Summertime Brings the CTV Performance Heat


  • Summer-focused advertisers are already seeing strong performance in 2024 — revenue and average conversion rate increased month-over-month (MoM) throughout Q1 2024.

  • Looking back at summer 2023, key metrics improved YoY — average ROAS grew by 44.9%.

  • Advertiser performance stood out in the later summer months — July and August generated the best conversion rates and CPA.

  • Seasonal moments produced results — July 4th, back-to-school, and Labor Day all drove impressive performance for summer-focused brands.

Summer 2023 was a scorcher, and we’re not just referring to the temperatures. Major cultural events like Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour had fans not only attending shows in their hometowns, but also traveling far and wide to see their favorite artists. From this came the term “Switonomics,” which credited Swift’s tour with bolstering local economies across the U.S. Beyonce and Swift aside, summer travel surged in general. On top of this, what we’ve come to know as “Barbenheimer” — the simultaneous release of the “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” movies — drove people to movie theaters in hoards.

At MNTN, we’re fortunate to have access to a wide range of first party data. So, to learn more about the strategies and resulting performance of Connected TV (CTV) advertisers throughout the summer, we conducted an extensive analysis focusing on brands closely aligned with the season. This group included advertisers from the following industries: arts and entertainment, beauty and fitness, business and consumer services, business and industry, fashion and apparel, food and drink, health, hobbies and interests, home and garden, lifestyle, recreation, services, shopping, sports, and travel.

In this article, we bring our first party findings together with third party data to give you the full picture of advertiser and consumer behaviors during the hottest months of the year.

For Summer-Focused Advertisers, 2024 Is Off to a Great Start

We know that 2023 was a major year for summertime consumer spend, and consequently, advertiser performance. But before we dug into all that, we were interested to see how summer-focused CTV advertisers were faring in 2024. Turns out, they’re doing pretty well — revenue and average conversion rates increased month-over-month (MoM) throughout Q1 2024.

Year-over-year performance was also strong. When comparing data from Q1 2023 to Q1 of 2024, we saw that multiple key performance metrics improved year-over-year (YoY):

As we get closer to summer 2024, these results should be motivating for brands. (Especially considering the growth that summer-focused advertisers experienced last year.)

Key Metrics Improved Year-Over-Year

Summer 2023 had a lot going for it, and CTV advertisers definitely felt the positive effects.

When comparing data of summer-adjacent advertisers from June 1, 2023, through Labor Day (the unofficial last day of the season) to the same time period in 2022, we found that a variety of key metrics increased by significant amounts.

The sheer YoY growth of CTV advertising is also important to note. Comparing summer 2022 to 2023, the number of advertisers on the MNTN platform grew by 29%, and the number of Performance TV campaigns increased by nearly 60% YoY. More consumers than ever are watching CTV, creating more opportunities for advertisers to reach their ideal customers. And brands that recognize this are already taking action by adding the channel to their marketing mix.

Performance Heated Up in July and August

The 2023 summer season in general produced strong results for advertisers, but some months generated better performance than others. Although June marked a strong start for numerous brands, results only improved as the season went on.

10 of 15 of the industries we identified as summer-focused saw their strongest revenue in July.

Summer-focused CTV advertisers also experienced their best conversion rates in July and August. July produced the best conversion rates for shopping, business and consumer services, lifestyle, hobbies and interests, beauty and fitness, fashion and apparel, recreation, health, arts and entertainment, home and garden, services, and travel brands, while advertisers in food and drink, business and industry, and sports saw their highest conversion rates in August.

Revenue and conversion rates may have increased in the later summer months, but another key metric decreased:

These findings underscore the importance of advertisers maintaining a consistent presence on CTV, particularly throughout summertime. With the season in full swing in July and August, the combination of previous ad touchpoints paired with consumers being in the mood to spend on seasonal-specific goods and experiences makes for a fruitful time for advertisers. And consistent campaigns lead to impactful performance.

Three Major Seasonal Moments Stood Out

While summer overall proved productive for advertisers, we wanted to dig deeper to uncover specific moments or holidays that might’ve generated the best results. Here’s what we found:

The 4th of July sparked performance fireworks for advertisers. Per Numerator, the large majority of celebrators (94%) planned on making a purchase for their 2023 Independence Day festivities. And of these consumers, 81% said they’d spend the same or more on the holiday than they did the previous year. Our data aligns with Numerator’s stats.

For all summer-adjacent industries, the week of July 4th produced the most revenue and highest average ROAS of any week in the summer months (June, July, August). And it was second highest in terms of conversion rate, outdone only by the week of 8/13 (AKA a major time for back-to-school shopping, but more on that later).

Better still? The week of Independence Day generated the lowest CPA of all weeks throughout the summer.

As far as when consumers made 4th of July purchases, there were plenty of last-minute shoppers. The day before Independence Day 2023 was one of the highest revenue days of the summer, second only to Labor Day.

Back-to-school (BTS) shopping boosted revenue. According to insights from inMarket, most people make BTS purchases in July (34%), closely followed by August (31%). Our data supports this — as we mentioned above, the highest revenue month for all summer-focused advertisers was July. But you might be thinking, Independence Day is in July, couldn’t that have been what drove revenue up? To which we’d reply, How very astute of you.

If the holiday had been the only reason though, performance would’ve slowed down considerably after July 4th. Instead, our data shows that revenue numbers for all summer-focused advertisers stayed strong through the end of July and into the first couple weeks of August.

Labor Day rounded out a summer of impressive performance. While the unofficial last day of summer is often associated with major discounts on fashion and apparel items, our research revealed that it produced impressive results across all summer-adjacent industries. As mentioned above, Labor Day was the strongest revenue day of the summer. And the results didn’t stop there. Performance continued after the holiday — revenue stayed high through the two weeks following Labor Day.

Advertisers Who Used Creative-as-a-Subscription™ Saw Better Results

Engaging ad creative is one thing, but how you approach creative production is another. After all, unlike your campaigns, creative isn’t set-it-and-forget-it. We champion an ongoing, iterative methodology that combines regular creative refreshes with a solid A/B testing foundation to determine the best-performing creative for your campaigns. When applied correctly, this approach not only resonates best with your audience, but has a compounded impact on performance.

With this in mind, we looked at the advertisers applying this approach through the lens of MNTN’s Creative-as-a-Subscription™ (CaaS) model, and found that summer-focused advertisers who used CaaS experienced a notable lift in performance, both when comparing 2022 to 2023, and when juxtaposing those who used CaaS with those who didn’t.

Let’s start with 2022 vs. 2023 — summer-focused CTV advertisers who used CaaS saw a variety of key metrics improve.

We also discovered that advertisers who used CaaS outperformed those who didn’t. Summer-adjacent brands who utilized CaaS experienced stronger average conversion rates and lower average CPAs and cost per visits (CPV).

These findings further drive home the point that strong ad creative can make all the difference when it comes to engaging with customers and encouraging them to actually take action after seeing an ad.

Make Your Summertime Performance Shine With Connected TV

Looking ahead to summer 2024, all signs indicate that it’ll be another hot one — in terms of consumer spending, that is. VDO.AI recently reported that in Q2 2024 there was a 53% surge in summer search trends, with 78% of consumers saying that they’ll most likely spend on clothing. But it’s not just fashion and apparel that can expect a boost in summertime sales. Per eMarketer, U.S. digital travel sales are predicted to increase by 6% this year. If this comes to fruition, 2024 would surpass pre-pandemic consumer spending on travel. Additionally, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) predicts that theme park attendance and spending will increase this summer. So, once again, the summer season offers opportunities for a wide array of advertisers.

For brands looking for a way to produce meaningful results throughout the summer months, CTV has proven itself to be a powerful performance channel. But for advertisers to make the most of CTV, they need to be consistent with their efforts and ensure that their ad creative is top notch.

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