Oktoberfest PPC Data Science: Beer Consumption – And Wine?

In Bavaria and Munich there is a saying: The Oktoberfest is the 5th season of the year. The world famous Oktoberfest is probably one of the most known German stereotype all over the world. It takes two weeks and of course affects PPC as well as over the 6 million visitors.


Too long; didn’t read version: 

• We explain the typical process of online advertising using Google Shopping.
• While beer sales get a real Oktoberfest boost, what about wine performance during the same period? Impressions, clicks, conversion rate and conversion value for wine decreased during the first week of Oktoberfest 2015.
• 15 out of 16 German states showed a decrease in wine advertising and online sales.


Everybody is talking about the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich and many more cities around the world. The main Oktoberfest drink is, of course, beer. More than 6 million “Maß” are sold in Munich every year. BTW free lesson for non Germans : one “Maß” is exactly one liter and is pronounced similar like the English word “mass”.


Nobody is drinking wine during Oktoberfest?

As it would be interesting to look at increasing beer consumption and sales during Oktoberfest, we will instead discuss wine advertising and sales in the home country of Oktoberfest, Germany.

Without further knowledge, one might think wine sales would decrease during Oktoberfest because almost everybody is drinking beer at this time of the year. We have a look at the following three step process of online advertising with Google Shopping and wine sales:


1. Impressions: Depending on their search queries, Google Shopping displays advertisements. How will the number of impressions behave during Oktoberfest?
2. Clicks: Are the customers reacting differently to wine advertisements displayed during this time period?
3. Conversions: Is there an interesting pattern in customer activation during Oktoberfest? Do customers spend more or less money on wine during this period?


What we found out

Here’s what we found out when comparing data of the first Oktoberfest week 2015 to the last week before Oktoberfest:

1. As the interest in wine decreases during the Oktoberfest period, so did impressions of wine advertisements in Germany – they decreased by 15 %.

2. The clicks on the displayed advertisements decreased by 23 % compared to the week before Oktoberfest.

3. During Oktoberfest, the conversion rate for wine showed a massive decrease, as well as the average order value. As you see in this case, the first intuition was right!


bottle with decreasing impressions, clicks and conversions during Octoberfest
Impressions, Clicks, and Conversions of wine are decreasing during Octoberfest


Ad Impressions are decreasing

Furthermore, we also checked some geographical data for the same time period and checked it with the population. The most wine ad impressions per capita were recorded in Hamburg and Berlin, while Bavaria was ranked fourth. During the first week of Oktoberfest, every state but Brandenburg (highlighted green on the following image) is showing a strong decrease of up to 30 % in impressions per capita. While Bavaria showed an impression decrease of about 11 % during Oktoberfest, impressions and clicks on wine ads in Munich didn’t change at all. Compare other states in our map:


octoberfest and wine in german states
German states and Ad Impressions of wine during Oktoberfest

The conclusion could be that the Oktoberfest, which lasts two weeks, is not the best time for selling wine, so advertisers should be thinking about these seasonal events when structuring their campaign.

Stay tuned for more interesting facts from our data science department! Prost!


1) http://www.oktoberfest.de/de/article/Das+Oktoberfest/Zahlen/Das+Oktoberfest+in+Zahlen/3735/