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Yelp launches Spotlight Ads to enable brands to reach consumers using video through Yelp’s homescreen



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 homescreen of the Yelp app through video ads, in addition to static images, with the introduction of Spotlight Ads.

Spotlight Ads is a first-of-its-kind ad offering on Yelp that provides brands with the ability to promote their 7-30 second video ads or static images through Yelp’s homescreen. The product is an evolution of Yelp’s Seasonal Spotlight Ads, which enables brands to promote static ads on the Yelp homepage tied to seasonal moments like Halloween or National Pancake Day. After launching Seasonal Spotlight Ads, we quickly saw demand from brands for engaging highly visible homescreen 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.

In addition to offering creative flexibility for brands, Spotlight Ads give brands an easy way to measure impact through our first party data attribution tool, 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. 

In an early pilot with LaserAway, the nation’s leader in laser hair removal saw strong results in driving net new customer transactions using Spotlight Ads. Here’s what Paul Baumgarthuber, chief marketing officer at LaserAway, had to say about Spotlight Ads: “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.”

Spotlight Ads run for a default time period of 28 days and brands can post different creative and messaging throughout that period. Regional brands can also buy Spotlight Ads, giving them access to valuable homepage inventory previously available only to brands with a national footprint. 

A recent survey of consumers commissioned by Yelp and conducted by Material revealed that when thinking about inflation, more than 1 in 2 Americans (54%) are considering national businesses more than local, small, or independently owned businesses when making spending decisions,* so it’s never been a better time for larger brands to look for opportunities to invest in an ad solution like Spotlight Ads. Spotlight Ads provide brands another touchpoint to reach Yelp users through the highly visible homescreen, whenever it aligns best with their campaigns. As we’ve demonstrated with other ad products like Yelp Audiences and Sponsored Collections, we’re committed to introducing new and innovative advertising solutions to national and regional brands to help them reach their advertising goals. 

If you’re an advertiser at a national or regional brand looking to get started with Spotlight Ads, reach our team here

*This survey was fielded among 2,009 adults, ages 18+ in the United States. The survey was conducted online during the period of October 12-17 2022 and has a margin of error of +/- 2%. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 2 percent, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all personas in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher. Material is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations. For more information about Material, please visit materialplus.io.

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