The gaming industry came roaring back to life in September with an estimated TV ad spend of $39.3 million, a remarkable increase of 983% from August’s outlay. Xbox took the lead, accounting for over 63% of the industry total, with 2K Games and EA Sports in a distant second and third.
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 September, ranked by estimated national TV ad spend.
Xbox spent an estimated $24.9 million on six spots that aired over 3,100 times, generating 1.1 billion TV ad impressions. The bulk of the budget ($19.4 million) went to “The Chain,” promoting Gears 5. Xbox prioritized reaching a sports-loving audience: the NFL, college football, and SportsCenter were among the top programming, while Fox, ESPN, and NBC were three of the networks seeing heavy spend.
2K Games takes second place with an estimated spend of $4.6 million on six commercials that ran over 2,000 times, resulting in 357.7 million TV ad impressions. The Borderlands 3 spot “Let’s Make Some Mayhem,” featuring music by Queen, had the biggest budget (est. $1.6 million). Comedy Central, MTV, and ESPN were three of the networks with the biggest spend; top programming included South Park, Ridiculousness, and the NFL.
At No. 3: EA Sports, with an estimated outlay of $4.5 million on 242 airings of seven ads that generated 295.9 million TV ad impressions. The Madden NFL 20 spot “Superstar KO: Available Now,” featuring Alvin Kamara, had the biggest spend (est. $2.2 million). EA Sports allocated budget to networks such as ESPN, NFL Network, and NBC, while top programming included the NFL, NFL Kickoff 2019, and SportsCenter.
Fourth place goes to Nintendo with an estimated outlay of $3.4 million on seven commercials that ran over 1,300 times, resulting in 210.1 million TV ad impressions. The spot with the biggest airing budget (est. $1.1 million) was “How We Play: Mario Kart 8” for the Switch. Nintendo prioritized reaching a family-friendly audience, with high levels of spend on networks including Nick, Cartoon Network, and Teen Nick, and programs such as SpongeBob SquarePants, The Loud House, and Teen Titans Go!.
Activision rounds out the ranking with an estimated spend of $907,986 on two airings of “Free Beta,” an ad for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare featuring music by Metallica. The company spent solely on ESPN during the NFL.
For more about iSpot’s attention and conversion analytics, visit iSpot.tv.