Walmart and Target get an early start for the holidays

Who’s on Top? – October 29-November 4, 2018

Overall national TV ad spending fell 14% during the week ending November 4th as compared to the previous week. Despite this drop, spend on new ads jumped 30% during the same period reaching a total of $239 million. NFL games accounted for more than one third (37%) of all new spending for the week.

Creative Spotlight

As we move into the final two months of the year, holiday advertising is officially getting underway and two of the biggest retailers kicked off their national holiday ad campaigns this week.

Walmart began its holiday advertising with new commercials on October 29, and Target followed just two days later, on October 31. With more consumers doing their shopping online than ever before, ads from both retailers promoted free two-day shipping seemingly taking aim at competitor Amazon, a tactic Walmart took last year as well.



With the National Retail Federation predicting that sales in November and December this year will increase as much as 4.8%, retailers have good reason to begin their holiday campaigns early and we anticipate healthy spend from advertisers this season.

Many of the large retailers have been reporting YoY increases in both sales and profit, giving them a solid foundation and the confidence for a strong year-end marketing push. Additionally, during the first half of 2018, retail ad spending has also seen an upward swing.

Increasing retail sales and profits, coupled with higher ad spend in the first half of this year and in 2017, are indications for growth of media expenditures during the holidays. However, with the midterm elections wrapping up this week, political advertising was abundant during the first days of November. This may have caused some non-retail budgets which are usually spent in September and October to get pushed back into November when retail advertising normally ramps up. The greater demand for ad inventory should bolster pricing and contribute to retail category ad spending growth in the range of 2-4% during November-December.

This data is part of ongoing reporting we release on a weekly basis. Make sure to check back every week for the most recent data, or contact us to learn how you can discover your competitors’ breaking ads on your own in real–time using our AdScope tool.  Already an AdScope customer? Log in now and see what your competitors are up to.

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