TV Ad Spend Weekly: Walt Disney rides the ‘Panther’ wave, adding a new ‘Wrinkle’ to movie conversations

Walt Disney is the big spender, capitalizing off of Black Panther's success and anticipating a big debut for A Wrinkle in Time / Kantar Media

Brands continue to invest heavily in above-the-line content, and television is still seen as the place brands want 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.

Advertising spend for new ads on national TV reached a total of $133 million during the week of February 26th. This figure excludes advertising during the Oscars telecast. Despite the Winter Olympics coming to a close the week prior, the lack of pricey ad inventory had little effect on new ad spending. Expenditures still saw a small bump of three percent week over week.

Now that awards season is over, March Madness is the next big draw for brands—AT&T (already a NCAA partner) and Buick spent over a million each on college basketball programming. It wouldn’t be a shock to any to find next week (and the next week or two) to be stacked with tournament spending.

Meanwhile, Grey’s Anatomy continues to be primetime TV, and a ratings magnet at that, as ABC preps to launch a spin-off in the fall. This is probably in an effort to match up with NBC’s Chicago Fire and Law and Order “universes”, as well as to make up for the absence of hit show Scandal and the departure of producer Shonda Rimes to Netflix. Something to look forward to as procedural dramas become a safety play for the major broadcast networks.

Walt Disney Pictures took the number one spot this week for spend on new ads, investing 74 percent of its national TV budget on debuting commercials.

The majority of expenditures ($3.3 million) went into promotion of upcoming flick A Wrinkle In Time. Ads showcased the all-star cast in the movie adaptation of the classic novel.

The remainder of the spend ($1.3 million) was used to tout the success of record-setting Black Panther while also trying to persuade even more moviegoers to the theater to see the film.

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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