TV Ad Spend Weekly: TurboTax and tailgating as football playoff season nears the end zone

McDonalds serves as tailgate cuisine for football fans in one of the more expensive ad buys this week.

Brands continue to invest heavily in above-the-line content, and television is still seen as the place to be. Each week, in partnership with Kantar Media, The Drum looks at which brands have been investing the most on newly-launched creative on US national broadcast and cable TV.

After starting 2018 off with surge in weekly advertising expenditures, spend on new national TV placements returned to typical levels the week of January 8. National TV spend for the week reached a total of $1.3bn, with 15% ($187m) coming from new commercials. With the Super Bowl just mere weeks away, the price tag to secure airtime during the few, weekly NFL playoff games has been on the rise. Indeed, $55m in new spending was allocated towards professional football games – one third of all new spend for the week.

There's a lot of deals during NFL Divisional Weekend: T-Mobile's doing a buy-one, get-one offer, Pizza-Hut has a pizza sale, and McDonalds (for a second week) is promoting its new value menu. Intuit also appears for a second week to promote TurboTax. Unlike last week's scare-ridding TurboTax campaign, this chuckle-inducining spot promotes the accounting software's Absolute Zero feature. Anything can go wrong in that spot, but "at least your taxes are free".

McDonald's brings some timely humor to promote its new menu, serving as an alternate tailgating session for football fans. The ad is part of a larger campaign promoting McDonald’s new $1, $2, $3 Dollar Menu – a new take on its iconic Dollar Menu, which now allows you to build whatever meal you want using your favorites. Lucky for these tailgaters who scored 10 McChicken and 10 Bacon McDouble for $1 and $2 each.

See all of the new creative submitted from around the world in The Drum's Creative Works section.

If you have creative work to submit, please upload it here.

This data is part of ongoing reporting released on a weekly basis with Kantar Media using its AdScope tool.

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