Industry Insights from’s 2021 Holiday Trends Report: Programmatic Strategies for Q4


As we head into the 2021 holiday season, what can advertisers take away from last year? How can they best prepare for Q4 2021 and allocate budget to various programmatic tactics to drive performance? To answer these questions, we recently released the 2021 Holiday Trends Report: Programmatic Campaign Strategies for Q4.

In order to help advertisers capitalize on the massive opportunity that’s projected for holiday retail sales this year, we analyzed thousands of campaigns from the platform during the fourth quarter of 2020 to identify trends worth noting for 2021. Some interesting findings came from industry-level data and trends on various verticals that performed well at generating conversions in Q4 2020.

Below are some of the key findings and insights across the top industries that generated conversions in 2021, including:

  • Automotive
  • Food & Drink
  • Retail
  • Home & Garden
  • And more

Additionally, find actionable recommendations below on how you can amplify your holiday advertising performance in 2021.

Q4 2020 Industry-Level Trends Worth Noting for 2021

Behavioral, Addressable, and OTT/CTV Solutions Power Growth

We reviewed how each of these industries invested in our top programmatic solutions over the course of Q4 2020. Overall, there was campaign growth for Addressable Geo-Fencing, OTT/CTV advertising, Site Retargeting, Search Retargeting, and Keyword Contextual Targeting. Understandably, there was a decrease in Event Targeting campaigns in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to learn more about each industry and see how you can mimic the same trends for your own advertisers this holiday season to drive higher performance across your digital campaigns.
The automotive industry achieved significant growth—often well over 60%—with OTT/CTV advertising. It peaked at the end of December when it experienced a 134% surge in campaigns. This was likely the result of model year-end clearance events. The industry also experienced unique Site Retargeting growth when the number of Site Retargeting campaigns increased 156% during the week prior to Thanksgiving.

Automotive Campaign Counts by Targeting Tactic Q4 ’20

Food & Drink:
The food & drink industry saw the most campaign growth from Addressable Geo-Fencing, Search Retargeting, and Keyword Contextual targeting. Addressable Geo-Fencing peaked with a 113% increase in campaigns on the Friday before Christmas. This likely represented the final push by advertisers to generate food and beverage sales while consumers were out completing their last-minute shopping trips. Meanwhile, Search Retargeting and Keyword Contextual targeting saw an increase in campaigns of more than 40% for much of December, suggesting that these advertisers were focused on reaching users as they researched recipes and restaurant options to plan holiday meals leading up to Christmas.

Food & Drink Campaign Counts by Targeting Tactic Q4 ’20

Addressable Geo-Fencing, Site Retargeting, Search Retargeting, and Keyword Contextual targeting achieved significant campaign growth for the retail industry. During the latter half of the quarter, each of these solutions grew more than 45%, with Addressable Geo-Fencing reaching a surge of more than 100% for much of that time period. These increases were likely the result of retailers attempting to reach holiday shoppers based on purchase intent, as well as the ability to reach consumers at the household-level across all of their screens.

Retail Campaign Counts by Targeting Tactic Q4 ’20

Home & Garden:
The Home & Garden industry achieved its biggest growth with Addressable Geo-Fencing, where targeting at the household-level was ideal for reaching users with promotions regarding Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Addressable Geo-Fencing’s growth increased significantly on October 31. With Halloween in full effect, Home & Garden advertisers likely wanted to get their holiday products in consumers’ minds early. Additionally, this solution achieved campaign growth of more than 15% for most of November and December, peaking at 35% on the days before and after Thanksgiving. These are both popular days for putting up Christmas decorations, so it comes as no surprise that Home & Garden advertisers wanted to push their specials on these days.

Home & Garden Campaign Counts by Targeting Tactic Q4 ’20


Recommendations for 2021’s Holiday Season

So, what does this mean for advertisers this holiday season? While the 2020 holiday season saw a significant increase in online shopping, users still took advantage of in-store shopping – particularly for local retailers that did not have robust online stores. We expect that the 2021 holiday shopping season will look much like last year’s. Therefore, using the trends from Q4 2020, we compiled six key recommendations for advertisers to capitalize on this holiday season:

    1. Implement addressable programmatic solutions into your advertising mix to promote holiday
        specials among relevant consumers.
    2. As video streaming time increases throughout the holidays, reach viewers using OTT/CTV ads
        to drive higher performance.
    3. Capitalize on the rise of e-commerce with’s online attribution capabilities, including
        Transaction Value Reporting to calculate ROAS.
    4. Expand Conversion Zones to cover parking lots as consumers increasingly utilize curbside
        pickup this holiday season.
    5. Target shoppers with intent data, including Site Retargeting, Search Retargeting, and Keyword
        Contextual targeting to reach users based on their online behaviors.
    6. And more.

Interested in learning more? Check out our full report on 2021 Holiday Trends here.
To begin utilize’s unparalleled programmatic capabilities in your holiday campaigns, reach out to us at