MediaRadar Blog

Q4 2023 12 for ‘24 – Retail

As we conclude 2023 and look toward the new year, MediaRadar reviewed advertising investment from retailers.

Whether sectors are quickly advancing or slowly rebounding, gain insights to create strategic outreach and make informed media planning decisions for your clients.

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Retail Advertisers Gain Momentum

The retail industry has faced no shortage of hurdles over the last few years. From the COVID-19 pandemic forcing temporary closures to inflation and supply chain issues weighing on consumer demand, it’s been a turbulent road to recovery for many retailers.

However, based on MediaRadar’s analysis of national advertising data, there are strong signs of momentum carrying the retail comeback into 2024.

Our sampling of over 27 thousand retailers revealed $13.34 billion invested across TV, print, and digital channels in the first 11 months of 2023. While overall ad spend saw a modest 1% YoY increase, October and November kicked off Q4 with over 15% growth (each), signaling retailer optimism.

Behind the scenes, advertising shifts tell a story of brands doubling down on digital while pulling back in traditional channels. Digital ad investment increased 11% year-over-year even as TV and print declined 6% and 20% respectively.

Retail Advertisers to Watch in 2024

Here are twelve retail brands that increased advertising in 2023. Combined spend exceeded $1.87 billion after a collective 162% spike occurring from January through November 2023.

Temu is an online marketplace known for heavily discounted prices on products ranging from clothing to furniture. So far in 2023, Temu increased advertising by over 1000% to $480mm, heavily investing in paid social. Temu also debuted at the Super Bowl to viewers with its “Shop Like a Billionaire” 30-second ad in the first quarter of 2023. MediaRadar shows upcoming RFPs for Temu’s brand name and mobile app in February 2024.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. dedicated over 88% of its 2023 advertising to cable and broadcast TV, hovering around $115mm. The “industrial-grade supplies and safety products” retailer increased spending by 80% YoY compared to 2022 despite a 67% decrease in digital spend. Online video drove the digital decline downward. Grainger has an upcoming RFP in March.

Sephora spent over $143mm to reach beauty enthusiasts in 2023 so far. The beauty retailer increased advertising by 119% YoY through November. Digital spending increased by 121% YoY. With online video (OLV) capturing 62% of its spending at over $89mm, MediaRadar data revealed an average OLV CPM of $6.12 for the brand.

Petsmart adjusted its 2023 advertising strategy by increasing national TV spend 24% YoY and digital ads by over 1000% YoY. The result was over $214mm in advertising. Online video (OLV) was 76% of Petsmart’s ad investment after a 1000% YoY increase. Overall, video advertising through OLV, paid social, and TV was 94% of the total advertising through November, exceeding $202mm. The majority of ads were less than 30 seconds.

Harbor Freight Tools dedicated its $176 million in national advertising predominantly to digital media in 2023, with online video capturing 89% of spend, after a 68% YoY increase to $157mm. Those searching for tools for a variety of home improvement, automotive, and maintenance projects saw ads on YouTube’s Society & Culture, Music, and Gaming channels among others. Paid social ads with Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok were around 10% of the advertising spend.

NFL Shop upped advertising by 63% YoY through November 2023 to nearly $70mm. The brand not only increased national TV advertising by 37% YoY, but also hiked digital ad spend up over 1,000% YoY. Broadcast advertising with networks like Fox and CBS increased by 45% YoY, while cable was up 1% YoY. Paid social captured around 22% of the NFL Shop’s ad investment so far this year, with over $10mm spent.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. is another beauty retailer that increased ad spend through November 2023. The company boosted spending by 15% to over $95mm using a diverse media mix. Online video increased 13% from last year to encompass 31% of the ad investment at nearly $30mm. Cable ad spend was 25% of the spend after a 7% increase followed by Instagram capturing 16%. Over $14mm each was dedicated to each of these three top ad formats.

Fandango leaned into advertising this year by increasing digital by 95% YoY, TV was up 47% YoY, and there were new print ad buys placed. Overall more than $254 million was spent by the movie ticket outlet after the brand increased 68% YoY through November 2023. The majority (43%) of ads were online video with over $110mm invested towards the format thanks to a 347% YoY increase. Cable and broadcast ads totaled $125 million with both increasing over 40% compared to last year.

Instacart spent over $217 million to place digital, print, and TV ads through November 2023 after a 34% YoY increase. The ad strategy shifted with TV increasing 66% to over $157mm spent with the media while digital decreased to $59mm with a 13% YoY dip. Reality TV and TV movie programming both captured over $25 million each of the TV ad spend. Online video remained fairly flat at around $43mm, which was 20% of the ad investment for the grocery delivery brand.

Macorner increased nearly 275% YoY to more than $58 million spent through November to capture consumers. Paid social was the media of choice with Instagram and Facebook capturing over 99% of the ads. Peak spending occurred in October and November in time for the holiday season. There was 44% dedicated to paid social video ads with the majority less than 30 seconds in length.

T.J. Maxx increased its spending by over 115% YoY to nearly $112 million through November 2023. Online video ads were a majority media with the retailer investing more than $66 million (59% of the ad spend) towards this format after over a 1000% YoY jump. Digital media increased 300% YoY and buys were 86% programmatically placed across 176 outlets.

LensCrafters increased advertising 145% YoY to nearly $28 million spent through November 2023. Digital media increased 368% YoY, TV was up 18%, and print saw a 76% YoY increase. Video ads were 71% of the ad spend through paid social, TV, and OTT. TV ads were 11 to 15 seconds only while paid social ads were predominantly 16 to 30 seconds in length.

Target Retailers with MediaRadar’s Ad Intelligence

Savvy retail brands are evolving strategies to convey relevance and value however a consumer journey takes shape. Standout digital ad growth from brands like Temu (1,000%+ increase) and Sephora (119% jump) drove a 162% collective surge from these seven featured retailers. 

MediaRadar’s advertising insights reveal a retail sector strengthening its foundation in areas like digital and video to drive sustainable growth into 2024. Retailers are hungry to capture demand in a tight consumer economy. 

Subscribe to our blog for more exclusive advertising insights and data-backed recommendations across industries. Learn how MediaRadar’s competitive intelligence platform can unlock data to sharpen your retail ad strategy amidst an ever-changing consumer landscape.

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