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December's Top Digital Advertisers

February 08 2017

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Coming off record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays, Amazon was December's largest advertiser by spend on digital, whopping out nearly $40M from December 1st - 31st. Several other top spenders continued strong digital advertising campaigns across device-types, like Merck & Co. and Procter & Gamble.

 
While it was the holiday season, Retail ranked as the third top digital category by impression volume for the month of December, beat out by Financial Services and Auto. The top ten digital advertisers by spend and impression across device-types represent a multitude of different categories, and strategies. See below for a look at the rankings and to download the December Top Advertisers Report in its entirety, click here.

Display Buyers Go Direct

The majority of desktop placements were purchased direct, accounting for 78% of the month's total desktop spend, with only 16% of spend going through ad networks. Google AdX + AdSense was the top partner by spend share, claiming 7%, while Amazon followed with 3%. 
 
As for impressions, direct buys also took the biggest piece of the pie with 41% share of impressions. Ad network vendors garnered 39% of desktop impressions, while DSP, Exchange, and SSP partners followed.
 
december_display_trends.png
Source: Pathmatics US Digital Data, 12/1/16-12/31/16. 
 
 

Merck & Co. Ranks As December’s Top Display Advertiser

Merck & Co. was the top spending brand on desktop/display advertising in December, shelling out over $30M on the ad type. The pharmaceutical giant invested heavily in sleeping medication Belsomra, birth control Nexplanon, and immunotherapy drug Keytruda, with a series of YouTube homepage takeovers over the month. Over 97% of the brand’s digital spend went to display advertising, releasing 648 unique creatives across an average of 218 sites per day.
 
merck_creative.png
Source: Pathmatics US Digital Data, 12/1/16-12/31/16.
 
 

Amazon Leads on Desktop Video

The e-commerce giant not only came in as the top spender overall on digital, but desktop video was the biggest priority consuming 67% of the brand’s digital budget. Amazon has gained serious traction producing original shows, with several Emmy’s under its belt and a following rivaling cable networks. During a month where most people enjoy lengthy holiday breaks, the advertiser took advantage of YouTube, dolling out over half of their digital budget to the publisher.
 
amazon_desktop_video_creative.png Source: Pathmatics US Digital Data, 12/1/16-12/31/16.
 
For all of December's top cross-channel digital ad spenders, download the free report here. To get these insights daily, check out AdRoutes, our ad intelligence platform.
 

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About Author

Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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