American Marketer


An untapped advertising opportunity during the holidays

December 11, 2014

Stephanie Bauer Marshall Stephanie Bauer Marshall


By Stephanie Bauer Marshall

Marketing around the holiday season will always be a highly competitive and rather expensive undertaking, but it is a critical point in time for advertisers and one they cannot get wrong.

In fact, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have risen to unprecedented levels of importance for advertisers, and even the most junior marketers understand the need to dedicate time and budget to capitalizing on these massive consumer shopping days.

The result, however, is that the space is more crowded than ever.

Hard wear
Gaining a noticeable share of voice is tremendously difficult, not to mention expensive, and advertisers who want to stand out have a near impossible task ahead of them. But there are other opportunities available to reach consumers during the holiday season.

In fact, there is an opportunity to make an impact that is relatively untapped in the industry, and it is uniquely suited to mobile – the advertising medium many major advertisers are still struggling to figure out.

Enter New Device Week.

Millions of smartphones and tablets will be purchased during the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the majority of these will not actually be used until after Dec. 25.

Beginning on Christmas morning and extending through the following week, consumers will be figuring out how to use their new devices and discovering many mobile experiences for the first time.

If you are a brand looking to drive application downloads, imagine being able to reach consumers at the exact moment that they are looking for apps to populate their new device?

If you are a retailer looking to drive customers back to your store for post-holiday and New Year’s sales, what better way to reach them than to deliver an offer on a device they will be glued to for days?

The possibilities are endless.

Entertainment advertisers can capitalize on New Device Week to drive consumers to their latest studio releases, consumer packaged goods advertisers can target consumers planning their New Year’s parties, and auto advertisers might run tablet campaigns offering interactive “Build-Your-Own” experiences, and present consumers with a mobile ad unlike anything they have seen before.

Week and strong
While new Device Week presents an exciting opportunity for advertisers, what is even more enticing is that most marketers are not budgeting or planning to capitalize on it.

So, compared to Black Friday, Cyber Monday or other sought-after holiday days, the week is much less crowded so there are more and better opportunities to reach a target audience.

During the course of Advertising Week New York this year, we spoke with almost 1,000 industry insiders, and only 7 percent had even heard of New Device Week. Of those 7 percent, only 48 percent believed that it was a critical part of their upcoming holiday campaigns.

This means that during the most crowded time of the year for advertising, New Device Week presents a real opportunity for advertisers to stand out.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be massive shopping days for the foreseeable future and will always be deserving of advertising dollars, but as marketers think strategically about the holidays, it is critical to understand that the holiday season does not stop at Christmas.

Stephanie Bauer Marshall is director at Precision Market Insights from Verizon, Ashburn, VA. Reach her at