Business directory and crowdsourced review forum Yelp introduced Spotlight Ads, a way for regional and national brands to bring video ads and static images to the home screen of its application.
Yelp wrote in a blog post Thursday, “Tens of millions of people visit Yelp to discover and connect with businesses. At the same time, video content is becoming one of the most engaging advertising formats for consumers and most effective forms of advertising for national and regional brands. For the first time ever, today, we’re enabling brands to connect with our high-intent audience via the home screen of the Yelp app through video ads, in addition to static images, with the introduction of Spotlight Ads.”
Brands can run video ads lasting seven seconds through 30 seconds or static images, and Yelp said Spotlight Ads evolved from its Seasonal Spotlight Ads option, which lets brands promote static ads on the app homepage tied to moments like Halloween or National Pancake Day.
Yelp explained in its blog post, “After launching Seasonal Spotlight Ads, we quickly saw demand from brands for engaging highly visible home screen ads beyond traditional holiday moments. This insight drove the evolution to a full-funnel, timing-agnostic solution that provides more flexibility to fit varying campaign requirements.”
Spotlight Ads run for a default time period of 28 days, during which brands can post different creative and messaging, and those campaigns will only reach people who are physically near locations such as stores and, thus, most likely to convert into consumers, by using location targeting for users who have opted-in to it.
Brands can also measure the impact of their Spotlight Ads campaigns via first-party data attribution tool Yelp Store Visits.
Laser hair removal provider LaserAway was an early pilot tester of Spotlight Ads, and Paul Baumgarthuber, its chief marketing officer, said in the Yelp blog post, “We are always looking for innovative ways to reach new customers, and Yelp has been a great partner. The company consistently delivers new ways for us to connect with the high-intent audiences that come to Yelp looking for the services we offer.”
Yelp provided another use case for Spotlight Ads by sharing the results of a recent survey it commissioned from Material, and it shared highlights from its findings.
- 54% of Americans consider national businesses more than local, small or independently owned businesses when making spending decisions as a direct response to the increasing cost of goods and services.
- 62% of respondents are trying to cut costs where they can every day. Broken out by age group, 76% of baby boomers (58 through 76) answered in this fashion, along with 54% of millennials (26 through 41) and 43% of Generation Z (18 through 25).
- Respondents feel that discount grocery stores (47%), discount retailers (41%) and fast-food or fast-casual restaurants (36%) are most likely to maintain low prices, with 42% saying they are generally more likely to choose a less expensive business.
- 45% of Americans are less likely to eat at fine dining/higher-priced restaurants than they were in 2020.
- 27% of respondents say they shop or visit national/chain retailers or restaurants more than they did before 2020, and they were more than twice as likely to visit a national or chain business than a local business for groceries (33% vs. 15%), and 1.5 times as likely when shopping for apparel (29% vs. 18%).
- Despite all that, 32% of respondents said they still generally try to support local businesses more.