Yelp Adds 'Spotlight' Ads To Home Screen

Yelp on Thursday introduced Spotlight Ads to help brands reach consumers on its home screen. The ad unit serves 7-second to 30-second video ads or static images for national and regional advertisers.

The company created the ad unit after seeing the success of Yelp’s Seasonal Spotlight Ads, which enables brands to promote static ads on the Yelp homepage tied to seasonal events like Halloween or National Pancake Day.

After launching Seasonal Spotlight Ads, Yelp experienced demand from brands for engaging highly visible home screen ads beyond traditional holiday moments. This insight drove the company to introduce full-funnel option that fits varying campaign requirements.

Spotlight Ads give brands the tools to measure the impact of the ad through Yelp’s first party data attribution, Yelp Store Visits. With location targeting for users that have opted-in to it, brands using Spotlight Ads will only reach people physically near their stores, who are most likely to convert into consumers.

LaserAway, a laser hair removal brand, experienced saw strong results in attracting new customers during early trials of the ad unit.  

Spotlight Ads run for a 28-day default time period and brands can post different creatives and messages. Regional brands can also buy Spotlight Ads, giving them access to home page inventory previously available only to larger, national brands.

Before creating and buying media on Yelp, marketers might want to know how today’s macroeconomic environment continues to affect where people choose to eat and shop. Yelp commissioned a survey through Material, a global strategy and technology company, and 54% are more likely to choose national businesses than local, small or independently-owned businesses.

Cost savings and inflation are big factors. Gen Z survey respondents, 45% are patronizing national brands to save money, much more than any other generation. Compare that with 38% of millennials, 34% of Gen X, 34% of baby boomers.

As a cost cutting measure, 42% say they are more likely to choose a less expensive business today. Some 47% report they shop at discount grocery stores, 41% cite discount retailers, and 36% cite fast food or fast casual restaurants because they are most likely to maintain low prices.

Survey respondents, however, also still support local businesses more. One-third of respondents said they still generally try to support local businesses more (32%).

This survey was fielded among 2,009 adults, ages 18 and older in the United States between October 12, and October 17, 2022.

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