Four Top Stories of 2019
Yandex opens up its Home (page)
Up until April, one of the most popular pages in the Russian-speaking internet was open to a select few advertisers with significant budgets. Now, even if you just want to test out banners on the Home page with a small budget, you too can grab the attention of millions of users with display ads on the Yandex Home page.
Yandex.Direct now home to CPM video ads and DOOH
In May, advertisers could see two new display formats available in the Yandex.Direct interface: video ads with a CPM payment model and Digital Out Of Home (DOOH).
More sitelinks, more attention!
In September, Yandex.Direct upped the maximum number of sitelinks that could appear for ads in expanded format.
New "Last click from Yandex.Direct" attribution model now in reports
The addition of a new attribution model offered a good reason to review how attribution works and why it's important.
Race to the Finish: Maxing out your holiday campaigns
The first thing advertisers new to Russia and the Russian market should pay attention to is the difference in dates. The main day for gift-giving in Russia is not December 25, as in much of the West, but the cusp of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Most Russians open gifts after welcoming the New Year. A second popular date for exchanging gifts is January 7. If you are interested in knowing why, click the arrow below to expand a short explanation.
Why New Year's Eve? Why January 7? Click here for a little history.
Up until just over a century ago, Russians decorated evergreen trees, exchanged gifts, attended church services, and sang carols much like the rest of Europe and the west — to celebrate Christmas. Yes, Russian Christmas took place later than in the west because of the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, but Christmas celebrations in Russia on January 7th generally were very similar to those in Vienna, London, or New York on December 25th.
The Soviet Union has come and gone, but many of its traditions remain. One such remnant is moving the celebrations and traditions associated with Christmas to New Year’s Eve. Most of the symbols remained the same — evergreen trees, singing, exchanging gifts, meals with family and friends — but the festivities became associated with saying farewell to the old year and welcoming the new.
In today’s Russia, most sales promotions at this time of year are still focused on the New Year holiday, and brightly decorated stores offer tantalizing discounts and promotions much in the same way a company in New York or Paris would. As a result, the end of the year in Russia takes on even greater economic significance than in other countries.
Companies advertising in Russia should take special care to make sure their campaign budgets are topped up to cover holiday traffic. While shoppers in many Western companies will have finished buying gifts by December 24, Russians continue to shop at this time. Stopping your campaigns on December 25 would mean losing out on valuable traffic of users looking for gifts at the last minute. Respondents to a Yandex survey revealed large numbers of Russians (especially — surprise! — men) leave their holiday purchases until the last two weeks before the New Year. Don't miss out on the chance to reach potential customers rushing to get presents for their loved ones — if you are taking time off in the last week of December, top up your campaigns before leaving the office.
Opportunities in the New Year
The coveted Russian New Year holidays
You would be right to think that Russians are a spoiled lot — they regularly get 7-11 days off from work at the start of every year. In 2020, Russians will leave the office on Tuesday December 31 and not return until Thursday January 9! These federal holidays offer unique opportunities for advertisers to reach Russian audiences. Let's look at why.
New Year, new me!
Russian enthusiasm about the beginning of a new year is something worth noting. On January 1, people across Russia will be starting new diets, exercise plans, looking for new apartments and searching for online courses. If your products or services fall into the categories of health or self-improvement, the beginning of the year is a peak time for demand. Take advantage of Russian enthusiasm about turning a new page in their lives, whether that involves gym memberships, crossing a long-planned trip off their bucket list, making long-needed home improvements or learning a new language.
Free time means screen time
The country might have 8 days off, but no one cancelled winter — and while outdoor activities like ice skating are popular pastime during the holidays, there will be plenty of time for playing online games, watching films and TV series online and other types of online entertainment. Don't miss out on the chance to reach Russians catching up on the films and TV series they missed in 2019, make sure your brand is visible in the Yandex Advertising Network and the Yandex Video Network while Russians maximize their screen time.
The holidays haven't started yet, so we are here to help!
Yandex offices are abuzz with activity and will be right up until New Year's Eve. If you want some help checking whether your campaigns are holiday-ready or have any questions, reach out to your Yandex manager or the International Sales Team. Good luck with your campaigns and happy holidays!