Seasonal Breakdown: “Resolution Season” 2023/2024
by Cat Hausler8 min read
December 1 through January 31 is “Resolution Season” — and that means opportunities for advertisers
Retail sales increased 3% month-over-month in January 2023
Consumers prioritized both physical and mental health heading into 2023
82% of people will make “non-gift” purchases in the last months of 2023
“Resolution Season” drove top performance results for Connected TV advertisers
The winter holiday season is typically heralded as the prime-est of prime times for brands of all shapes and sizes. From Black Friday through Christmas, advertisers run various promotions, and historically, consumer spend is sky-high. But December 1 through January 31 — let’s call it “Resolution Season” — can be a key period for non-holiday-focused spending. With the new year in sight, people make purchases to support their goals and resolutions, which creates many opportunities for brands to drive business.
Key Insights: “Resolution Season” 2022-2023
Consumer Spend Increased in January 2023
Despite growing inflation, consumers continued to spend in early 2023. In fact, retail sales increased 3% month-over-month (MoM) in January, beating the Dow Jones’ estimated growth of 1.9%. This made for a growth of 6.4% from 2022.
The food and drink industry saw a notable bump, as sales increased 7.2% MoM. Per the National Restaurant Association, total sales topped out at $95.5B in the first month of 2023, up from $89B in November and December 2022.
People Prioritized Physical and Mental Health
Per Statista, the top two 2023 New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. were “to exercise more” and “to eat healthier.” Here’s how the rest of the list rounded out:
While physical health was a top goal for consumers heading into 2023, mental health was also a priority. A study by Forbes Health/OnePoll found that more respondents were focused on improving their mental health than various physical health goals.
To support their 2023 resolutions, more than half (52%) of respondents planned to use a resource — such as an app, online platform, or membership.
What To Expect in 2023/2024
Consumers Will Shop for “Non-Gift” Items
The holiday season is a big time for gifting, but not all consumers will spend solely on items for others. Deloitte’s 2023 Holiday Retail Survey found that 82% of people will make “non-gift” purchases in the last months of the year. Advertisers who are looking to drive business through the end of the winter holidays and into the new year can benefit from reaching these “non-gift” spenders.
Spending Will Continue After December 25
Christmas may fall on December 25, but shopping doesn’t stop then. Per Ankura, 20% of consumers plan to make a purchase on December 26. The younger generations will be the most active on this day, with 27% of Gen Z and 20% of Millennials saying they’ll make purchases the day after Christmas. By comparison, 15% of Baby Boomers reported the same. While Baby Boomers have a relatively high amount of disposable income, Millennials are the largest consumer group, and Gen Z’s buying power is on the rise, which means it’s wise for brands to develop unique messaging for all three.
Nearly All Who Celebrate Will Make a New Year’s Eve-Related Purchase
2023 is sure to go out with a bang with 78% of people planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve (NYE). Of those NYE revelers, the large majority (95%) will make a purchase to add to their festivities. 64% of this consumer group said they’ll spend $50 or more on NYE celebrations.
Connected TV Advertisers Experience Growth During “Resolution Season”
To further understand consumer behaviors and advertiser trends during “Resolution Season”, we analyzed data from a specific segment of MNTN customers from industries with a natural tie-in to this time of year. Looking at the time periods of December 1, 2021-January 31, 2022, and December 1, 2022-January 31, 2023, we dug into the campaign results of 179 Performance TV advertisers (97 from ‘21-’22 and 82 from ‘22-’23) from the following industries: beauty and fitness, career and education, fashion and apparel, health, and home and garden.
Here’s what we learned:
Brands that advertised on Connected TV (CTV) during “Resolution Season” saw significant year-over-year (YoY) performance growth, with return on advertising spend (ROAS) increasing by 114% and conversions growing by 33%.
Another important finding to note — while this group of advertisers ended up increasing their spend by 20% YoY, their ROAS almost doubled between ‘21-’22 and ‘22-’23. This highlights the efficiency of CTV as a performance marketing channel where advertisers can produce results without breaking the bank.
Fashion & Apparel and Home Brands Saw the Best Cost Per Acquisition
The new year is a great time to refresh one’s wardrobe and get to work on any home projects, so it’s no surprise that advertisers in the fashion & apparel and home-goods & improvement industries saw success during this season. Advertisers from these industries experienced the biggest YoY decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA).
The Networks That Produced the Best Results for CTV Advertisers
We also examined first party network-level data to see which specific CTV channels drove the best consumer engagement. For this analysis, we again focused on MNTN customers who had an obvious tie-in to “Resolution Season” and could benefit from running campaigns leading up to and through this time of year. We looked at relevant brands in specific industries, including: hobbies & interests, fashion & apparel, health, home & garden, and beauty & fitness. Analysis was limited to advertisers with active campaigns reporting performance data for over 90% of the total days between December 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023. Data analysis excluded outliers from the top 5% and bottom 5% of advertisers in this group.
The Big Takeaways:
- Fox performed best with “Resolution Season” consumers. The news network yielded strong performance across the board for brands with a tie-in to “Resolution Season”. Not only did it fall in the top five networks for best return on advertising spend (ROAS) and lowest CPA and cost per visit (CPV) (see charts below), but the conversion rate it generated was well above average.
- Sports networks scored big on conversion rate. With NFL, NBA, and NHL (not to mention a multitude of college athletics) seasons in full swing during this period, engaged consumers tuned in to their favorite sports networks. Four of the five channels that produced the best conversion rates were athletics-focused — AT&T Sports Network, Madison Square Garden Sports Network, Fox Soccer Plus, and ESPNU.
- A variety of channels drove low cost per visit. While sports networks reigned supreme in terms of conversion rate, when it came to CPV, the list was more varied. Three news networks made the top five: Tubi News, Fox, and CBS News. They were joined by two broader offerings: Samsung TV + Entertainment and Peacock. This suggests that advertisers might not always be able to predict where their most engaged consumers will be, so it’s in your best interest to invest in a performance channel that prioritizes an audience-first approach and can deliver your message on the networks your ideal customers are watching.
Top Performing CTV Networks in Regards to Key Metrics
Ring In the New Year With Strong Performance
The winter holidays often get all the attention, but “Resolution Season” also offers plenty of opportunities for advertisers. With data forecasts indicating that consumers will spend throughout December 2023 and January 2024, brands can benefit from developing campaigns outside of the typical holiday season focus. Advertisers from a variety of industries should consider messaging to audiences shopping for “non-gift” items, as well as those who are preparing to kick off 2024 with new personal goals and resolutions. For brands that want to drive meaningful performance during this time period, CTV has proven itself an efficient and effective channel.
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2 Consumer spending continued to rise in January (National Restaurant Association)
3 America's Top New Year's Resolutions for 2023 (Statista)
4 New Year’s Resolutions Statistics 2023 (Forbes)
5 2023 Deloitte holiday retail survey (Deloitte)
8 2023 Holiday Intentions Preview (Numerator)
9 MNTN Performance TV data: Dec. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022, Dec. 1, 2022-Jan. 31, 2023 (MNTN Performance TV)