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PATHMATICS · YUWEN HUANG · AUGUST 2022

U.S. Retail Ad Spend is on the Rise Leading into the 2022 Holiday Season

Pathmatics from Sensor Tower data reveals that first-half spending on ads in the category is up 6.5 percent over the same period in 2021.

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Retailers in the United States have continued to increase their ad spend into H2 2022. Pathmatics has released new Retail taxonomy category enhancements, revealing that U.S. ad spend in the category approached $2.7 billion in the first half of 2022, up 6.5 percent year-over-year. In our State of Retail Advertising 2022 report, available now, we dive into the latest trends in Retail advertising, examining the top sub-categories within it, such as Apparel and Office Supplies & Consumer Electronics (OSCE). 

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Retail ad spend in the U.S. peaked at $1.8 billion in Q4 2021 during the shopping holiday season, an increase of 22 percent compared to Q4 2020. While the Y/Y growth was bit less pronounced in the first half of 2022, spend continued to rise, signaling that it is likely that advertisers will set a new high during the holiday season later this year.

Look for Advertisers to Emphasize the Holidays Over Black Friday This Year

In 2020, Office Supplies & Consumer Electronics (OSCE) retailers focused their ad spend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals while deemphasizing the Christmas holidays amid travel restrictions due to COVID-19. The holiday season in 2021 revealed a reversal of this focus as more consumers celebrated in-person holidays in December. OSCE ad spend for Christmas and holiday gift themed creatives increased nearly 200 percent Y/Y, while Black Friday / Cyber Monday themed ad spending fell 61 percent between 2020 and 2021. 

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Download the Full Report to Discover the Latest U.S. Retail Advertising Trends

Get the full State of Retail Advertising in the U.S. 2022 report for more in-depth analysis on the latest trends, including:

  • An overview of the top advertisers and brands across Apparel, Beauty Retail, Office Supplies & Consumer Electronics, and Marketplaces

  • Which apparel sub-categories drove ad spend growth in Q2 2022

  • A breakdown of the ad types used by top OSCE advertisers

  • The latest ad strategies for top Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay

  • Recent creative strategies for top Accessories advertisers

  • Plus much more


With Pathmatics, view spend, impressions, creatives, and much more across social, video, OTT, mobile, and display.


Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?


Yuwen Huang

Written by: Yuwen Huang, Marketing Data Scientist

Date: August 2022

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