Even with much of the U.S. economy shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gaming sector upped its advertising outlay for television to an estimated $17.3 million in March—$5.3 million more than February’s spend. As we’ve previously mentioned, gaming could be an economic bright spot with millions of Americans staying home.
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 March, ranked by estimated national TV ad spend.
First place goes to Nintendo with an estimated spend of $14.6 million — over $3 million more than its outlay in February. Notably, it was the only gaming brand to spend over $1 million in March. Nintendo ran 20 ads over 3,000 times, generating 793 million TV ad impressions. The spot with the biggest placement budget (est. $2.6 million) was “Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Your Personal Island Paradise.” Nick, Adult Swim, and NBC were three of the networks with the biggest spend, while top programming included SpongeBob SquarePants, This Is Us, and The Loud House.
At No. 2: Bethesda Softworks, with an estimated spend of $866,251 on two spots that aired 425 times, resulting in 116.8 million TV ad impressions. The spot with the biggest TV budget (est. $499,379) was “Official Launch Trailer” for Doom Eternal. South Park, Family Guy, and WWE Monday Night RAW were the top programs by spend, while top networks included Comedy Central, Adult Swim, and USA Network.
With an estimated spend of $640,961, Xbox takes third place. The brand ran four commercials 404 times and generated 99.7 million TV ad impressions. The biggest outlay (est. $269,443) went to the Doom Eternal ad (in partnership with Bethesda Softworks) “What Is Eternal.” Cable networks saw the highest spend, led by TNT, MTV, and truTV; top programming included Ridiculousness, The Big Bang Theory, and Impractical Jokers.
GameFly.com takes fourth place with an estimated placement budget of $438,585 for six spots that aired 780 times, resulting in 51.7 million TV ad impressions. “The Noon Train” had the biggest outlay, an estimated $213,578. Programming with high spend included South Park, the NHL, and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Top networks by spend included NHL, Comedy Central, and Nick Toons.
And finally, fifth place goes to Activision Publishing, which notably only ran ads from March 17 to March 22, as opposed to the other brands that had creative airing throughout the month. Activision spent an estimated $221,362 on airing a single ad for Call of Duty: Warzone titled “Comeback,” featuring music by LL Cool J. The spot, which ran 80 times, only appeared on ESPN and ESPN2, with top programs by spend including SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter, and Get Up.
For more about iSpot’s attention and conversion analytics, visit iSpot.tv.