TV advertising may not work for all companies in this era of online marketing and social media, but there are definitely brands that can benefit from the traditional TV ad spend. Nintendo, with its family-friendly image, may be one of those top brands and the house of Mario is certainly outspending competing video game companies for TV time. According to the latest from iSpot.tv (as outlined on VentureBeat), Nintendo spent an estimated $4.5 million in August for television ads, more than competitors like PlayStation, Xbox, King or others.
Nintendo's $4.5 million may not seem like much when compared to non-gaming brands like Geico, who can easily spend over $21.5 million in one week, but that figure puts Nintendo ahead of PlayStation (an estimated $2.5m in ad spending), InnoGames (estimated $1.5m), and King and Xbox who each spent an estimated $1.3m. All told, TV ad spending for gaming brands was up to an estimated $17.1m from July's $12.2 million. Game companies representing 29 brands ran 81 spots nearly 9,000 times and generated over 1.1 billion TV ad impressions.
Nintendo aired 14 commercials over 1,600 times, generating around 230m impressions, driven largely by the nearly $1m spend for the company's "New, Sleek Look" spot to spread awareness for its new 2DS XL. As you might expect, Nintendo targeted younger audiences by placing the ad on networks like Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Nick. TV shows that got more attention included SpongeBob SquarePants, Teen Titans Go!, and American Dad.
Aside from Nintendo, given that August is always Madden season for EA Sports, Xbox decided to piggyback on the Madden brand. Microsoft started running TV spots for Madden on Xbox starting on August 14. The "Madden NFL 18: This Is the Year" spot aired 356 times and gained 46.3 million impressions, while targeting football and sports enthusiasts on networks like ESPN and NFL Network, especially leveraging programming like NFL preseason football, SportsCenter, and NFL Live.
With the holiday shopping season fast approaching and Nintendo gearing up for Super Mario Odyssey on Switch, we wouldn't be surprised to see Nintendo spending heavily again. And of course, Xbox One X will undoubtedly see a big push from Microsoft as well.