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September 5, 2016

So Long Summer: Spend Moves to ‘Education’ and ‘Electronics’ During Bank Holiday Weekend

The August bank holiday is a time of endings and beginnings. As we pack up the BBQ and wave goodbye to the great British summer, we also dust off our woolly jumpers and start looking ahead to the new experiences autumn will bring.


But amid such transition, where do consumer interests lie — and how are brands’ advertising budgets adapting to the seasonal shift? To find out, we analysed spend across industries and website categories over the weekend itself, and compared it with investment four weeks prior. This uncovered some intriguing variations along the way.

Which categories and industries saw a notable increase?

The close of August means the end of the holidays and for many signifies the last chance to prepare for going back to school or university. It’s no surprise then that the ‘education’ category saw a 69% uplift in comparison to a month ago.’ Yet there was time for some leisure with the biggest share (81%) of budgets devoted to reaching ‘mobile websites and apps’, where advertisers hoped to reach consumers taking a break with their smart devices.

Industry investment also demonstrated a return to more practical areas, with 137% uplift inelectronics, as consumers stock up on tech to pass darker days. A 55% increase in healthcarespend also suggests advertisers hoped to target those concerned about the oncoming cold and flu season. Accordingly, the most significant rise in spend was for airlines (92%), with many consumers now likely to be looking for somewhere to escape the winter blues as the summer draws to a close.

Which categories and industries saw a notable decrease?

Website categories including ‘fashion’ and ‘home and garden’ experienced a decrease of between 10-14%, as the bank holiday pivot-point moved consumer attention from summer chic and outdoor pursuits to staying cosy indoors.

Indeed, this change was powerfully illustrated in the 68% reduction in spend for the ‘family and parenting ’ category — the largest investment decrease and a clear sign that there will be fewer family days out now that children have returned to school.

Interestingly, on the industry side there was a sharp decrease in both entertainment, within culture and fine arts experiencing a 66% reduction. Meanwhile, the ‘consumer finance’ category fell by 89% – indicating that the August bank holiday might not be a weekend for splashing out on but a moment to savour the last of the sun and contemplate exciting new horizons. This may also explain why energy and news category spend were down by 33% and 34% respectively.

Of course, the August bank holiday means something different for every consumer but it seems the insights point to one conclusion: advertisers that want to make an impact must seek to help audiences say “so long” to summer and welcome autumn by focusing on the education, tech, travel and healthcare that will carry them through.