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Most Viewed Video Ads: Retail Sector
Feb 11, 2022

Most Viewed Video Ads: Retail Sector 2021

The Most Viewed Video Ads of the Retail Sector in 2021 embodies an industry undergoing a tectonic shift as they pivot to meet the pandemic-related demands of their consumers.


Like virtually every industry in North America, the retail sector was heavily influenced by the pandemic. However, with economies reopening, 2021 was a much better year than 2020. YoY sales rose 16.9% (source: Barrons) despite issues like supply chain disruptions and inflation. Ecommerce sales showed immense growth, increasing by over $37 million in the US (source: Statista) and solidifying online shopping as a market trend that will continue post-pandemic. 


Still, the retail sector felt the effects of the Great Resignation more heavily than some others in 2021with 83% of companies investing heavily in employee recruitment and retention and many executives noting labor issues as top concerns (source: Deloitte). 


All in all, the retail sector is projected to see a respectable 6.6% growth in 2022 (souce: Statista) provided they continue to successfully navigate changing consumer buying behaviour. And while the industry has definitely had their share of challenges in 2021, we could be on the cusp of a true retail renaissance thanks to the resilience and agility the sector displayed over the last year.


Now let’s take a look at the Most Viewed Video Ads for the Retail Sector in 2021.


Most Viewed Video Ads: Retail Sector 2021


Rank Brand Campaign Release date   Total views
1 PETCO It’s What We’d Want if We Were Pets 03/29/2021   238,876,317
2 Amazon Alexa’s Body 01/31/2021   101,689,187
3 Costco Quick & Easy  01/04/2021    56,505,965
4 CarMax Love Your Car Guarantee 02/08/2021   49,442,114
5 ALDI Belle Vie Bold Sparkling Water at ALDI 04/29/2021   46,741,366
6 HomeGoods The end. And the beginning? | Home Sweet HomeGoods Ep. 1  06/22/2021   44,917,197
7 Dick’s Sporting Goods Welcome Back 07/14/2021 43,029,893
8 O’Reilly Auto Parts Free Next Day Delivery 02/19/2021  38,802,987
9 CarMax Buy Online with Home Delivery 10/18/2021  33,570,693
10 CarMax Same Price For All Commercial 02/-08/2021   32,490,510
*Data collected by AcuityAds’ True Reach™ insights platform from January 1 – December 31, 2021 

Key Insights

Fuel for thought: Say goodbye to dealerships?

Carmax took not one, but three out of ten spots on our list. The retailer looked to take advantage of the used car market boom as consumer demand picked up and new models remained hard to obtain due to a worldwide chip shortage. How long the unprecedented high used car prices will last will be determined by how quickly new car production ramps up and supply chain disruptions ease. 

However, Carmax’s honed in focus to improve the customer buying experience could be here to stay. Their digital platform allows customers to buy a car online, in-store or a mix of both. While their new ‘Love your car guarantee’ includes a 24-hour test drive. Both promotions that limit or remove time in dealerships were advertised and received considerable attention, evident in our Most Viewed Video Ads. Could this be an indication of a larger trend in auto—to move towards a more digital-first business model that places less emphasis on expensive dealerships?


Claws and effect: Pandemic pets trending 

It isn’t hard to guess why PETCO’s ad was the first on our list: 2021 was the year of the pandemic pet, with 14% of United States survey respondents saying they acquired a new pet in 2021, up 4% from 2020 (source: Statista). People also had more time to spend with pets in 2021 due to lockdown measures, meaning their furry friends were always top of mind. 


New year, new me: Retail branches out

Although Dick’s Sporting Goods only placed seventh on our list, it’s a great example of the diversity of ideas that the retail sector is applying in order to reinvent itself. The sporting goods retailer partnered with several TikTok creators to create a high-energy campaign that is tailored to Gen Z audiences and built by creators from the ground up. 


What’s next?

As ecommerce continues to drive the retail sector despite uncertainties, creating a friction-less digital experience and meeting consumers where they are will be crucial for capturing consumer spend. 

Given that 67% of retail executives in a Deloitte survey cited ecommerce and online shopping platforms as “top investment areas”, organizations that know how to navigate and capitalize the digital space will find success.

Interested to see more pieces like this? Check out the Most Viewed Video Ads for the QSR for 2021.

Find out how illumin™ can help you make your digital mark by taking control of the complete consumer journey and converting online retail consumers like never before. 


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About True Reach™ insights platform

Increase total views and time spent on your video campaigns without increasing advertising spend. Our proprietary True Reach technology harnesses all publicly available view data on social platforms to track real-time performance and enable decision-making that optimizes your Share of Attention™. 


Get in touch to learn how your video campaigns rank against competitors and how you can capture viewer attention with our proprietary True Reach™ technology.


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