Blog

December 14, 2015

Mobile Tech Boosts Cyber Monday Advertising Spend

Matt Johnson, Business Analyst EMEA, OpenX

All I want for Christmas is … a mobile phone, a tablet, a smart watch, and an in-car hotspot. Oh and maybe an action camera to live-stream my first attempt at carving the turkey.

Smartphones and the ever-increasing range of connected devices that accompany them are popular items on Christmas wish-lists, and telecoms brands really pushed the boat out around Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year to make sure their products ended up in Santa’s sleigh.

To discover more about how much brands were spending on advertising during the busiest shopping weekend of the year – and what they were spending it on – we compared activity on the OpenX UK Exchange on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with Friday and Monday four weeks earlier, which uncovered some surprising results:

Which day saw the biggest increase in ad spend?

The first step was to compare Black Friday and Cyber Monday to see which had the greatest impact on advertiser spend. Total spend on the two days was fairly similar, with Cyber Monday edging slightly ahead. But when we looked at the increase in ad spend, Cyber Monday was the clear winner with an impressive uplift of 111%, compared with 55% on Black Friday.

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Which brands ramped up spend the most?

It’s no surprise that shopping and retail brands were among those to boost their ad spend as they competed for consumers’ Christmas shopping budgets, and this brand category saw a 71% uplift on Cyber Monday. But it was telecoms brands who really went to town, with a phenomenal uplift of 749% in ad spend. With intense competition in the market, and mobile technology an ever-popular Christmas present, telecoms brands took every opportunity to convert those Cyber Monday shoppers.

A third brand category to see significant uplift was finance, with an increase in spend of 39%. During a time of increased consumer spending, credit card companies were seemingly keen to remain on the radar. Food and beverage brands also increased their ad spend as consumers prepared for weeks of festive indulgence.

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Which content categories saw the biggest uplift?

After determining which brand categories saw the biggest increase in ad spend, we analysed specific web content categories. Predictably, brands focused much of their budget on the shopping category, which saw an overall uplift of 180%. Telecommunications companies alone amplified spend in the shopping content category by a staggering 1447%.

The internet category also saw a sizeable overall uplift of 154%, with brands keen to ensure their ads were seen by tech-savvy consumers. Insurance brands focused particularly on the internet category with an uplift in spend of 862%. Finally, the hobbies and interests category saw large increases as brands aimed to get their ads seen by people researching the hobbies of those they planned to buy Christmas gifts for. Food and beverage brands increased spend by 557% in this category, while telecoms brands upped spend by 435%.

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Cyber Monday is a key focus for brands looking to engage online shoppers as they embark on festive spending, but the type of brands that boost spend and the content categories they choose to focus on can provide a few surprises. With the phenomenal increase in ad spend telecoms brands made on Cyber Monday there’s a very good chance we’re going to find mobile tech under our trees on Christmas morning.

*Data source: OpenX UK Exchange data – 30/10, 02/11, 27/11, 30/11