Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to be some of the biggest days of the year for consumer spending, but what about consumer attention?
Advertisers must be planning their holiday campaigns strategically; just because consumer spending peaks on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this doesn’t necessarily mean these are the days for brands to double down in media spend.
Read More: A Marketer’s Thanksgiving
Using performance and consumer attention data for all Sightly customers across all verticals in the US, sourced from MOAT analytics, YouTube and Sightly, our data team took a look at the numbers from January 2016-2018 annually and day-by-day during the weekly period of the seven days preceding Cyber Monday. We analyzed the numbers to get a holistic sense of how consumers’ attention to video ads changes during key shopping periods, compared to other times during the year, as well as what has happened in the Google Ads Auction during the past three years on Black Friday week through Cyber Monday.
- From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, consumer attention to video ads was nearly 25% higher as compared to the rest of 2018. Nearly 6 out of 10 people focused their attention on watching video ads that were fully audible and viewable on screen for at least 15 seconds without skipping or leaving. Compared to the rest of 2018, that is 23% more consumer attention than normal during the annual shopping event.
- Peak consumer attention for video ads was on Thanksgiving day itself. On Thanksgiving Day, 6.3 out of 10 people focused their attention on watching video ads that were fully audible and viewable on screen for at least 15 seconds without skipping or leaving. Compared to the rest of 2018, there was 32% more consumer attention.
- Consumer reach was stable across the shopping week. However, we found that consumers watched video ads for a total of 1,690 hours on Thanksgiving, 1,559 hours on Black Friday and 705 hours on Cyber Monday. This is perhaps not surprising as consumers are in a hurry to get to deals when shopping online during Cyber Monday. As such, they research those deals exhaustively ahead of time. This idea is further supported by the finding that the Sunday before Cyber Monday garnered the second highest level of consumer attention after Thanksgiving day, with approximately 1,671 hours of video ads watched.
- Peak consumer engagement with video ads was also on Thanksgiving day. Based on the click-through rate average per day, consumer engagement with video ads reached its highest point on Thanksgiving day at .13%, which was 10% higher than any other day that week. While consumer attention dropped off 58% on Cyber Monday, consumer engagement actually increased 10% from Sunday and 20% from the days before Thanksgiving.
- For advertisers, cost was down this year. Using impressions as a measure of the objective for consumer reach, during the very beginning of the consumer purchase journey for brand advertisers, we saw pricing drop into the $10 to $13 range. This is down from the previous two years where it fell in the $13 to $15 range, giving advertisers a 13% to 23% savings on their advertising spend during this very competitive time period.
Beyond reaching the consumer, focused attention to video is the indicator of consumer awareness, consideration and intent. Thus, ad cost per views increased to levels in 2018 at $0.05 to $0.06 cents compared to 2017. However, 2018 overall (approximately $0.045 – $0.055 cost per completed view over Thanksgiving weekend) has shown ad cost per views cheaper than 2016 ( approximately $0.055 – $0.060) and 2017 (approximately $0.050-$0.055).
Overall, video advertisers got the best value this year compared to 2016 and 2017. We see consumer attention and engagement with ads continue to increase on Thanksgiving Day. Most noteworthy for brands is the clear finding that consumers are in fact watching, paying attention, and taking action with video ads. Advertisers have to be taking advantage of peak shopping days throughout the holiday season, and with over $20 billion in consumer spending at stake over Thanksgiving weekend alone, they must be doing so strategically.