December's Top Digital Advertisers

Jan 8, 2016 4:30:18 PM


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Welcome to the New Year!  If there's anything that December rings synonymous with, it's shopping. Holiday gift teasers were ubiquitous throughout the final month of the year with the top desktop advertiser releasing 1,276 unique creatives alone.  Auto had a resurgence, as it regained the top category on desktop for the first time since October, while conquering mobile as well.  Retail advertisers focused their money on video, and overall, dollars shifted away from direct purchases with the popularity of ad networks growing.

See below for the purchase channel breakdown of the top 500 desktop and video advertisers, as well as the top advertising categories and highlights.  Download all of December's top digital advertisers, including top direct advertisers, here.


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Auto Takes The Lead Across Desktop & Mobile

Closing out a record breaking sales year for auto makers, shiny new car ads leveraged the Auto category into the #1 spot on desktop and mobile during the month of December.  Ford, one of the top 10 direct desktop advertisers for the month, ran several ads for its top selling F-150 up until Christmas day.  91% of Ford's desktop impressions were purchased direct and targeted top sites such as yahoo.com and mlb.com.  On mobile, Ford came in at #6 overall with an almost entirely direct strategy as well.  
 
Interestingly enough, Nissan Dealer Associations spent 20% less than Ford across desktop but ranked #8 compared to Ford’s #19 ranking.  Going with an ad network focused purchasing strategy, Nissan Dealer Associations got a much better bang for their buck across desktop.  Digilant was their preferred ad network partner with msn.com and drudgereport.com coming in as the top sites targeted.
 
Not wanting to be left out of a large pie of auto dollars, Volkswagen, even amidst scandal, made the top 10 desktop and mobile advertisers lists.  No ads for TDI Clean Diesel, though.

Nissan_ad_on_msn.pngSource: Pathmatics US Desktop Data, 12/1/15-12/31/15.

Retail Tops Video, Pushing Financial Services Out Of The Top 3 Categories

Pushing the Financial Services category to #4, gift giving was in full stride during the month of December with the Retail category coming in strong.  Amazon.com, Best Buy and Walmart were all amongst the top contenders competing for your holiday dollars.  Retailers using video went more direct than advertisers overall, with 57% of impressions purchased direct within the category.  The top sites favored amongst retailers for video ad placement were mlb.com, aol.com and yahoo.com.  
 

Ad Network Usage Grows Across All Devices

The rise of ad networks and programmatic buying continues to grow, closing out December with growth of the purchase channel across all devices.  Video direct purchases are down nearly 20% since October, making way for a 13% growth in ad network usage on video alone.  The top ad networks favored by desktop advertisers are Google AdX + AdSense and Advertising.com.  On mobile, brands are using Yahoo Sponsored Content and Advertising.com.  Lastly, of the top video advertisers, Google AdX + AdSense and Yahoo Sponsored Content were the most popular partners.

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Jordan Kramer

Written by 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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