The Hottest Winter Brands Increasing Digital Advertising

January 11, 2023

It might be the second week of January, but the first week is really just a test run, even for the hottest winter brands. These companies, plus their agencies and tech partners, are finally getting back into the swing of things post-holidays — rubbing their eyes, turning off the alarm, and going back to the office?

We’re seeing many brands amping up their digital advertising investments right now. Why? Digital helps advertisers drive short-term sales and build brand equity… at the same time. In fact, digital accounted for  64.4% of total advertising revenue in 2021, up from 52.1% in 2019. And we’re here to show you which brands are doing it best (and on the largest scale).

 

These four “hottest winter brands” invest heavily in digital advertising, including budgeting at least $10m a year to search engine marketing. We’ve also dubbed them “winter brands,” not only because they’re actively spending in Q1, but because of their place in the culture. Keep reading and let us know if you agree with our reasoning…

1)  Airbnb shifts its target demographic and increases spending with a new campaign launch

  • Media spend: $97.11m
  • Revenue: $5.99b
  • Location: San Francisco, CA

Planning that winter getaway to a snowy mountain town or — even better — running from the cold altogether in search of tropical beaches? While some users scour Airbnb for ski lodges, others are looking to the site to list their properties for extra income. In its latest campaign, Airbnb is targeting those potential hosts.

Made by the company’s in-house team, the campaign rolled out across digital, social media, and some streaming TV platforms. Airbnb’s media and digital agency partner, Essence, handled this campaign’s media duties. According to Airbnb’s global marketing head, Hiroki Asai, this work will be much “more targeted” than previous initiatives. The campaign launched just after the company launched new winter product offerings for hosts, including AirCover for Hosts, through which hosts can verify guest identity, screen reservations, and access $3m in damage protection.

Airbnb has started shifting away from search-engine marketing and toward brand marketing instead, which has started paying off. The company will likely:

  • Keep increasing spend
  • Continue shifting focus toward potential hosts
  • Seek new influencers

2)  Gen-X Media Opps: Hertz taps marketing chief

  • Media spend: $12.72m
  • Revenue: $7.34b
  • Fiscal close: December
  • Location: Estero, FL

With winter vacations come winter car rentals. Who wants to schlep their own sedan through an icy snowbank when you can rent an SUV for the journey? The Hertz Corporation named Wayne Davis EVP & CMO. Davis joins from GE Appliances, where he served as senior director of Cafe Brand, and is now responsible for the marketing strategy across the Hertz, Dollar Rent-A-Car, and Thrifty Car Rental brands.

Per Winmo Pro, Hertz spent close to $11.3m on digital display ads with 1.1b impressions via desktop video (61%), Instagram (15%), Facebook (13%), desktop display (8%), and mobile display (2%). It placed 93% of these ads directly onto sites such as youtube.com, instagram.com, facebook.com, priceline.com, and cbssports.com.

Hertz’s target demographic remains male millennials & Gen-Xers and the company will likely:

  • Ramp national TV spending back up
  • Continue increasing digital spend
  • Hire additional agency assistance

3)  Plenty of Fish launches rebrand and campaign from new agency partners

  • Media spend: $21.26m
  • Revenue: $2.98b
  • Fiscal close: December
  • Location: Dallas, TX

And who are all of these travelers going to bring along with them? Winter is cuffing season, after all, so the apps are more popular than ever. Match Group brand Plenty of Fish recently debuted a modern rebrand and a global marketing campaign. The effort is basically a new dating profile for Plenty of Fish itself, having been designed to position the brand as friendly, playful, open, and optimistic to users of all genders. The brand refresh, handled by Mrs & Mr, is designed to provide users with a smoother and more visually pleasing platform experience.

In 2022, Plenty of Fish spent approximately $1.1m on digital ads, 28% more than the approximately $859.2k spent in all of 2021. The brand earned around 138.9m digital impressions last year, 69% via Instagram ads and 31% via Facebook ads. The company will likely:

  • Continue rolling out rebranded work
  • Pursue influencers
  • Keep increasing digital spend
  • Seek additional new agency partners

4)  H&R Block launches new campaign

  • Media spend: $78.55m
  • Revenue: $3.59b
  • Fiscal close: April
  • Location: Kansas City, MO

And once travelers are back from those romantic vacations with their new loves, tax season will be waiting for them. H&R Block launched the “Its Tax Season” campaign on January 1st, 2023. The push includes multiple spots ranging from six to 30 seconds that will air on linear and connected TV. It will also include social media, influencers, audio, and OOH elements. The company worked with its new creative AOR, Ogilvy, and the push will continue until the end of tax season (April 15th).

Here’s a look at H&R Blocks’ digital display and social media spending:

  • 2022 full-year spend: $28.2m
  • 2021 full-year spend: $37.7m
  • 2020 full-year spend: $46m
  • 2019 full-year spend: $25.9m

There’s plenty more where that came from. If you’re hoping to build a qualified pipeline of brands with budget to burn in the colder months, Winmo can guide you to the right opportunities for your organization.

If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. 23 New Business Statistics to Kick Off 2023
  2. From Social Shake-Ups to Diversity Needs: 2023 New Business Predictions
  3. 24 Brands Increasing Their Experiential Marketing Investments

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