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MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 12 Engines Revving

MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 12 Engines Revving

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, today is Thanksgiving and we have plenty of eggnog and brown paper packages tied up with strings ahead of us. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

It’s time for one of our favorite annual traditions: MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas. Between now and Christmas day, we’ll be posting our holiday ads across multiple industries — playing on the 12 Days of Christmas, of course. 

All we want this holiday season is some fantastic, festive advertising insight. And we want to share it with you!

First up: twelve engines revving. Here are the 12 automotive brands who have done the most programmatic advertising in 2019.


Santa Claus is certainly coming to town for General Motors this year. The carmaker takes the top spot for 2019 programmatic advertising spend by a longshot, with over $45 million in spend. Cadillac took front and center for its holiday advertising. 


Toyota may not have spent as much as GM, but it’s still enough to make the nice list: over $35 million on programmatic advertising this year. With nearly 50 programmatic partners, the Japanese company’s programmatic placements include social media and local news sites. 


The All-American carmaker takes third place in terms of 2019 programmatic advertising, with over $25 million in programmatic spend. Ford partners with over 30 programmatic ad providers, including Google. 


Honda has spent over $15 million on programmatic advertising in 2019 so far across a range of formats. Outside of their annual Happy Honda Days campaign, the company places display ads on local news sites and interactive ads on Snapchat. 


Mazda spent around 10 percent of its advertising budget on programmatic ads, for a total of over $10 million. The company’s programmatic partners include Nativo, which specializes in placing native ads programmatically. It has placed on properties like Sun Times and 


With over $10 million in programmatic advertising spend, Volvo places display ads everywhere from The New York Times to niche properties like DIY Network.  


Hyundai has spent just over $5 million programmatically in 2019, with most of its budget going to more traditional advertising. Programmatic spend included display ads on major sites like Bloomberg and more narrow properties, like the gaming YouTube channel from The Escapist Magazine. 


Volkswagen has spent over $5 million programmatically, including spending for its brands like Audi and Bentley. 


Mercedes-Benz has an advertising budget of over $100 million, with a major focus on TV and premium ad units. But the auto company has spent over $5 million on programmatic advertising, including everything from display ads in business publications to placements on Snapchat. 


Nissan has spent over $3 million programmatically, including on YouTube channels like As/Is, a BuzzFeed-owned destination for an audience of women. 


Despite a robust advertising budget, BMW has placed just $3 million in ads programmatically. Spending includes placement on advertising-heavy sites like


Subaru spent just under $100 million in the past year, but has only spent just over $3 million on programmatic advertising YTD.