It’s the fall, and with it comes the end-of-the-year rush of big games. And as Microsoft and Sony ramp up their years-long fight for your attention, they’re spending a ton of bucks, too, accounting for 60 percent of October’s ad spend.
GamesBeat has partnered with iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than seven million smart TVs, to bring you a monthly report on how gaming brands are spending. The results below are for the top five gaming industry brands in October, ranked by estimated national TV ad spend.
The gaming industry upped TV ad budgets again in October, to a whopping estimated $ 102.3 million from $ 61.4 million in September. Once again PlayStation took the lead, while Xbox bulked up its budgets and newcomer Ubisoft joined the ranks. In total, 36 brands ran 149 spots over 24,300 times, generating 4.8 billion TV impressions.
PlayStation led the way with an estimated spend of $ 33.3 million on 19 spots that aired over 4,500 times and received 1.2 billion ad impressions. “FIFA 18: El Tornado,” featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and James Harden, was the ad with the biggest spend — an estimated $ 5.7 million. The brand prioritized budget to networks including ESPN, Fox, and Adult Swim, and programming such as NFL football, college football, and NBA basketball.
Xbox greatly increased its spend this month, up from September’s $ 7.1 million to $ 29.8 million. The brand aired 10 spots over 3,600 times, generating 1.1 billion TV ad impressions. The Xbox spot with the biggest budget (est. $ 10.2 million) was “Feel True Power,” with music from Kanye West. Once again the company went after a sports-loving crowd, with budget prioritized toward NFL football, college football, and the 2017 World Series. The top networks that Xbox spent on included Fox, ESPN, and NBC.
Nintendo maintained its third-place ranking with an estimated spend of $ 10.9 million on 24 commercials that ran over 4,000 times and racked up 603.9 million impressions. Its highest-spend ad was “Super Mario Odyssey: Jump Up, Super Star!,” with an estimated outlay of $ 2.3 million. The top networks that Nintendo spent on included Nick, Comedy Central, and Adult Swim, while SpongeBob SquarePants, South Park, and The Voice were some of the shows with the most spend.
Fourth place went to Ubisoft, which had $ 6 million in estimated spend for eight spots that ran nearly 800 times, racking up 230.7 million TV ad impressions. The commercial with the biggest spend (est. $ 2.9 million) was the South Park-themed “Superhero Secret Identities.” Ubisoft prioritized spend across ESPN, CBS, and Comedy Central, and, in terms of specific programming, NFL football, episodes of South Park (as you’d expect), and college football.
Bethesda Softworks took fifth place with an estimated spend of $ 5.5 million for three spots with over 3,300 airings, which resulted in 567.2 million impressions. The bulk of its budget (est. $ 4.4 million) went to “Havoc,” advertising Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Among the networks that Bethesda spent heavily on: AMC, Comedy Central, and FX; among the specific programming: The Walking Dead, the 2017 World Series, and South Park.