A Winter Wonderland Of Tips If You Plan To Advertise Apps On TV at Xmas


Volker Dressel has held numerous positions in the publishing, media and gaming industry in both marketing and PR in Germany and Europe over the last 20 years. Volker is currently General Manager/CEO of Quaid Media GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Freenet AG where he is responsible for its global operations. With over 10 years experience in creating and running TV campaigns for mobile products, Quaid Media has helped hundreds of apps harness the world’s most powerful advertising medium. Prior to Quaid Media, Volker held the position of Chief Marketing Officer at global game developers Xyrality GMBH and Innogames.


The holiday season is a notoriously busy time for app publishers everywhere. Not only is it the busiest (and most expensive) time of the year to advertise apps on TV but the demand for space becomes a top priority if you want to get the right spot for your app with the best response.

From the beginning to the end of the Thanksgiving/holiday season, millions of new phones and tablet devices will be purchased or be given as gifts, opening more opportunities for app publishers to win over new customers during and after this period. If you’re investing in some TV advertising for your apps over this period then here are some key considerations to bear in mind in order to avoid missing out on key slots, securing good prices and most importantly high quality customers.

Avoiding the rush and knowing when to book ­Black Friday

  • Competition for peak time slots increases even before the holiday season starts in September so it’s important to note that bookings for ad slots should be planned at least 6 weeks before the holiday period even begins.
  • Avoid booking a slot on Black Friday as it is more than likely most consumers will not be viewing TV but will be out shopping. The best time around Black Friday is normally the day after when consumers have purchased new technology such as phones and tablets where they will then want to engage more with adverts and download apps they have seen on TV.


Get the dates right and identify the best slots for your ad ­Christmas

  • Similarly to Black Friday, Christmas is also a key period where families get together during the holiday season. Days off work with the family means that a prime target audience usually watches early in the daytime 7­-9am since evenings, 6-­9pm, are normally reserved for the traditional affairs (dinner, opening of presents etc.). If possible, avoid this time and aim for slots from 10­-11:30pm.
  • In a highly competitive season, commercials need to be spread in such a way so that viewers can see the advert multiple times. It’s generally wise to avoid 24th­-26th December and focus instead on 27th-­30th. This is mainly because the amount of mobile devices and tablets will have increased and consumers are looking for content to buy/add to their devices.

The good, the bad and the ugly ­ New Year’s eve

  • New Year’s Eve is a particularly bad time to place any adverts on TV as the majority of people will be preparing for parties and celebrations. Unless the slot is in the morning, it’s not an effective day for audience capture and it’s very likely the advert will get missed.


Pricing ­What you need to know

  • From September the prices of TV slots will rise as the holiday season approaches. Peak pricing can have a major impact on how app publishers approach their campaigns and it’s highly recommended that the budget (however big or small) is kept stable and focused on booking the right slots rather than having a high budget and scattergun approach which is likely not as effective.
  • A lot of app publishers understandably go for the slots available during the peak holiday season but there is actually a cheaper alternative out there which falls on and after the 2nd January. Because the Christmas and New Year’s activity is essentially over it’s a lot quieter and there is more of a chance for an advert to get noticed without other competitors flooding channels with bulk promotions.

It’s all about the timing

  • A recommended time that most channels sell for any advert is normally 30 seconds long. We have found that 20 second commercials (if you can get them) are more effective in cost and performance than 30 second ones as the 10 second difference in adverts only plays a role in the price but not brand awareness (where available). There has even been a case where 13 second adverts have proven to be highly effective but normally these slots are not always available so it’s important to ask what’s available rather than just assuming 30 seconds is a standard.
  • Plan the timing of advert slots or frequency badly and a campaign can end up being more costly and very ineffective than a more targeted approach with a slightly higher budget. Known as the ‘scattergun’ approach, most publishers normally do this first time because it hits most consumers but they then do not necessarily fall into their target audience. Continued investment can normally increase CPI in most cases which then in turn means that publishers can work on specific targets for the next campaign which has a far greater ROI in the long run.


You can visit the Quaid Media website here.