TikTok tops Kantar’s Ad Equity charts for second year

Kantar’s global Ad Equity ranking of media channels and media brands unveils TikTok as number one for ad equity for media brands, followed by Amazon and Instagram.

Kantar, a data, insights and consulting company has released Media Reactions 2021, the second edition of Kantar’s global Ad Equity ranking of media channels and media brands. Ad equity refers to the attitudes consumers have towards the advertising experience within specific platforms and ad formats.

Despite the prominence of digital platforms in daily life, consumers continue to be more positive about offline ad platforms such as cinema, sponsored events, magazine ads and point of sale (POS). The popularity of podcast adverts has risen. Positioned at #11 in the overall Ad Equity ranking, they have overtaken influencer content as the preferred digital ad medium. Podcast ads are perceived as both better quality and more relevant compared to 2020, but also more repetitive, unsurprising given the increase in ad spend on the platform.

Across branded digital platforms, TikTok remains top of the global Ad Equity rankings. Although only ranked as the #1 overall platform in one market – Taiwan, TikTok is the leading global digital platform in the important US market and is first or second-ranked of the global digital platforms in 9 of the 22 markets where it was measured. The inclusion of commerce platforms in this year’s ranking illustrates their increasing importance across the digital advertising landscape. Amazon ranks second globally among consumers, topping the list in 4 markets. Together with regional e-commerce giant Mercado Libre, which leads in Argentina, Amazon’s success showcases why e-commerce has entered the online media channel ad equity rankings in third place.

Global ad equity for media brands: 2021 top-five ranking among consumers


Global vs Local: Media Reactions highlights the importance, and challenge, of market-specific media strategies. In 16 of the 23 markets surveyed the #1 ranked media brand was a local media brand or a localised version of global media brands. Ten of these 16 are news and magazine brands. This local success, together with differing attitudes to the ads on global digital media brands, makes balancing the benefits of scale of global media platforms with the promise of greater relevance from local media gems ever more important.

The Innovator’s Dilemma: Media Reactions also highlights the challenge for brands in keeping their media mix reflective of the latest consumer media preferences as well as reflective of their own values and brand positioning. Marketers favour channels and platforms they believe provide both trustworthy and innovative advertising environments. Among the global brands, Instagram best manages this balancing act. YouTube, Google and Facebook are trusted platforms but are considered slightly less innovative.

TikTok is not yet trusted by marketers as much as the more established platforms, but it has made enormous improvements in the past year. It remains comfortably the most innovative place for ads, and trust has doubled, so many more marketers are now positive about placing ads on the platform.

Ad Spend Outlook: Media Reactions marketers’ survey provides insights into probable media growth areas for 2022. The vast majority of global marketers plan to increase spend on their favoured ad formats: online video, influencer content and social media ads. Many will reduce spend on print ads.  YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are the platforms set to benefit most.

Discussing the findings Duncan Southgate, Director, Media Domain at Kantar’s Insights’ Division said:  “The ad industry has been encouraged by the rapid recovery in 2021, as advertising has been used as one of the levers to fuel recovery in the wider economy. As we emerge into a new media landscape, brands need to understand which consumer and marketer attitudes have changed, and which have stayed the same. Which media brands have retained their appeal, and which have grown stronger? While the pandemic accelerated the growth of digital in every aspect of life, we have seen a robustness in consumers’ preference for offline advertising, and some strong local news brands in particular. Marketers need to ensure their strategies respect those preferences alongside the benefits of scale delivered by global digital platforms. TikTok has done an impressive job retaining its differentiated advertising proposition with consumers – even as its user base has almost doubled over the past year. We have also seen the re-emergence of retail as a critical ad platform, both online and physically. Advertising strategies that seamlessly align with omnichannel retail strategies provide a great opportunity for marketers to deliver more popular campaigns.”

The full report can be found at www.kantar.com/campaigns/media-reactions.