Four Brands Ramping Up Their Google Ad Spending: Q4 2022

November 30, 2022

Looking to find prospects on Winmo that have a budget in search spending? Great news! Winmo’s latest software update, Google Ads Search Filter, makes it possible for our users to identify which brands are spending the most money on paid search. This is a great way for professionals across brands, agencies, and adtech companies to identify emerging advertisers — as you know, SEM is a top-tier indicator of additional spend to come.

Use this information to compare search budgets against TV, digital, and the rest of the media mix to correctly judge who your best prospects are. Note: This feature is part of our Advance and Pro packages; if you don’t have these packages talk to your account manager about the benefits. Keep reading to access Winmo-only insights on four brands that have ramped up their Google Ads spending, including details on media spending, revenue, agency analysis, and much more.

1)  American Express starts targeting younger audiences

  • Media spend: $145.96m
  • Company media spend: $153.07m
  • Company revenue: $43.28b
  • Location: New York, NY

American Express google ad

American Express has shifted its marketing strategy in order to reach Gen-Z and millennials who have started to show “new consumer behavior.” Per CMO Elizabeth Rutledge, Gen-Z and millennials are “a large part of our existing base” and “the fastest growing age cohort.” Rutledge also mentioned that, now that Covid has settled down some, AE’s customers have started shopping in person, going on trips, and attending live music and sporting events more.

Thus, to more effectively reach younger audiences, American Express has shifted toward heavier usage of digital experiences and in-person experiential activations. Recent examples include a fan experience and card member lounge it set up at Wimbledon and a virtual metaverse offering, Virtual Hill. The company will likely continue ramping up digital efforts to reach its digitally-oriented target demographic, increase digital ad spend, and keep working with experiential initiatives.

Additional spending insights:

  • YTD spend: So far this year, AE has spent approximately $49.8m on national TV commercials, down 8% from the approximately $54m spent by this point last year.
  • Last year: The financial services company spent around $74m on this channel after having spent less than a third of this, around $22.2m, in 2020.
  • 2022 ad programming: AE’s 2022 commercials have targeted male sports enthusiasts watching shows such as NBA Basketball, NFL Football, the Super Bowl LVI Pregame, 2022 US Open Tennis, and Today.

Current agency roster:

  • ​​​​​​​In-house: Creative
  • Dentsu mcgarrybowen: Creative AOR
  • Universal McCann: Media AOR
  • Kepler Group: Media and digital AOR
  • H&S Communications: PR agency partner
  • M Booth & Associates: PR and social agency partner
  • Matterkind​​​​​​​: Programmatic agency partner
  • Tallwave: Digital agency partner
  • Forsman & Bodenfors: Creative and social agency partner

2)  Fabletics taps CMO amid TV spend increases

  • Media spend: $2.89m
  • Company media spend: $4.04m
  • Location: El Segundo, CA

Fabletics google ad

Fabletics named Ilona Aman CMO in September 2022. Aman joins from VRM & The ARIA Network, where she was the chief brand officer. She will manage brand strategy, creative, collaborations, retail, digital, membership, social media, and PR. The company will likely ramp digital ad spend back up, continue increasing national TV spend, experiment with new marketing channels, and seek agency assistance.

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance):

  • YTD spend: Fabletics spent close to $20.9m on digital display ads YTD, a 55% decrease from $30.3m spent in this channel during the same time period of 2021. 
  • YTD data: 2.2b impressions via desktop (35%), Instagram (32%), Facebook (23%), Twitter (10%), and desktop display (1%). 
  • Last year: Full-year spend increased by 9% from $31.7m in 2020 to $34.4m in 2021. 
  • Ad location: It placed 99% of these ads directly onto sites such as youtube.com, instagram.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, and twitch.tv. It placed 1% of these ads indirectly through The Trade Desk onto sites such as weather.com, brainly.com, yahoo.com, espn.com, and chegg.com. 

Agency analysis:

  • Opportunity: New CMOs commonly outsource some of their duties to agency partners — offer creative, digital, social media, and media assistance.
  • Current roster is ICR: Communications

3)  Starbucks shifts strategy to reach younger audiences

  • Media spend: $105.98m
  • Company media spend: $105.58m
  • Company revenue: $29.06b
  • Location: Seattle, WA

Starbucks google ad

In an effort to bolster brand awareness and engagement among Gen-Z, Starbucks is shifting from focusing on hot drinks to cold ones. Younger audiences often have more discretionary money to spend, so Gen-Z is becoming more and more of a priority to this company. Starbucks will likely return to heavier ad spend — especially via digital channels — and seek new digital and/or social agency partners.

Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance):

  • YTD spend: Starbucks has allocated roughly $36.9m toward national TV commercials.
  • Last year: The company allocated $52m toward this channel after having spent 17% less, around $43.1m, in 2020.
  • 2022 ad programming: Starbucks’s 2022 commercials have targeted millennials watching  NFL football, Good Morning America, Today, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Friends.

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance):

  • YTD spend: This year, the company has spent approximately $45.2m on digital ads.
  • YTD data: Starbucks has earned ~5.3b digital impressions YTD via Instagram (55%), Facebook (26%), desktop video (17%), and Twitter (2%) ads.
  • Last year: In 2021, the company’s estimated full-year spend decreased 4% to $82.9m from that of $86.3m in 2020.

Additional agency insights:

  • Opportunity: Starbucks may need additional digital and/or social media management assistance to more effectively reach Gen-Z. Current agency roster…
  • Spark Foundry​​​​​​​: Media AOR
  • Energy BBDO: Creative AOR
  • BBDO Worldwide: Creative AOR
  • Edelman: PR AOR

4)  Victoria’s Secret taps chief customer officer amid rebrand

  • Media spend: $1.32m
  • Company media spend: $1.32m
  • Company Revenue: $6.78b
  • Location: Reynoldsburg, OH

VS google ad

In September, Victoria’s Secret named Chris Rupp as its chief customer officer. Rupp joined from Albertsons, where she served as EVP and chief customer and digital officer and led a digital transformation. Since Victoria’s Secret is working on a rebrand, her expertise shows how the brand will ramp up its digital activity under her leadership. The company will likely continue pursuing influencer relationships, return to heavier digital spend, and conduct agency reviews. 

The company’s rebrand initiative includes a newly launched campaign that promotes body positivity instead of sexuality. The campaign features brand ambassadors including singer Brittney Spencer, models Bella Hadid, Bethann Hardison, and athlete Rose Namajunas. Made by Look Creative Agency, it will run on social channels such as TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. As well as the influencers’ social media platforms and connected TV (CTV). It also features localized advertising such as content in VS’s NY flagship store, OOH marketing via bulletins, and urban panels in NY and LA.

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance):

  • YTD spend: The company has spent roughly $17m on digital ads YTD, down 19% from the roughly $21m spent within the same 2021 timeframe.
  • YTD data: VS has earned approximately 2.2b digital impressions via Facebook (51%), Instagram (47%), desktop display (2%), and desktop video (1%) ads.
  • Last year: The company’s estimated full-year 2021 spend of $28.8m reached 52% more than that of $19m in 2020.

Additional agency insights:

  • Opportunity: This hire could lead to roster shifts, so get in touch soon to get on Rupp’s radar. Her digital expertise makes digital reviews especially likely.
  • Since Victoria’s Secret already outsources digital, you may benefit the most from offering PR/communications services. Of course, though, all kinds of reviews could occur. Current agency roster…
  • Look Creative Agency​​​​​​​: Creative agency partner
  • Digitas: Media and social AOR​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • WPP Group: Digital AOR

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