Microsoft Xbox


Wanting to lock in pre-Christmas sales as early as possible to avoid hyper-competitive Black Friday and pre-Christmas deals, Microsoft Xbox was seeking a way to gain increased prominence across top retail sites, informing and converting shoppers who may still be investigating product options, as gaming consoles typically involve long research and consideration phases.


Criteo Sponsored Products leverage real-time targeting to reach shoppers on the world’s largest retailers. The process resembles search engine marketing, but is custom-built for e-commerce, enabling advertisers to target shoppers at various stages of the shopping journey. Criteo Sponsored Products allowed Xbox to ensure the brand was top of mind for pre-Christmas shoppers to drive sales in a declining console market. Subsequent focus was placed on different ad placements to most effectively capture both undecided and high-intent shoppers.


By implementing a broad, multi-faceted ad campaign on Criteo Sponsored Products, Xbox saw a highly efficient ROAS, above category benchmarks, with consistent gains across multiple product spend levels. The return achieved was also consistent across ad placements throughout the retail shopping funnel, including placements for search-based shopper journeys and for browse shopper journeys in places like category and product detail pages.

The campaign further focused on placements in upper-funnel, high-traffic areas including homepage and general gifting search and browse journeys to most effectively drive awareness and therefore incremental sales for consumers who may not have even been considering the category at the start of their shopping journey. By performing an AB test during the first five weeks of the campaign, where incrementality was measured by comparing shoppers exposed to ads versus a control group, Criteo Sponsored Products were proven to deliver a 15.7% lift in unique users purchasing products.

Source: Xbox UK campaign 1 October – 20 November, 2016.  AB testing available in some cases.

“Xbox was looking for a way to really move the needle before the 2016 festive season.  We had the promotional fundamentals ready: solid deals on great product bundles.  But Criteo Sponsored Products took our results to the next level by enabling us to gain strong exposure for those offers across key retailers.  The results far exceeded our expectations, delivering a great ROAS in a short timeframe, with the strong incrementality we were seeking.”

– Aina Bolstad, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager, Xbox


ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)


Incrementality (based on lift in unique purchasers)