Heat Up Next Year’s Sales with Memorial Day 2018 Insights

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
June 06, 2018

After a long winter, Memorial Day weekend was finally here, and it brought the heat. In addition to the rising temperatures, consumer spending was up! We did the research, so you don’t have to. Keep reading to learn which advertiser categories performed well and why.

According to research from audience insights platform Vistar Media and mobile research firm MFour, eight in 10 U.S. adults were expected to spend an average of $486 over the Memorial Day 2018 holiday weekend.

As a holiday that has become well known for discounts and sales, Memorial Day carves out a sizeable chunk of consumers’ summer holiday spending. According to reports from the U.S. Travel Association, consumers nationwide were expected to spend a total of $12 billion last Memorial Day.

Make sure your brand has a digital ad campaign planned to capture your share of that spending. By displaying your ads online or over-the-top, you’ll remain top of mind next Memorial Day. No matter what you sell and no matter if your brand is composed of e-commerce or brick-and-mortar locations, you can benefit from a Memorial Day campaign! Digital advertisers need to take some time to truly understand Memorial Day shopping demographics to capitalize on this opportunity every year and to learn from the trends derived from the campaigns that ran during this span of time.

Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of summer — and flash sales. We saw spikes in three contrasting categories over the long weekend —  society, home and garden, and automotive. It appears that some shoppers are taking advantage of the extra day off to work in the yard or host barbecues, while others are taking advantage of holiday sales to purchase big ticket items like cars.

Memorial Day has become a driving force of many holiday marketing and advertising strategies. Let’s break down Memorial Day marketing by the numbers and see some interesting data and insights from the Memorial Day 2018 campaigns supported by ZypMedia that can help you make a better holiday digital advertising plan.


The duration of ZypMedia Memorial Day campaigns ranged between 3-15 days, and 74% of advertisers preferred a one-week-long campaign.

Businesses put up offers and sales online during the Memorial Day week to engage consumers and support their short-term sales goals.

Unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas, people don’t plan that far in advance for Memorial Day. Rather than spending advertising budgets toward long-running campaigns, it makes more sense to focus on a short date range to run a Memorial Day digital advertising campaign.




The products chosen by advertisers to reach their target audience was a mix of over-the-top (OTT), pre-roll video, and digital display ads. 65% of clients preferred OTT campaigns over the digital display and video campaigns.

Connected TV and OTT video viewing are growing on the strength of streaming technologies and premium content aimed at living room screens.

OTT advertising is emerging as a leading strategy for advertisers to reach the growing number of young, affluent consumers who are adapting to advanced TV at a faster pace.

Statistics continue to demonstrate that a captive audience of well-to-do Millennial consumers can be reached on their desktop and mobile devices. Although these consumers are younger than traditional TV/cable viewers, their median household income is $61,200, which is $9,700 more than TV/cable viewers, according to Nielsen data cited in the FreeWheel report. What’s more promising for marketers is that an astounding 56% of the U.S. population utilizes an OTT device at least once a month.

Leveraging the power of audience amplification to reach Millennials in the market wherever they are is possible through OTT services. Research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics found 45.5% of adults 18 and older are somewhat or very likely to take advantage of retailers’ sales and promotions over Memorial Day weekend — including nearly 60% of 18-to-34-year-olds. Thus, Millennials are the significant chunk of the audience that were targeted for Memorial Day campaigns.




The highest performing advertiser category was society constituting 36%, followed by automotive and home and garden, which was supported mainly by backyard barbecue equipment.

At ZypMedia, our top categories of advertisers comprised of society, automotive, home and garden, sports, and health/fitness.

Memorial Day is celebrated to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. The category that topped our chart was ‘society’ supported by campaigns that required consumers to help in donations for the army and military forces.

Timing your car purchase is very important if you want to get the best deal possible. Certain holidays offer good buying opportunities since manufacturers tend to offer special incentives. Memorial Day is one of the best holidays to shop for a new car. Advertisers should leverage this fact and act upon selling ads to automotive dealers who want to up their sales during this holiday.

Grilling season is coming into full swing, and Memorial Day sales feature deep discounts on some of the most coveted brands in the biz. The best prices on grills – barbecue equipment, electric, charcoal, and gas – come at the beginning of the season. Leveraging this time of year for boosting sales is a smart move.

Vistar media reports that consumers are looking for deals and discounts en route to visit friends and families for backyard barbecues. This supports why our home and garden campaigns performed well for the Memorial Day digital campaign.




All our OTT campaigns performed well with a video completion rate (VCR) higher than 94%.

VCR is the percentage of all video ads that play through their entire duration to completion.

OTT campaigns can be run for a shorter duration, unlike other digital campaigns that need a longer duration of time to see the results of optimizations.

The major chunk of audience targeted for the Memorial Day campaigns was connected TV (CTV) users. OTT digital video campaigns' high performance is related to high delivery from CTV devices.

The highest click-through rate (CTR) achieved for display campaigns was 0.23%, while for regular digital video campaigns it was 0.50%. Our ad operations team observed the highest performing CTR between May 26-28, 2018.

A CTR is the measurement of the ratio between how many people are exposed to the ad and how many people actually click the ad. A higher CTR during the Memorial Day weekend indicates that more people were clicking on ads during that time, which supports the idea that the Memorial Day weekend period, which was May 26-28 this year, was the most effective time for running Memorial Day campaigns.

This year’s learnings should be applied to next year’s digital advertising game plan.

Taking a look at this year’s campaigns and sales figures for your next year’s campaign will help you make better business decisions. What had better ROI, email, or display ads? Campaigns that use data improve their marketing ROI 15–20%. Looking at data will help you focus your attention on your highest-performing channels and highest-converting customer bases.

You got a lot of website hits from the Mother’s Day campaign. Don’t let them go to waste. Use retargeting to pull in more sales after Mother’s Day.

Want even more insights to help you launch seasonal digital advertising campaigns? Learn more about the digital products we offer and contact us to get started. We live and breathe digital, and can’t wait to help you out!


Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.