Pearman Pulse


Morgan’s latest 12 month research data for Jul20-Jun20 has recently been released and we thought it would be interesting to compare that to the pre-Covid period (Apr19-Mar20). There are a multitude of interesting consumer insights showing how we have changed since Covid became part of our lives.

Firstly, the burden of lockdown does not seem to have driven us to drink.  Our alcohol drinking ‘in the last 4 weeks’ has only risen by 2.7%. The Ready To Drink alcohol sector has been the big mover with an 18.2% increase. One somewhat logical trend down was Champagne is down 31.5%.  Possibly people don’t think we have had much to celebrate or have not had social gatherings where you would expect Champagne to be at the top.

It looks like we may be coming a little more generous and perhaps a little bit larger. The number of people who believe a percentage of everyone’s income should go to charity has increased by 6.2% (or 325,000 people).  The number of people who respond to charities with their heart as opposed to their head has also increased by 5.3% (493,000 people).  In terms of the waistline, there are now another 601,000 people (+4.6%) who say they would like to lose some weight.

It is not surprising whilst at home we have been hammering the internet shopping which is up 30-40% compared to pre-Covid. The biggest category increases for internet shopping have been Fashion (+91.6%), Electronics (+87.2%), Health & Beauty (+77.1%), Pets (+64.6%) and Food & Beverage (+58.7%).

Despite many of us being locked down, the intention to Travel in the next 12 months has seen a large drop. The border closures have created a great deal of hesitancy although presumably once marketing spend returns to the Travel sector this intention should change.

Extraordinarily, given the pandemic we’ve endured for the past 18 months, consumerism is on the up and up with households bringing in higher incomes.  Households with income over $300,000 have increased by 20% while households with income below $35,000 p.a. have fallen by -17.1%.  That probably explains the increase in products that Australians intend buying. In the next year, the intention to buy a new house is up 14.3% although record low interest rates would surely have a lot to do with that. The intention to buy a new car is up 49.2% and a 4k TV is up 171%.

The WFH phenomenon seems to be continuing as the necessities of running a business from home are still in high demand.  The number of people who intend to buy WFH products in the next 12 months has increased substantially. Intention to buy a Wireless Home Router is up 149%, a Scanner (+131%), a Printer (+92%), Desktop computers are up 19% and Laptops are up 17%.

Although it is counter intuitive, it seems that we have more cash and are looking to spend it.  Perhaps that’s why advertising spend is also looking very strong – see the following SMI data. One positive from being locked down with the family is that people who agree with the statement, “I am very proud of my family”, has increased by 67.1%.  Good to know that every cloud has a silver lining!


Virtual Australia (VOZ) is Australia’s first truly national picture of total TV viewing on all screens and was launched on the 4th July 2021, for eligible advertising agencies to use. It was a soft launch without the fanfare usually associated with the 4th July.  Possibly because the launch date had been pushed back a few times due to issues raised along the way in what is a complex research project to complete.

Watching TV content via the internet on connected TVs, Laptops, PCs, iPads and iPhones is growing and it is important to measure that audience.  VOZ will be particularly beneficial to clients and media who need a total audience measurement or to measure a specific Reach & Frequency goal. For instance, if you were one of the thousand in program sponsors on The Block (think Domain, Kennards, McDonalds, etc) you can now determine the combined reach that the sponsorship is delivering. Or if you are a client buying TV based on specific Reach & Frequency goals (e.g. 50% Reach, 3 times) then VOZ will be able to deliver the combined R&F across all the screens your campaign is appearing on e.g. Linear TV, Catch Up TV (BVOD) or Foxtel (SVOD).

Interestingly, in many agencies BVOD is bought via the Digital team and they use the Nielsen figure which is effectively the one email address attached to the connected device. Therefore, those figures can often under-represent the audience as it does not allow for co-viewing.  VOZ allows for the co-viewing through modelling a multitude of different data sources and estimating the total BVOD audience. VOZ is a terrific start although there is still work to be done particularly around the measurement of BVOD advertising campaigns.

The initial trends out of the first rounds of VOZ reporting see the traditional pillars of commercial TV, such as News and Sport, are still being viewed predominantly in front of the television with around about 2-3% of viewers opting to view via BVOD. However, the ‘tent-pole’ shows for the Networks are seeing a sizeable amount of their audience opting to watch via connected devices, with The Voice and The Block recording 12% and 14% as the BVOD audience respectively.

It will be interesting to see if VOZ has a financially positive effect on the Television industry. The Outdoor media had a boost when ‘Move’ was launched to better measure the total audience.  Naturally the Digital site conversions were a massive help in gaining more revenue for Outdoor however the new Move measurement system also contributed quite a bit.

More info about VOZ can be found at


With an estimated 63,000 searches a second happening around the world, Search Engines provide advertisers with a plethora of consumers that are actively ‘in-market’ for their products. With a search volume that large, it is no surprise that Search advertising made up around 50% of the total digital advertising expenditure here in Australia for FY21, but what if there was a way to get traffic to your site for ‘free’?

The answer is SEO. Search Engine Optimization or SEO involves continually ‘improving’ or optimising your website to increase traffic and ranking on ‘organic’ or non-paid search engine results. It provides a fantastic way for companies to drive increased traffic to their site at a reduced cost, with a recent report from Nielsen indicating that a whopping 94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, and only 6% going to paid search ads.

The trick is to ensure you are continually optimising your site so that search engines will recommend your website or content in response to a consumers search query. The search engine ecosystem is dominated by Google, who have around a 92% market share as of June this year.  Google’s system uses ranking factors to sort through billions of webpages in its search index, which is a database of all websites it has indexed (a process used by Google to understand what a page is about), to then find the most relevant results in a matter of seconds. Your site will be ranked through multiple on & off page factors, such as site and page speed, content or keyword targeting.

After ranking, websites will then appear on search engine result pages (SERPS). SERPS are Google’s response to a user’s search query and include organic and paid search results, with paid ads sitting at the top and organic results below. Optimizing your website will help supply better data to search engines so that you’re content will rank as high as possible throughout SERPs.

A tool that Pearman uses for SEO is called ‘Ahrefs’ which does a site audit, analyzes competitors, sees what your customers are searching, ensures content is relevant and tracks your ranking. This allows companies to constantly increase their share of voice and chance of acquisition across the search engine landscape.


The August SMI figures continue to show advertising spend doing very well when compared to 2019 and even 2018 corresponding figures. The August spend was $691.6 million which is 11.6% up on 2019 and 4.1% up on August 2018. Although half the Olympics were included in August, this is still a very promising result. The Jan-Aug21 advertising spend is up $62 million on the same period in 2019 and pretty much in line with 2018.  SMI is also saying their forward bookings for September and October are looking encouraging, so it seems safe to say 2021 is going to be a good year for advertising expenditure and not just compared to 2020.

In terms of which categories are spending, Government has been the star performer and has now spent 4 times more in Jul-Aug21 ($88mil) compared to Jul-Aug19 ($21mil).  Categories in the Top 10 spenders such as Food, Restaurants, Insurance, Financial Services and Communications continue to increase their advertising spend. The top 10 category total spend is up 17% in Jul-Aug21 vs Jul-Aug19. Within the top 10, Retail has the lowest increase (at 7%) however it also accounts for 10% of the total market. If Retail can bounce back like the other categories, it will certainly be a great boost to expenditure.

Television had a huge August (assisted by the Olympics) and exceeded $300 million for the month. The best August result since the Rio Olympics in 2016.  Digital, Outdoor, Radio, Cinema and Magazines all had 20%+ advertising spend increases compared to August 2020.  Although Newspapers had -9.6% for their print ad revenue, there is generally a very healthy growth in the advertising revenue Newspapers are receiving through their Digital editions.


  1. Melbourne Storm have the most NRL supporters with 1,211,000. The Sydney Swans top the AFL supporters with 1,031,000 (Morgan 2021)
  2. Alfred Hitchcock suffered from ovophobia, he had a fear of eggs
  3. One quarter of all your bones are in your feet
  4. Something sent by car is called a shipment but when it is sent by a ship it is called cargo????
  5. The bird in Twitter’s logo is called Larry
  6. The High Court recently ruled that the owners of Facebook pages are liable for defamatory comments made on them.
  7. Small Business employs two out of three working Australians
  8. We’ve just missed World Smile Day (1st October) but don’t let it stop you giving a big smile to your friends & family today.
  9. Don’t forget, Halloween is the last day of this month – 31st October