

When the pandemic hit and lots of businesses had to drastically cut spending to stay afloat, advertising budgets were one of the first areas hit. Ads are mostly useful to attract new customers, a task that is put on the back burner when staying in the black matters more than expanding. 

When budgets started to recover, companies often went straight to digital ads because they’re cheaper from the start. Reaching a large number of people can almost always be done for cheaper with digital ads than with TV commercials. Although this depends on a number of factors, digital ads spots are priced with far more variation than TV ad spots, meaning that there are a lot of opportunities to save money. 


Digital advertising is showing its power as one of the most effective advertising channels, especially during the pandemic situation. With the increasing importance of data analytics to the modern business, digital advertising—with its huge troves of data—is especially valuable. Plus, it’s usually cheaper to purchase digital ads in the first place. Because of these factors, digital ads are becoming more popular and are expected to continue to be dominant in the future. 

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