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Amazon increased holiday TV ad spend in a big way



Chain Store Age – While most retailers reduced traditional advertising spend in favor of digital sources this holiday season, Amazon made an unprecedented move to television.
This was according to the “MediaRadar Trend Report” that examined holiday advertising spend among Amazon, Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Sears, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, and J.C. Penney, between October and November 2016. 
When comparing holiday ad spend by retailer, here is how the companies fared:
Amazon: While Amazon saw print ad spend decline (-10%), it aggressively increased spend in linear TV ads (76%) and digital (224%). In fact, Amazon owned the biggest increases in each area year-over-year.
Walmart: Walmart, the top brick-and-mortar retailer by sales volume, decreased ad spend across print (-15%) and television (-10%) compared to last year. The drop in TV spend was the third largest behind Sears (-53%) and Nordstrom (-45%). The company spent considerably on digital advertising, upping its investment by nearly 170% (+168%). The increase was second only to Amazon (+224%).
Target: Target was the only retailer to increase ad spend across every key marketing channel: print, TV and online. Investments in print went up 4%, while TV grew 54%. The increase in print was the second highest following Kohl’s (59%). Target was also the runner-up for its TV increase, losing only to Amazon (+76%). Target also spent more on digital ads compared to 2015, raising spend by 161%. Only Amazon (+224) and Walmart (+168) spent more.  
Macy’s: Macy’s decline in print ad spend was the biggest across all eight retailers. The company cut investments by a quarter (-24%). It did boost TV (+20%) and digital (+34%) spend considerably, however.
Sears: Sears saw pronounced cuts across the board. Though print spend lowered by just 5%, TV was more than halved (-53%) while online de-creased by almost three-quarters (-72%). The cuts in TV and digital were the biggest among the eight retailers.
Nordstrom: Nordstrom also cut holiday ad spend across every channel, but to lesser degrees in most areas. Print spend dropped nearly a quarter (-23%). Only Macy’s saw print investments decline more (-24%). Similar-ly, TV (-45%) and digital (-28%) spend all lowered. The cuts in TV spend were second only to Sears (-53%) while the drop in digital was the third largest behind Sears (-72%) and Kohl’s (-58%).
Kohl’s: While six out of eight retailers reduced spend on print, Kohl’s put forward the biggest investment year-over-year, increasing it by 59%. The rise in budget seemed to be taken from TV (-7%) and digital (-58%). Kohl’s nearly 60% drop in online ad spend was beaten only by Sears (-72%).
J.C. Penney: J.C. Penney’s print spend declined 17% in 2016, the third-biggest drop on the year behind Macy’s (-24%) and Nordstrom (-23%). Digital spend was also down by a modest 7%. TV, however, was up 49%, the third-largest growth among the 8 retailers, following Amazon (+76%) and Target (+54%). 
“Most retailers are reducing print spend while focusing on other channels, like linear TV and digital,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar. “Online ad spend, however, saw some of the biggest increases percentage-wise. This is driven by shifting consumption and shopping patterns among holiday consumers.”
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