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Top 3 Lessons from 2017 Every Advertiser Should Know

Feb 21, 2018 10:09:00 AM

The advertising industry hit more than $15 billion in spending in 2017, according to Pathmatics data. Apple cracked the top 10 advertisers list and evolving, cutting-edge platforms quickly became the new norm. 

Not sure which trends you should be paying attention to? We took a look at Pathmatics data over the past year and decoded need-to-know lessons learned from 2017.

1. If you’re not advertising on YouTube, you should be.

Although YouTube did have an issue with brands pulling their campaigns due to concern with ads ending up next to extremist content early in 2017, the video sharing website prevailed. It fact, it remained the top site for digital advertising. YouTube earned more than $3 billion in advertising spend and generated almost 250 billion impressions. 

Apple spent the most out of any company advertising on YouTube, allocating over $200 million on the site. Wix came in second, spending $107 million, followed by Hulu at $92 million. Diving a bit deeper, brands preferred to advertise direct on YouTube. Nearly all (94%) of the site’s ad sales were direct. 

It’s clear that YouTube is a hot spot to reach consumers, who are craving video content more than ever before. If you’re looking for a new channel to growth hack your advertising, YouTube could be a smart starting point.


2. Stay true to your brand message.

Apple spent around $79 million on digital advertising in 2016, putting them at number 18 overall on the list of brands who spent the most. But, that wasn’t the case in 2017. The tech giant soared to the top of the list for all brands, increasing their total ad spend to more than $247 million.

Apple increased its total ad budget by an estimated $168 million. This could be in part due to the release of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. However, the data clearly shows Apple made it a goal to focus more of their total ad spend on mobile video, increasing mobile video ad spend from $969,000 2016 to $33.1 million in 2017.

Apple positions itself as one of the most inventive tech companies in the world. As a leader in innovation, the company strives to bring the “best personal computing experience” to all of its customers.

As a way to maintain this image, Apple must be at the forefront of all trends—including digital advertising trends. Whether it’s through their distinct creatives, or ability to capitalize on trending mobile platforms, Apple communicates an unprecedented image throughout all aspects of the company, providing a good example for brands looking to establish their identity.


3. Reach your consumer on their preferred channel.

Apple wasn’t the only one focusing more on mobile advertising. Brands like Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Pepsi all dramatically increased their mobile advertising strategies. Procter & Gamble boosted their budget for mobile display from $29.8 million in 2016 to $52.4 million in 2017.

Brands are taking note of the trend toward mobile and making big changes. We aren’t surprised that ad spending on mobile is expected to reach $18 billion by the end of 2018.  And according to OuterBox, 62% of smartphone users purchased an item via mobile during the last six months.

Effective advertisers understand their audience and are connecting with targeted consumers where they already are. If you’re looking for an impactful platform to give your brand a competitive edge in the year to come, it’s time to focus on mobile.


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Jordan Kramer

Written by Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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