Hottest Brand Prospects of 2017 That You Should Keep Tabs On in 2018

Hottest Brand Prospects of 2017 That You Should Keep Tabs On in 2018

Pro tip: Knowing which advertisers your peers are prospecting can be a huge shortcut when developing your own list of leads. That’s why we at Winmo routinely recap the most searched companies in our advertiser database.

While we usually share a few with you on a monthly basis, we’ve put together a special edition, showcasing the most searched brands and companies of the entire year that our experts believe will remain viable sources of media/marketing sales opportunity in 2018.

Why are these advertisers so hot? Should they be on your radar? We’ve got the answers, and whether you’re an agency, ad seller, martech startup or sponsorship pro, there’s something on this list for you:

  1. Subway
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $293 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $14.3 million
    Following some PR troubles and a battle against declining sales, Subway has made some changes that not only got them back on our radar, but also landed them a spot on our most searched brands list for 2017. To give a little more detail, in mid-Dec., the sandwich chain tapped Dentsu Aegis as media and creative AOR, but less than two weeks later announced the departure of its marketing SVP Karlin Linhardt. This makes Subway’s new agency roster more vulnerable to change, so keep the brand on your radar moving forward. BONUS: Preview Subway’s Marketing Contacts, Agency Relationships, Media Spend, Ads and Demographics 
  2. Macy’s
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $205.7 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $14 million
    In Aug. 2016, Macy’s named Richard Lennox as its new CMO. Since his hire, Lennox has focused on shifting the retailers advertising efforts to boost ROI, making changes to re-energize engagement with loyal older customers, while also attracting millennials to the 159-year-old brand. Then, in Aug. 2017, the retailer announced the appointment of BBDO, NYC as its creative AOR, and in Nov., debuted its first work from the shop with a new campaign tied to its top Q4 ad period. So, as the department store category, in general, continues to struggle, look for Macy’s ad spend to remain on the rise to drive sales and in-store traffic. BONUS: Preview Macy’s Marketing Contacts, AOR, Media Spend & Demographics 
  3. Sprint
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $394.3 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $19.6 million
    Last Spring, Sprint moved its $630 million media account from Mediavest | Spark, NYC to Horizon. The agency hire came amid aggressive promotional efforts from the mobile carrier to compete with larger telecom companies. In Sept., Sprint announced that it would be taking some of its creative work in-house, but that it would not impact its relationship with creative AOR Droga5. Shortly after this, Sprint announced that it would be taking some of its programmatic media in-house, and reported to build an in-house digital agency to oversee display, data analytics, paid search, etc. So, as Sprint continues making big changes to its agency roster, look for ad spend and marketing efforts to not only change, but to increase.
    BONUS: Preview Sprint’s Marketing Contacts, Agencies of Record, Media Spend & Digital Ad Intelligence 
  4. American Express
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): 
    $100.8 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $43.9 million
    Almost a year after the early 2016 departure of AmEx’s CMO, the financial services giant made a big agency news announcing the move of its creative account from long-time agency partner WPP’s Ogilvy, to Dentsu Aegis’s Mcgarrybowen, with no review. So, while agency appointments typically indicate a change in advertising efforts, with the incumbent shop having been on AmEx’s roster for 15 years, this could mean that the financial giant is looking to take a completely new creative approach to advertising. In even more recent news, AmEx’s long-time CEO announced his retirement late last year. Therefore, a major change in leadership with a new creative shop should put this company on your radar for some big ad changes this coming year.
  5. Chili’s
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $ million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $7.9 million
    In Oct., Chili’s debuted a new campaign – its first work from recently appointed creative lead, IPG’s O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP). The new creative is Chili’s latest attempt to drive traffic to its long struggling casual dining chain. Although the campaign kicked off in Q4, media buys are expected to be available through Q1, so last minute ad buys could be available now. However, Q3 is also traditionally a  top ad period for Chili’s, so right now is also a good time for media buyers to secure Q3 revenue as well.
  6. Home Depot
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $181 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $38.1 million
    Home Depot’s has continued to make a “significant pivot” towards digital marketing efforts over the past few years, according to CMO Kevin Hofman. In fact, Hofman explained that about 55-60% of all of Home Depot’s marketing is deployed in the “new media or digital world.” However, according to Pathmatics, digital display spend since last year has dropped about $12.4 million since the year prior, while reports a $40 million increase in TV spend from 2016 to 2017. With that said, these could be indicators that Home Depot is shifting some of its ad budget from digital back to TV, so traditional ad sellers should keep an eye on this brand in the new year.
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $ million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $7.2 million
    Early last year, Priceline-owned travel site moved US creative to IPG’s Deutsch and independent firm Joan Creative. A new campaign followed shortly after the appointment. Later that summer, the travel site made another change to its agency roster, announcing that it would be moving digital media in-house by the end of the year. Then, in Nov., Booking announced that it would be increasing its TV spend in lieu of digital, with the goal of attracting more direct bookings. Thus, creating opportunity for TV ad sellers and buyers to begin seeking more traditional buys from the travel site in 2018.
  8. Venmo
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $0
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $0
    As big bank-owned competitor Zelle prepared its launch in late 2016, Venmo kicked off a short-lived TV push, with the launch of its first (and only) national TV spots. After realizing that traditional advertising was not its bread and butter, Venmo launched a new campaign in Oct. 2017, which ran across digital and social channels such as Tinder, Spotify, Facebook and Twitter. So, as Venmo continues to fuel growth, be on the lookout for more millennial-focused ad work to debut through the new year.
  9. Bank of America
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $56.5 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $32.3 million
    In the Spring, Bank of America promoted Meredith Verdone to CMO, tasked with creating strategies to win back and attract new consumers. Since new CMOs are the number one indicator that agency changes will occur, and with BoA’s entire agency roster past average tenure, there is a high chance that 2018 will be the year of agency reviews for the financial giant. Therefore, agencies should consider reaching out to secure potential new work, while ad buyers and sellers should be on the lookout for a new campaign to launch this year.
  10. McDonald’s
    2017 National TV Spend (per iSpot): $443.5 million
    2017 Digital Display Spend (per Pathmatics): $34 million
    The end of 2017 was supersized with McDonald’s news. In Sept., the fast food chain tapped Publicis Sapient and global consulting and tech company Capgemini to drive digital innovation. But it didn’t stop there, in Oct., McDonalds added IPG’s Huge to its roster to handle global digital design and UX work, then a few weeks later launched a global media review. But it doesn’t stop there: Nov. rolled around and McDonald’s decided to consolidate its CRM business with Omnicom’s RAPP. So, with the fast food chain making more changes to its agency roster more than its menu, this likely indicates even more advertising and marketing changes ahead.

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