As Black Friday Approaches Retailers Prepare for Ad Avalanche

by Suzanne Vranica, The Wall Street Journal

The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts that U.S. sales during the holiday shopping season will increase 4% to $488.6 billion this year. With so much at stake, holiday advertising is expected to be ratcheted up a notch.

Although industries such as food, automotive and telecom will all be courting consumers this season, it is retailers that will have the loudest voices.

Retailers are expected to make up the biggest share of ad spending during the critical holiday shopping period, according to Kantar Media, the ad-tracking firm owned by WPP PLC.

The retail category accounted for over $4.8 billion of ads in November and December last year and was responsible for 15% of the $32.5 billion companies shelled out on ads during the 2013 holiday period, according to Kantar, which tracks ad spending on newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and Internet display.

The avalanche of ads is expected to reach peak intensity this week when Black Friday occurs, the research firms says. Last year, retailers spent $787 million during the critical selling week, Kantar data showed.

Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Target and Sears were among the retailers that spent the most on ads during the period last year, with Walmart shelling out almost $300 million, Kantar said. Retailers used both holiday-themed ads and non-themed ads during the promotional period.

 Retail Advertising

While retailers will use every trick in the book to promote themselves, television is expected to see the biggest benefit from the flood of promos. Last year, retailers devoted about 45% of their November and December ad spending to television ads, Kantar said.

That is good news for TV networks, which could use a shot in the arm. The TV ad market has been lackluster this year, thanks in part to soft ratings, a pullback of spending by some marketers and some ad dollars shifting to digital.

Here is a look which medium benefited from the rush of holiday ad spending last year:

Holiday Media Mix

Read the original article from The Wall Street Journal