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MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 8 Planes a-Flying

MediaRadar’s 12 Ads of Christmas: 8 Planes a-Flying

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This week we continue the tradition of recapping the most notable brands spending on advertising across ad tech platforms, consumer media and B2B industries. And, of course, this is all styled after the most involved carol out there: the 12 Days of Christmas.

On the eighth day of Christmas, MediaRadar sent to me:

12 Engines Revving
11 Boxes Shipping

10 Brands a-Sponsoring

9 Pharmas Placing

8 Planes a-Flying (that’s today!)
7 ???
6 ???
5 ???
4 ???
3 ???
2 ???
And a ???

Be sure to sign up for our blog newsletter so you don’t miss the rest of our year-end countdown!

With eight days left in our celebration of 2019 advertisers, today we focus on the top airline companies advertising this year. It’s 8 planes a-flying!

With air travel ripe for everything from adventurous inspiration to tongue-in-cheek copy, airline ads are a relatively exciting niche to cover. 

This year, the top eight airline advertisers have collectively spent nearly $200 million YTD. Here are the top rankings. 


Southwest has spent $39 million on advertising in 2019, spanning digital, print and TV media. The airline places many ads — like this seasonal display ad promising low fares to match low temperatures — programmatically across a range of industries, including entertainment sites like Metacritic and Fandango. 

American Airlines

American Airlines has spent $34 million YTD, with ad spend ranging from direct display ads to full page takeovers. The airline places directly on travel sites like TripAdvisor and programmatically on more general consumer properties like 

British Airways 

Part of the International Consolidated Airlines Group, British Airways has spent $21 million on advertising so far this year. In this display ad, the airline is advertising Avios, the company’s travel rewards program that spans flights, hotels, car rentals and shopping. 

Turkish Airlines 

Despite being the flag carrier airline of Turkey, this Black Friday display ad shows that Turkish Airlines tends to toe the line of holiday advertising. The airline has spent $21 million on advertising YTD. 


Emirates Airlines makes clever use of a snowflake in this display ad, implicitly promising warmer climates for those looking to get away in the winter. Emirates has spent $18 million on advertising in 2019, running programmatic ads on Snapchat, display ads on travel sites, and TV ads on US networks. 


The Atlanta-based airline has spent $18 million on advertising in 2019. Delta advertises its flights and related offerings (like Delta Vacations) on Refinery29, NBC, Travel Weekly and more. 

Air France-KLM Group

The airline group consists of the flag carriers of both France and the Netherlands. Together, these airlines have spent $16 million in 2019 so far. Placement ranges from display ads on local news sites to programmatic placements on travel sites. 

Air Canada

Air Canada embraces the winter season by advertising ski trips through Air Canada Vacations. The airline has spent $14 million on advertising so far this year.