Prime Day is almost over and that means the Black Friday of the summer is coming to an end. The two days of obsessive online shopping, deals, and quite possibly some buyer’s remorse that we all look forward has become something of a cultural phenomenon. As Prime Day has grown bigger, other retailers have begun to compete with Amazon by holding their own sales on the same days. We decided to take a look at the advertising going into Prime Day this year as well as how this year’s Prime Day compares to last year’s.

Prime Day Ad Tracking

Surprisingly, Amazon has thus far only ran one ad with that even mentions Prime Day and they’ve only been airing it for about two weeks. They have a 15s, 30s, and Spanish language version of the ad which just shows that while there’s only the one ad, they are trying to get it in front of as many people as possible. They have also pushed the ad so aggressively that it makes up about 35-40% of Amazon’s total ad occurrences over the past week. So far we’ve tracked over 15,000 occurrences of the ad in all its forms. This tracks nicely with what we saw last year when, again, Amazon only ran one ad advertising on Prime day.

In what is perhaps a less surprising insight, we’ve found that both this year and last other retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy don’t really change their advertising around Prime Day. This is very likely due to the fact that Prime Day isn’t on the same day or even same week of the same month every year and so you can’t really plan an ad campaign around it. This year, for example, Amazon announced Prime day less than three weeks before the sale actually happened. For many retailers, Amazon included, most advertising around Prime Day probably happens through digital advertising and news coverage (kind of like this piece).

So if retailers aren’t advertising on Prime Day, what are they advertising on?

  • Amazon, as stated early, is messaging mainly on Prime Day, but their other ad currently on air focuses on inclusivity and features a deaf Amazon employee.
  • Walmart is running three primary ads right now, two are focused on summer and one on local job creation that comes from buying brands at Walmart.
  • Target has a much more diverse messaging strategy currently on air with ads focused on Covid vaccinations at Target and CVS pharmacies, summer, as well as diversity and small businesses.
  • Best Buy is currently running one ad focused on their personalized service and out of the big box stores competing with Amazon, they consistently have the lowest volume of ad occurrences.

Last year, Amazon’s competitors started to increase their advertising volume after Prime Day was over, but that was more due to Black Friday as Prime Day was in October last year. We’ll be interested to see what advertisers do post-Prime Day this year and what shakes out if the rumors of two Prime Days in 2021 turn out to be true.