With record-breaking Cyber Monday sales and the holiday season bringing big advertisers out to play, Q4 ended strong for many brands. We noticed a few trends emerge over the quarter, especially on desktop. Procter & Gamble took a big jump in impression share on U.S. desktop and continued to dominate video. Auto advertisers are still targeting consumers via desktop and mobile with Chevrolet and Nissan Dealer Associations leading the way. We also saw a huge push from SlingTV in its first hoilday season to keep up with Hulu amongst other OTT and streaming products.
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 Q4's top digital advertisers, including top direct advertisers, here.
Procter & Gamble Ramps Up Digital,
Climbs Desktop Rankings
What’s interesting is how they’re buying on desktop. Overall spend for the giant parent company is up over 3X compared to Q3, to the tune of $63M (Source: Pathmatics US Desktop Data, Excludes CoverGirl). Although their digital shift is clear, their purchasing strategy is not. P&G claims to be changing its business model and will be integrating automated buying, selling and distribution; however, the change doesn’t seem to have been implemented just yet as Direct purchases jumped from 55% in Q3 on US desktop to 82% in Q4, even climbing to 90% of the desktop impressions purchased during the month of December. Using Audience Science as their preferred partner across all devices (desktop, mobile, tablet, video), Procter & Gamble’s video strategy looks to be evenly spread at about half direct and half indirect.
How do you think their digital purchasing strategy will shift in 2016 as automated buying gains traction?
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop Data.
Auto Advertisers Continue Targeting
Desktop and Mobile
Digging deeper into the strategies behind top auto advertisers, we broke down how Chevrolet (#7 top desktop advertiser*) and Nissan (#22 top desktop advertiser*) purchased impressions. Nissan spent roughly the same amount on desktop as Chevrolet during the quarter with primarily a direct-buy strategy (93% of desktop impressions). Chevrolet on the other hand, employed a split strategy, funneling 43% of its impressions through ad networks (Advertising.com was the preferred partner), 46% direct to publisher and 11% programmatically.
A great example is Forbes.com, which was targeted indirectly by Chevrolet and directly by Nissan (88%). Taking spend into account, Nissan spent significantly more - over 4X - on relatively the same amount of impressions, allowing Chevrolet to earn some serious bang for their buck by sticking to indirect buys.