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Gaming brands upped their outlay on TV advertising in August by 26.66% compared to July, for an estimated spend of $22.5 million. There was almost a three-way tie for top-spending brands, with Activision edging out longtime chart leader PlayStation. In total, 11 brands aired 43 spots over 5,000 times, resulting in 1.1 billion TV ad impressions. Aside from Nintendo, each of the top brands targeted sports programming, especially NBA and MLB games, for ads during the month.

GamesBeat has partnered with, 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 August, ranked by estimated national TV ad spend.

Activision spent an estimated $6.2 million airing a single spot for Call of Duty: Warzone, “User Reviews,” 627 times, resulting in 215.3 million TV ad impressions. The brand prioritized reaching a sports-loving audience: Top programming by outlay included the NBA, NHL, and MLB, while top networks included TNT, NBC Sports, and Fox.

PlayStation takes second place with an estimated spend of $5.8 million on four ads that ran 754 times, generating 214.7 million TV ad impressions. Most of the spend and impressions occurred in the second half of the month. The spot with the biggest spend (estimated at $3.8 million) was “Cannot Be Controlled,” promoting the Marvel’s Avengers game. ESPN, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central were three of the networks with the biggest outlay, while top programming included MLB, NBA, and South Park.


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At No. 3: Nintendo, with an estimated spend of $4.9 million on 20 commercials that aired over 1,900 times, resulting in 355.8 million TV ad impressions. The top spot by spend (estimated at $677,351) was “She’s My Favorite: Animal Crossing.” Programs with the biggest outlay included SpongeBob SquarePants, The Loud House, and The Amazing World of Gumball; top networks included Nick, Cartoon Network, and Bravo.

Fourth place goes to Crystal Dynamics, which hadn’t advertised on TV at all this year until August 20. The brand spent an estimated $3.2 million airing two ads, both for the Marvel’s Avengers game, 397 times, generating 116.6 million TV ad impressions. “It’s Time to Assemble” had the biggest outlay, an estimated $1.8 million. Three of the top programs by spend were the NBA, South Park, and MLB; top networks included ESPN, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central.

Rounding out the ranking is MLB Advanced Media Video Games with an estimated outlay of $825,253 on two spots that aired 323 times, resulting in 49.5 million TV ad impressions. “Home Runs,” advertising R.B.I. Baseball 20, had the most spend (estimated at $729,251). Most of its outlay went to MLB games, but Ancient Top 10 and Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown were also in the mix. On the network side of things, the brand prioritized Fox Sports 1, ESPN, and Fox.

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