New Year, new taxes to file! In January, brands such as TurboTax and TaxACTbegan their digital campaigns to kick off tax season, each attacking separate device types to gain brand awareness. TurboTax invested the most on digital out of the tax sector, coming in as the top digital spender overall across desktop, mobile, desktop video, and mobile video. The gloves are officially off as tax software brands battle it out until early April. What’s even more interesting is the spend patterns we identified below from the top tax spender.
Feature films had a big month on digital, with blockbusters such as XXX: Return of Xander Cage Movie turning to display advertising to ramp up awareness (and ticket sales) for the premiere. If you weren’t at the movies, travel brands were looking to target you on mobile video, ramping up presence on the device-type. Over $858M was spent on digital by the top 500 advertisers across devices, see which advertisers were spending the most in our exclusive January Top Advertisers Report, and read on for the top highlights.
January’s Blockbusters Incorporate Cross-Channel Strategies Into Plans
TurboTax Spends Its Budget on the Weekends
But then again, don’t we all? TurboTax made a big push for brand awareness after the New Year. Starting the second weekend of January, the brand upped their spend on each weekend, while decreasing spend during the week. The biggest spikes during the week came on Sundays, which must be the one day a week that consumers are more likely to put aside a couple hours to do their taxes. The largest spike overall was on January 30th, the week after the government began accepting tax returns. This was also the time that TurboTax shifted some of their budget into video advertising, releasing a pre-roll video creative on YouTube’s homepage on January 29th.
Why spend money during the week on campaigns that don’t convert? TurboTax agrees. Being the agile digital advertiser they are, the brand advertised on sports related sites consistently during the month - think ESPN, NBA, & CBS Sports. Considering this was the month leading up to the Super Bowl, and in the thick of basketball season, consumers do check those sites regularly throughout the week. The larger campaigns targeting Yahoo, MSN, Amazon, and AOL, had their spend down throughout the week until the weekend rolled around. TurboTax clearly has a very involved media planning team ensuring the efficiencies of all of their ad buys in order to strategize a digital execution such as this.
Travel Brands Move Towards Mobile Video
Mobile devices account for more than half of YouTube’s total daily views, making mobile video an appealing channel for any advertiser to target. Royal Caribbean Cruises sees the value of mobile video, so much so that they invested 53% of their digital budget during the month of January to placements on YouTube. Creatives illustrated a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out), with amazing shots of beautiful people enjoying activities all over the world. “Stop wondering, start wandering” flashes across the postcard-esque backdrops, before a promotion pops up to save money on your future cruise. Mobile video creatives yielded over 66.3M impressions for Royal Caribbean, on only eight creatives with a total investment of just under $2M.
They weren’t the only cruise line to capitalize on mobile video, Carnival Cruise Line was the 25th top spending brand on the device-type. The brand dished out $186K on mobile video advertising, accounting for 4% of their total digital spend for the month. Hilton Worldwide is another travel brand investing heavily in video advertising, with in-stream video across desktop and mobile taking up 64% of their total budget. Fourteen percent of that went to mobile video specifically during the month of January.
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