Holiday Digital Advertising on Cooking Sites

Holiday Digital Advertising on Cooking Sites
Everyone knows that advertising budgets reach peak spend during the holidays. Impressions, fill rates, revenue and more - all increase in the days leading up to the holidays. End of the year holiday spend has another factor involved. The end of Q4 is when all of the businesses need to reach their target goals, and so do the marketers who are looking to direct the consumer demand towards their brands.

We at Primis know publishers and how their users consume content, especially on video. Our research shows that one site category is influenced disproportionately over the holidays; cooking. Cooking sites see a very large increase in the days leading up to both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and for good reason.

Cooking Up Some Ad Spend

The fact that the cooking category takes the lead makes sense for several reasons. First of all, many people are having family and friends over for the holidays, and are expected to provide a delicious and festive meal. People need special recipes and a lot of them. This impacts one of the most important metrics in video advertising, video duration. The longer video content is viewed, the more ad slots there are. You can think of it as the display equivalent of article length.

These ingredients come together to form a very tasty recipe; more quality traffic to the website, users watching videos for longer, and ad budgets looking to be spent. No wonder cooking sites are the best performing category to close out the year. For example, during the end of the year holidays* in 2018 we saw a 80.7% increase in video traffic and a 24.6% increase in video duration.


Thanksgiving vs Christmas chart


These changes on regular days may not raise scale so significantly. On an average day, advertisers may have a set maximum number of video ads they want and, even if they do surpass it, they will pay lower rates. However, with the strong advertising demand during the holidays and the end of Q4, ad impressions went up 233.5% and ad avails were up 251%. This resulted in a jump of ad spend by 238.8%!


Thanksgiving vs Christmas chart

Thanksgiving Day vs Christmas Eve

One important difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas is when the campaigns end. While on Thanksgiving Day the advertising spend is still high, on Christmas the drop starts, on the 24th of December. It lasts longer on Thanksgiving weekend probably due to the preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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When planning for Thanksgiving, you will want to concentrate on the day itself, in addition to the days preceding. This will be when many of your target audience will be at home and looking to spend some quality “family” time on their phones looking for good deals. When planning for Christmas, if your campaigns aren’t holiday sensitive, you may want to allocate some budget to the days preceding New Year's, as you can get great media for very reduced prices with low competition. 

Get Ready to Deck the Halls

Wondering how this holiday season will affect ad spend? We’ll be releasing our results after the holidays, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter below. Also, feel free to ask us about what sites perform best and what works best for your specific campaigns. Check out all our advertising solutions and reach out to us for a consultancy


*November 21-22 + December 23 - 24. US and Canada only