MediaRadar Blog

As Print Ads Decline, Wal-Mart and Amazon Boost TV, Digital Spending

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Women’s Wear Daily – MediaRadar’s latest analysis of holiday advertising expenditures by top retailers revealed an overall decline in print ads while spending on digital and TV skyrocketed — especially from Amazon.

The online giant increased its ad spend on TV this season by 76 percent over last year, noted analysts at the advertising sales intelligence platform who added that the retailer “beat out every other top retailer, including Wal-Mart and Target.” Amazon’s digital ad spending was up 224 percent over last year’s holiday shopping season.

Todd Krizelman, chief executive officer and cofounder of MediaRadar, said most “retailers are reducing print spend while focusing on other channels, like linear TV and digital. But online ad spend saw some of the biggest increases percentage-wise. This is driven by shifting consumption and shopping patterns among holiday consumers.”

This shift is primarily to online shopping. Although online shopping represents about 10 percent of the overall market, analysts and economists are expecting online sales to show double-digit growth this past year.

Other notable findings from the report showed that Macy’s had the largest ad spending decline of the top retailers studied. “The company cut investments by a quarter (24%),” the analysts in the report said. “It did boost TV (by 20 percent) and digital (up 34 percent) spend considerably, however.” At Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “the top brick-and-mortar retailer by sales volume, decreased ad spend across print (down 15 percent) and television (down 10 percent) compared to last year,” MediaRadar said, adding that Wal-Mart’s decline in TV spend “was the third-largest behind Sears (down 53 percent) and Nordstrom (down 45 percent).”

“Instead, [Wal-Mart] spent considerably on digital advertising, upping its investment by nearly 170 percent,” the analysts said, adding that it was the second-largest increase behind Amazon.

At Target Corp., the retailer was the only company that increased spending across TV, digital and print. “Investments in print went up 4 percent while TV grew 54 percent,” the firm said. “The increase in print was the second highest following Kohl’s (59 percent). Target was also the runner-up for its TV increase, losing only to Amazon.”

With digital ads, Target increased its spending by 161 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, MediaRadar noted that Nordstrom Inc. and Sears Holding Corp. both cut ad spending across the board this holiday season while at Kohl’s bucked these trends by reducing spending on digital and TV and increasing print by 59 percent.


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