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Q3's Top Digital Advertisers 2016

November 16 2016 by Jordan Kramer
Q3 Top advertisers.png
Q3 Top advertisers.png

Q3 Top advertisers.png


The holidays may be creeping up quickly but we have officially made it through Q3 and now, the election! During the final month of Q3, we saw one Presidential candidate break into the top ten display advertiser rankings, but neither candidate spent enough to rank across any device channel for the entire quarter. Which brands did spend enough? Financial Services continues to be the top digital category, led in large part by Capital One Financial Corporation. Another financial advertiser, Geico, doubled their desktop and mobile spend from Q2 to Q3, leveraging them into the top ten digital spenders list for the quarter. Auto followed as the second top digital category with a new face in front: Ford. The US auto manufacturer took the top auto spot from Nissan, coming in as the seventh top digtal spender overall.
Our new Q3 Top Advertisers Report details not only the top digital spenders across desktop, mobile, and video, but also the top spenders overall. Now you can get a high-level perspective of how the industry is buying, and who the top digital players are across device types. See which brands are spending the most on direct buys, and if their programmatic competitors are getting more impressions overall. Compare this to our impression rankings to see if the top spenders are really getting the most for their money. To download the free report in its entirety, click here.

Financial Services Continues As Top Category Across Channels, With Spend Topping $472.6M

How much are Financial Services advertisers spending on desktop, mobile, and video? A lot. Up from $447M in Q2, the Financial Services category continues to dominate across devices led by longtime leader Capital One. The financial giant spent over $55M during the quarter across digital, with 76% of their spend going to desktop/display. Video advertising represented 19% of Capital One’s third quarter spend, with mobile+tablet trailing behind with 5% of their digital budget. Their strategy also hasn’t changed, with direct buys consuming 89% of their total spend across desktop, mobile, and video. 
Looking at the top 500 Financial Services advertisers, 68% of spend across desktop, mobile, and video was on direct buys. Here is a breakdown of how the top 500 Financial Services advertisers were buying in Q3:
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile+Tablet, and Video Data, 7/1/16-9/30/16.

Geico Ranks as 4th Top Digital Advertiser, Increasing Spend By $18M Q/Q Across Channels

Geico was the second top Financial Services spender for the quarter, with digital spend coming in just over $48M. For this advertiser, video was the top priority, taking 63% of the brand’s total digital spend - an average of $345K per day. Desktop/display followed with 34% of the brand’s digital spend, and mobile+tablet held on with 3%. Also favoring a direct buying strategy, 83% of digital dollars were spent on direct buys while Google AdX+AdSense, DoubleClick Bid Manager, Amazon, and Yahoo! Advertising were also used. Compared to Q2, Geico increased spend by $18M across channels, with the largest bump going to desktop - to the tune of $7M.
YouTube was the top site for Geico by far, cashing in on 42% of the brand’s cross-channel spend and serving up 32% of the brand’s impressions. The second top site was CNN with only 11% of the total spend. Geico’s video-centric strategy featured creatives starring their famous green gecko in some of their 270 total unique creatives released during the quarter. The top video creative by spend is below.
Creative first seen 5/5/16, last seen 11/11/16. Source: Pathmatics US Video Data, 7/1/16-9/30/16.

Ford Edges Out Nissan As Auto's Top Digital Ad Spender for Q3

Ford finished out the Third Quarter as the seventh top digital spender overall, pushing Nissan down to the ninth spot. Helping Auto claim the second top category spot by impression volume across channels, Ford upped digital spend by $12M compared to Q2, coming in just under $30M for Q3. Desktop was the top channel for the auto manufacturer claiming 53% of the brand’s digital spend, followed closely behind by video with 43%. 
Using a strongly direct strategy, 89% of Ford’s total digital spend went to direct to the publisher during Q3. DataXu was the top overall partner for the brand, with 4% of the remaining spend share. The top five sites for Ford consumed 70% of the brand’s entire digital spend, led by YouTube with 46%. ESPN was the second top digital site with 9% spend share, followed by AOL with 6%, CNN with 6%, and with 3%. 
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile+Tablet, and Video Data, 7/1/16-9/30/16. 
Head over here to download the Q3 report in its entirety.

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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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