IX Perspectives

Comcast Readies for Rio: July 2016 Programmatic Demand

Each month we aim to share relevant information on the Index Exchange marketplace through this blog, Knowledge Exchange. This piece focuses on demand during July – the top spending industries, demand-side platforms, and advertisers.

How the Industries Compared and Which Sub-Industries Were Stars


Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Automotive are typically the three industries that spend the most through Index Exchange, followed closely by Financial Services. The month of July followed this norm, as you can see above.

Of the top ten industries, every single one spent less in July than in June, which is a sure sign of the summer slow-down. We expect slight increases in August and September, and then major pushes forward when we enter Q4 and the holiday season.

For more information on how the industries spent during the month of July see below.



Share of Spend by Demand Side Platform

DSP Chart

As you can see above, the bulk of Index Exchange spend during July flowed through two platforms – DoubleClick and The Trade Desk.

Comcast Gears Up for The Summer Olympics

Exchange Wide Chart

Each month we rank the top ten advertisers, by spend, exchange wide (globally, open and private marketplace). The graph above depicts the advertisers who made the cut during the month of July. There are a few notable additions and changes to the list compared to July. Specifically:

  • Comcast jumped to the top of the list. Comcast is traditionally a big programmatic spender. Month over month, the multinational mass media company (also the largest broadcaster, by revenue, globally) lands itself in the top ten, but rarely at the front of the pack. In July, this changed – Comcast claimed the top spot and posted an 11% increase in spend over June. Methinks the push ahead has something to do with the Summer Olympics kicking off on August 5, for which the company is the official broadcaster.
  • Auto and auto insurance advertisers replaced the fallen. Gone from the top ten in July are AT&T, American Express, Netflix, and Walmart. Replacing those four spots are General Motors (dealers), Nissan, Toyota, and Allstate. It’s curious that automotive dealers and manufacturers joined the top ten – perhaps the summer months (in the northern hemisphere) are a time when consumers are in the market for cars, enjoying July 4th sales, or prepping for discounts over Labor Day. Symbiotically, we see Allstate join the pack, too. When one buys a car, one goes for auto insurance, too.
  • Netflix’s emergence in June’s top ten was unique. We knew that Netflix’s presence in June’s top ten was special – the company spent 17x more in June than in May, and was as quick to leave the top ten as it was to join. The company is clever about its programmatic investment – it’s not a massive marketer, in terms of budget, compared to the Verizon’s, Unilever’s, and General Motors’, but it does make choice pushes around key times. We look forward to Netflix’s next big push and seeing what fresh content it releases in parallel. If Netflix thinks it’s worth a huge programmatic campaign, it must be worth tuning into.
  • Only two brands on the list increased spend in July over June. Ah, the lazy, dog-days of summer. Consumers pull back on spending and advertisers follow. Or perhaps it’s the other way around – that question is far too theoretical for the intents of this piece today. Regardless, July and August are down months in terms of advertising spend. Only two brands on the top ten list increased spend in July, compared to June: Comcast and Nissan. Verizon decreased spend the most – 46% over June. Verizon usually makes a big Q4 push, so perhaps the massive Telecom is saving its shekels for a big holiday entrance.

Exchange Wide Table

Private Marketplace Activity

PMP Chart

In addition to ranking brands by top ten spend exchange-wide, we take a look at the biggest private marketplace spenders. Here’s what’s interesting:

  • Unilever continues its streak in the top spot. Rare is a month when Unilever doesn’t claim to the top spot on the private marketplace list, or the top ten exchange-wide spenders, for that matter. What’s interesting about Unilever’s spend, however, is that the bulk of it transpires in the private market and this month was no exception. The brand decreased spend 21% from June, but still secured the number one spot on the list of top private marketplace spenders and impression buyers.
  • Financial services stalwarts exited the top ten. We saw CIBC and Scotiabank in the top ten list of private marketplace spenders through the first half of 2016. As of July, the companies decreased private spend enough that they no longer made the top ten. Perhaps we can attribute this consumer psychographics during summer months – who wants to see messages about credit and re-financing when you’re trying to relax on a beach? They’ll be back come Q4 when consumers’ anxieties about holiday spending rear their ugly heads.
  • Three companies posted major gains. Dell, NEOS Therapeutics and Target all increased private spent significantly during the month of July. Dell’s increase was by far the most substantial – the company spent 836% more in the private marketplace in July than in June. This is likely related to a July 4th sale, a new product launch, or a campaign targeting first-time college goers in market for a new laptop. Target increased private spend 66% in July, which again, could be a ramp to back-to-school campaigning. NEOS Therapeutics, a brand that spent virtually zero through Index Exchange in 2016, broke into the top ten during the month of July. Kimberly-Clark increased ever so slightly.
  • NEOS Therapeutics average CPMs exhibited the value of niche targets. This pharma company, responsible for creating and marketing ADHD medications, joined the top ten private marketplace spenders in July and had the highest average CPMs of the bunch. The company’s CPMs were 18% higher than L’Oreal’s (the company with the second-highest average PMP CPMs) and 105% higher than Dell’s (the company with the third highest). Considering the niche target, it’s not surprising that NEOS’ CPMs were so high – the brand likely targeted a small sample of users and paid top dollar to ensure those users saw the company’s ads.

Brands PMP _ Table

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