TV Ad Spend Weekly: Verizon kicks in a World Cup media push

Verizon brings in US soccer star Landon Donovan as part of its ad push during the World Cup / 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.

Spend on national TV ads remained relatively flat the week of June 18 compared to the previous week, however spend on new advertising fell by 37%. Overall, advertisers spent $957m on national TV, but only 10% of this, $97 million, was allocated to new commercials.

This large drop may be partially due to advertising during the World Cup. Many brands choose to front-load their new commercials towards the start of the tournament and re-air the same ads throughout the competition. So even though overall expenditures during the World Cup more than doubled week over week, reaching a total of $139 million, spend on new ads decreased by 42%, only hitting $14m.

As expected, brands saw the most opportunity to attract viewers during the World Cup. Verizon, Progressive, and Pizza Hut all put in at least $0.9m in spend for the opening knockout stages of the Russia installation of the Fifa tournament. The ever-present Walt Disney found a cool $600k in its war chest to promote its latest Marvel movie: Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Although the US didn’t make the cut this year for the World Cup, Verizon gave US men’s national soccer play Landon Donovan the chance to make an appearance anyway. Verizon recruited Donavan, along with current spokesman Thomas Middleditch, to promote the end of its one-size-fits-all family unlimited plan. The wireless company spent $1m airing the commercial at the end of the first half of various World Cup matches. Overall, Verizon spent $5.5m on advertising during the tournament this week, including $3m for new ads.

Last week, Verizon ranked number one for ad spend during the World Cup with $4m of expenditures, but this week fell to number six despite upping its budget. The top five advertisers this week for overall TV spend during tournament were Volkswagen, Sprint, McDonald’s, Apple and Ford.

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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