The game industry’s TV ad spend increased in October for the second month in a row, up to an estimated $60.3 million from September’s $39.3 million, with over a third of the total outlay focused entirely on the NFL. Leading the way: PlayStation, accounting for over 62% of the industry spend, with Xbox, and Activision in second and third place, respectively.
GamesBeat has partnered with iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution platform, 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.
PlayStation spent an estimated $37.6 million on seven spots that aired over 2,900 times, generating nearly 1.5 billion TV ad impressions. The commercial with the biggest budget (est. $14.9 million) was “Hundreds of Incredible Games on Demand,” promoting PlayStation Now. Four out of the top five programs for spend were sports-related, with the NFL, college football, and the NBA taking the lead; ESPN, Fox, and CBS were the three networks with the highest spend.
At No. 2: Xbox, which spent an estimated $11.3 million on seven commercials that ran over 1,400 times, resulting in 584.8 million TV ad impressions. The Gears 5 spot “Gears Forever” saw the highest outlay, an estimated $3.8 million. As usual, Xbox prioritized reaching a sports-loving audience: the NFL, college football, and the NBA were among the top programming for spend, and top networks included Fox, CBS, and ESPN.
Third place goes to Activision, which spent an estimated $5 million on placing two ads that aired 110 times, generating 168.6 million TV ad impressions. The bulk of the spend ($3.8 million) went toward the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare spot “Rules of Engagement,” featuring music by Metallica. As with the other brands, sports was a priority: the NFL was the dominant target of Activision’s spend, followed by the 2019 World Series and college football, while networks with the largest outlays included ESPN, Fox, and CBS.
EA Sports takes fourth place with an estimated spend of $2.7 million on six spots that ran 276 times, resulting in 194.2 million TV ad impressions. The Madden NFL 20 commercial “Victory Bath” featuring JuJu Smith-Schuster had the biggest budget (est. $1 million). Almost all of EA Sports’ budget went toward the NFL, with smaller outlays to college football and SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt, among others. Top networks for spend included ESPN, NFL Network, and ESPN2.
Electronic Arts (EA), the parent company of EA Sports, rounds out the ranking with an estimated spend of $1.1 million on over 1,200 airings of a single ad, the “Official Launch Trailer” for Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. EA strove to reach a younger, more family-friend audience: The Thundermans, SpongeBob SquarePants, and iCarly were the three programs with the biggest budgets, and top networks included Teen Nick, Nick Toons, and Cartoon Network.
For more about iSpot’s attention and conversion analytics, visit iSpot.tv.