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Pathmatics Blog

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Report 2021

December 16 2021 by Matthew Bozin

As the US economy continues to crawl out from under the thumb of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping holidays are a true test of how advertisers are spending, maintaining strategy, and adapting creative messaging - and doing it even earlier than previous years.

The Black Friday/Cyber Monday Report analyzed keywords, "Holiday," "Black Friday," and "Cyber Monday" from September through a week before Thanksgiving in 2019, '20 and '21 to see which categories and brands topped the charts in holiday-themed spend. 

Categories on the move

Remember 2019? Masks were only worn by doctors and football players, Ariana Grande’s “Thank You, Next” was the top song of the year, Game of Thrones ended its run on television, and Avengers: Endgame (foreshadowing?) was the top grossing movie.

And while the words “covid” and “quarantine” weren’t even a whisper in anyone’s ears, it was business as usual for advertisers getting ready for holiday shoppers as we approached Thanksgiving.

That year, Retail took the top spot with $29MM in holiday-themed spend, with Travel sitting at number two, followed closely by the Home & Garden, Style & Fashion, and Food & Drink categories.

Check out our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Report!

Screen Shot 2021-12-15 at 10.00.20 PM


2020 would see a major shift as the country was well into the grips of the pandemic by September. Retail spend soared 47%, while Travel dropped completely out of the top five. And, while we traditionally see proportionally higher numbers in all categories YOY, the Style Fashion & Beauty category had a massive surge of its own (almost 50%). Less surprising was CPG’s entrance at number 4, as toilet paper and hand sanitizers became hot commodities. 

2021 continued to be a boon for Retail spend as the category increased another 10%, while Style & Fashion and CPG continued their upward trend. However, while the Food & Drink category was able to keep it’s top five ranking, their holiday-themed spend was the only category to drop between 2020-21. 

Have we got a deal for you!

There's just too many good holiday shopping insights to fit into a blog post. But, you can download our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Report to see a breakdown of holiday-themed spend for both mega shopping holidays, the top advertisers, and a holiday-spend-spotlight on our newest channel, OTT.  And, you can get it all for the special holiday sale price of...well, $0. And we won't even make you stand in line at midnight.  


About Author
Matthew Bozin

After earning his BS in Communications, Matt cut his teeth in the entertainment industry, spending fifteen years writing everything from feature screenplays for A-List directors, to celebrity bios for some of Hollywood’s top actors. That creative drive made it an easy transition to Marketing, bringing his eye for storytelling to the digital advertising ecosystem.

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