According to data from video marketing and animation platform Wyzowl, 86% of businesses are using video to reach audiences and 92% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing plans. Against that backdrop, digital advertising platform Acuity has released what it identifies as the top 10 retail sector video ads of 2021 measured by total views. The winners highlight some important themes, some of them pandemic-related.
Far and away the most popular video, with more than twice as many views as the next on the list, was PETCO’s “It’s what we’d want if we were pets,” a success readily explained by the growth in pet purchases last year, as well as the increased time spent with pets.
CarMax the online and in-store used car dealer, was also a winner by having no fewer than three ads in the top 10 (no other brand had more than one). According to Acuity, this reflects a steeply increased interest in the used car market during a period when supply chain issues were making new cars hard to obtain.
Indirectly pandemic-related was the appearance of Dick’s Sporting Goods on the list. Their campaign rode the huge surge of interest in TikTok by partnering with popular young TikTok creators.
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Screenshot of TikTok creators in Dick’s Sporting Goods ad
Why we care. The success of PETCo and CarMax raises the interesting question of whether pandemic-related wins are meaningful long-term. We’ve already seen growth slow down for a business like Zoom that enjoyed massive success with the nation in lockdown. Pet and used car purchasing are reversible trends too.
What is unlikely to be reversed is the appetite for the kind of snack-sized, spontaneous, relatable video content created for TikTok (as well as Instagram Reels), especially among Gen Z, a trend smart brands have picked up on.
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