600 million in advertising spending during the holiday season for brands, Marketing Tech News reports. According to an analysis by CreativeX, a technology company that helps make creative decisions for the world’s biggest brands, during the holiday season companies lose hundreds of millions on their digital ad spend.

“Creative teams have toiled hard all year to deliver break-through holiday campaigns and tap into consumers’ heightened intent to purchase. Sadly, the impact of their work is minimised by the last executional leg of the journey: adapting creative assets to align them to the digital media environments they’re intended for” said Anastasia Leng, founder and CEO of CreativeX.

“These small tweaks increase an ad’s Creative Quality Score and media effectiveness, and during a year of heightened budget scrutiny, it may just give marketing teams something to be joyful about”, she continued.

The analysis, which estimates more than 3.9 million ads from 2021-2022 from more than 400 brands across 10 different industries, including retail, food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods, found that brands spent more than $600 million globally on ads that are not digitally relevant during the critical time of year for marketers.

It predicts that more than $73 billion will be spent on digitally sub-optimal ads in the fourth quarter of 2023.


A previous study conducted by CreativeX found that in 2020 and 2021, more than 50% of digital ad spend will be invested in image and video ads that are not optimized for the digital environment ($700 million out of $1.2 million). A year later, almost as much budget was spent in the fourth quarter alone.

For many bros, the last quarter of the year represents more than 50% of their annual revenue and a disproportionate share of their annual media budget (approximately 30% of total global ad spend). This is a crucial opportunity for brands to attract consumers as purchase intent peaks during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas holidays.

Considerable sums are allocated to ads that lack branding in the crucial first three to five seconds—the average viewing duration of a digital video. Additionally, these ads are frequently formatted incorrectly and neglect essential features such as subtitles or supers. In an environment where over 90% of videos are watched without sound, these are basic creative quality criteria proven to enhance performance on digital platforms.

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