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Pathmatics Blog
Top Advertiser Reports |


November's Top Digital Advertisers

December 16 2016 by Jordan Kramer
November Top Digital Advertisers.png
November Top Digital Advertisers.png

November Top Digital Advertisers.png


Black Friday and Cyber Monday may only represent two days out of the entire month of November; however, the value of those days was enough to bring a new category to the top of the digital advertising rankings. Retail advertisers went big during November, with the top 500 advertisers dropping $17B overall. Not so surprising if you were paying attention to your display, mobile+tablet, and pre-roll video ads over the last couple weeks. Chances are you have been getting teased with gifts, either for yourself or otherwise, every time you get online.

Retail not only led as the top digital category, but the category's top spending advertiser also ranked as the top digital spender overall. Where were Retail advertisers targeting and how were they buying? Read on for more insights including the category’s top spender, and the top sites for the category by spend and impression. Head over here to download the November Top Advertisers Report in its entirety.

Retail Overtakes Financial Services As November's Top Advertising Category

For the first time in 2016, the Retail category came out on top as the number one digital advertising category by impression volume across display, mobile+tablet, and video. The category was number one on display and video, falling third to Financial Services and Auto on mobile+tablet. Over 27K unique digital creatives were released by Retail advertisers during the month across channels, all purchased primarily through direct buys.
Of the top 500 Retail advertisers in November, 82% of their digital dollars went to direct buys. Out of the top ten advertisers for the category, nine of them invested over 80% of their digital spend on direct. It is apparent that having complete control over ad buys was a concern for Retail advertisers that were about to drop some serious cash during the month in advance of the year’s biggest shopping days.
retail_category_digital_buying_trends.pngSource: Pathmatics US Digital Data, 11/1/16-11/30/16.

Best Buy Wins As November’s Top Digital Ad Spender After Huge Black Friday and Cyber Monday Campaigns

Leading the Retail category was Best Buy Co., Inc., spending $22.6M on digital during the month of November. This level of spend also catapulted the company into the number one spot overall, outspending every other advertiser on digital during the month. Over 68% of their digital spend was shelled out during the week of Thanksgiving alone, with their largest spike in spend and impressions hitting on Black Friday. On that day alone, Best Buy dropped $5.5M garnering them over 491M impressions. If someone was browsing the web on Black Friday looking for deals, Best Buy was on a mission to find them. In the age of instant-everything, it makes sense for the brand to wait until the actual day of their sale to make a huge push online. If the brand released the campaign the day before Thanksgiving or on the actual holiday, prospective consumers might’ve forgotten about the deals. By targeting the day of Black Friday, the brand banked on consumers making impulse decisions after being seduced by huge discounts.
The retailer released 3,400 unique digital creatives during the month, with an emphasis on desktop/display. Looking at their cross-channel strategy, 82% of their spend went to desktop advertising, 19% went to pre-roll video, and 2% went to mobile+tablet. The brand reflected the category’s overall buying trends by funneling 90% of their digital dollars to direct buys, targeting YouTube as their top site.
Source: Pathmatics US Digital Data, 11/1/16-11/30/16.

YouTube is The Retail Category's Favorite Site, Followed by Yahoo! and AOL

YouTube also made out in a big way during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The site was a favorite amongst Retail advertisers, reaping in over $45M during the month from the category and serving up over 3.1B impressions. This influenced the buying trends for the entire category, considering YouTube placements are primarily available only via direct buys except for a small percentage of placements purchased through Google’s ad network. If you are trying to get attention on YouTube, then homepage takeovers are the way to go and there was no shortage of them over the month.
Here’s an example from Best Buy on November 22nd:
Yahoo! was the second most popular site for the Retail category during the month of November. The publisher brought in over $11.3M from the category, with Kohl’s being its top Retail spender, through mostly direct buys. AOL came in third for the category with $8.9M in advertiser spend, led by top Retail spender eBay, Inc.
For all of November’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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