Unwrapping Success: How CTV Ads Can Supercharge Your Holiday Sales

Early holiday shopping – kicking off with Amazon’s October Prime Day event and competing promotions – is the new normal going forward. With advertising budgets now spanning over elongated shopping periods, marketers must devise strategies to capture and hold consumer attention to drive performance for their holiday campaigns.

In this blog post, we will outline how you can leverage Connected TV (CTV) ads to supercharge your holiday sales. We will cover the holiday shopping landscape, research and trends along with the top tips to build CTV ads to drive success and achieve growth for your business this upcoming holiday season. 

The Holiday Shopping Season is Pulling Forward

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, consumer spending for the holiday season in 2022 reverted to more typical levels following two years of outsize pandemic-era growth. This year, retail sales are predicted to increase by 4.5% to $1.328 trillion, according to eMarketer.

Alt Text: Illustration of Holiday Marketing and Holiday Season Sales by Channel

On the whole, 2023 holiday shoppers are looking for the best deals and promotions for products and services and must be inspired to spend. How can marketers then produce campaigns to attract the attention of such consumers?

Holiday Shopping & Consumer Attention

The holiday season presents a tremendous opportunity for advertisers as consumers are inclined to spend significantly during this time. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers around the world spend an average of over $1,000 on holiday-related products each year. To make the most of this season, advertisers must navigate diverse digital landscapes and compete for consumer attention. 

Consumer Attention Trends

In order to understand the impact on holiday marketing on consumer attention, here are two trends to keep in mind:

Ads Average a 50% Spike in Attention During Holidays

An analysis conducted by leading attention measurement and optimization company, Playground XYZ, covering over 350 million impressions across 130 brands and 15 industries, revealed a nearly 50% increase in the average Attention Time (the time consumers spend looking directly at an ad) to over 3 seconds. With these attention insights,  advertisers are now empowered to establish a correlation between seasonal advertising and consumer attention for the first time.

Alt Text: Illustration of Monthly Attention Time Given to Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Shopping, Fashion & Travel See The Biggest Spike in Holiday Attention

While not all industries experience attention increases during the festive season, an industry-level analysis shows that consumers allocate more Attention Time to advertising in sectors such as shopping, style and fashion, and travel in the months leading up to the holidays.

Alt Text: Illustration of Differences in Attention by Industry & Audience Segments

Holiday Marketing Trends 

Now that we’ve established the correlation between consumer attention and holiday marketing, let’s take a look at some other trends that will help you inform your campaigns. 

The Holiday Season is Coming Early 

With the advent of Amazon’s October Prime Day event, the holiday season has grown to encompass Q4. Retailers must now plan for a second major promotional tentpole and spread their marketing budgets over an elongated shopping season. 

Retail Growth is Going Back to Normal

The past few years have seen pandemic gains and fluctuating growth rates between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce channels. The 2023 holiday season is likely to resume more typical growth patterns of low single-digit growth for in-store and double-digit growth for ecommerce. 

Consumers Will Be Cost Conscious

While inflation is predicted to go down, consumers will still remain cost conscious in their holiday spending this year. With consumers looking to take advantage of early sales and deals, it’s not surprising that retailers are starting their holiday marketing sooner than usual. 

The “Holiday Hammock” is Here

With the October Prime events likely to continue, the holiday season can be visualized as a hammock with two tentpoles of heavy spending, bridged by a period of slowing spending in between. 

Retail Media-Powered Connected TV Campaigns Will Dominate 

This holiday season, brands will benefit from ad-supported CTV inventory powered by retail media networks like Amazon Ads and Walmart Connect. For marketers, knowing how to efficiently reach the right shoppers with these high-impact ads – and subsequently retarget them with digital ads – will produce outsize gains in holiday conversions. 

The Growth of Connected TV Advertising 

Traditional and linear TV advertising is officially out - and with expanded offerings, increased scalability and overall convenience and flexibility, Connected TV has risen to become one of the most lucrative and beneficial ad platforms for marketers looking to amplify the success of their holiday marketing campaigns. 

With consumers spending more time at home and opting for on-demand and streaming services, advertisers have recognized the enormous potential of CTV advertising. By 2027, CTV ad spend will reach a whopping $42.5 billion dollars. 

Alt Text: Illustration of Why Connected TV Advertising Can Boost Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

Benefits of CTV Ads for Holiday Campaigns

CTV Advertising offers marketers data-powered targeting, optimization, reach and the ability to track and measure results. This has made it particularly enticing for marketers looking to reach specific holiday audiences and consumers online.

Alt Text: Illustration of Why You Should Include Connected TV in Your Holiday Marketing Efforts

Here are a few reasons why you should consider developing CTV ads for your holiday marketing campaigns:

Consumers are More Open to CTV Ads

It’s no secret that consumers are more tolerant to CTV advertising because they are watching content that they are enjoying and which is considerably cheaper than flipping through channels on cable television.

Audiences acknowledge that connected TV ads are a regular part of the streaming experience and are more open and more accepting of them.

CTV Ads Have Higher Completion Rates

According to Statista, in 2020, 95% of video ad impressions viewed on CTV devices were watched till the end in North America, while the average completion rate stood at 80%. This was likely due to brands incorporating more non-skippable ads within the streaming content, which ensured that their messaging was noticed by the audience.

Measurable & Trackable Progress

Since Connected TV advertising works programmatically, it offers brands the opportunity to track their success through different methods including video completion rate (VCR) and automatic content recognition (ACR). Marketers can use VCR or ACR data to gain vital insights into viewership and consumer behavior to better align their ad messaging with what their audiences want to see.

Engaging Ad Units 

CTV advertising gives advertisers the opportunity to use unique and dynamic ad units including pause ads, QR codes and interactive videos so that audiences can interact and engage with the brand content in a more authentic and immediate way.

How to Build Successful CTV Ads for Your Holiday Campaigns

Now, let’s get into exactly how you can execute a successful CTV campaign to meet your holiday campaign goals. The five basic steps are:

  1. Set your strategy and determine campaign KPIs
  2. Choose your CTV data partner
  3. Choose your CTV ad type and produce the ad
  4. Segment your audience and push campaign live
  5. Measure and optimize your campaign performance

When it comes to buying and selling CTV ads, there are plenty of platforms available that allow parties to buy and sell in a number of different ways. Regardless of how you choose to buy CTV ads, these are the three main questions to ask your publishing, data and platform partners:

To Publishers:

Do all your videos have an assigned universal content identifier that is interoperable with leading data partners and ad platforms?

To Data Partners:

Does your solution use AI to watch each video frame-by-frame to create video-level contextual and GARM brand suitability segments?

To Ad Servers, SSPs and DPSs:

Can I activate video-level contextual and brand-suitability campaigns in CTV via direct, programmatic, and open auctions?

GumGum’s Ad Solutions are Proven to Drive Success for Holiday Marketing Campaigns

With GumGum’s high-impact ad units, you can reach holiday audiences where they are present and most engaged. Our high-impact ad units are proven to grab consumer attention and increase recall for holiday messaging:

Alt Text: How GumGum is Proven to Drive Success for Your Holiday CTV Advertising

GumGum’s Black Friday Campaign Exceeded Campaign Benchmarks in EMEA

In 2022, GumGum drove outstanding results for a leading e-commerce brand’s Black Friday Campaign in EMEA. 

GumGum’s contextual technology ensured that all of the ad placements were highly visible, brand safe and contextually relevant, driving the highest impact and performance against the brand’s KPIs:

Alt Text: GumGum Driving Success for Your Holiday Marketing Ideas

GumGum’s Holiday Plan Generator to Meet Your Campaign Objectives

Alt Text: Use GumGum's Holiday Marketing Campaign Plan Generator for Your Digital Advertising

Undoubtedly, for marketers looking to drive performance for their holiday campaigns, the time to start planning is now.  To help you get ahead of the competition, secure leads and generate sales, we’ve put together a  Holiday Campaign Generator that will build you a plan of ad solutions fully customized to your campaign objectives.

Here’s What You’ll Get:

  • Recommended ad units tailored to meet your holiday campaign kpis
  • Key holiday opportunities to ramp up your advertising
  • Simple tips to kickstart your holiday marketing plan 


By planning ahead and getting your campaigns running early, you can capitalize on the tremendous growth potential of the upcoming holiday season coupled with the reach and optimization capabilities of Connected TV Advertising to boost your holiday messaging to the next level. 

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