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Nielsen study: Retailers ramp up back-to-school ad spend


New York -- A new Nielsen survey found that nearly 20% of consumers have already started their back-to-school shopping, and 75% plan to start within the next few weeks.

More parents are starting their shopping earlier than in the past, as 18% of survey respondents had already started their back to school shopping as compared to 7% at the same time last year. On the flip side, 15% are choosing to wait longer, while 50% do not plan to do any back to school shopping this year.

No surprise, the biggest summer advertising push typically comes from retailers, such as Target, J.C. Penney and Office Depot, which made up 95% of last year's back-to-school advertising. In a survey to BTS advertisers, Nielsen found that 42% of respondents plan to spend as much as they did in 2013; 18% will spend less and 26% will spend more.

The survey also found that shoppers are far more likely to use social media to discuss their purchases than they were last year. 28% said they would use Facebook versus 9% in 2013, 16% would use Google + versus 4% last year and 15% would use Twitter versus 3% last year.

“There is a strong relationship between advertising and consumer behavior, particularly when it concerns back-to-school shopping,” said James Russo senior VP, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen. “Advertisers have been broadcasting back to school content earlier and consumers are responding in kind. Advertisements are extremely influential, so it is salient for retailers and manufacturers to be strategic to ensure back to school marketing success.”

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