PlayStation takes shot at NBA playoffs as TV ad budgets spike in July


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    Sony made a huge bet with a series of PlayStation ads that it placed during the NBA Playoffs in July. But despite outspending its two major competitors by 124%, it couldn’t overtake Nintendo when it comes to the most-seen gaming industry TV ads for the month.

    According to TV ad measurement and attribution company, PlayStation spent an estimated $4.4 million on TV in July alone. That’s more than double the estimated $1.8 million it spent for the entire first half of the year, and 68.8% of the total ad spend for the entire gaming category.

    Marketers directed $3.3 million of their TV ad budgets at the NBA playoffs, but only one of the three ads that aired during the playoffs made the list of the top five most-seen spots of the month. On the whole, PlayStation ads resulted in 228.4 million impressions for the month, or 30.2% of the gaming industry total.

    Nintendo, meanwhile, spent an estimated $1.6 million for the month — or 25.9% of the industry total — yet dominated impressions with 473.8 million (62.7% of all gaming ad impressions for the month). The Switch manufacturer stuck with its strategy of focusing on kids and family networks, led by Disney Channel, Nick, and Cartoon Network.


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    Like PlayStation, Nintendo also notably increased its TV advertising budget for the month, dedicating an estimated $1.6 million in July compared to $1.29 million for the entire first half of the year.

    Microsoft’s Xbox took a different tack. After leading the industry in the first half of the year with an estimated national TV ad spend of $4.2 million, the company dialed it way back in July with only $308,500. That’s 4.8% of the industry total, earning the company 42.9 million impressions, or 5.7% of the category total.

    Here are the top five gaming industry ads by impressions for the month of July.

    My Way: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury 

    • Impressions: 112,483,528
    • Estimated TV spend: $304,102
    • Airings: 528
    • Top network: Disney Channel
    • Top show: Big City Greens

    Mario Golf: Super Rush: Golf With A Mushroom Kingdom Twist

    • Impressions: 76,457,851
    • Estimated TV spend: $223,640
    • Airings: 540
    • Top network: Nick
    • Top show: SpongeBob SquarePants

    Mario Golf: Super Rush: Adventure With Friends or Frenemies

    • Impressions: 71,330,010
    • Estimated TV spend: $228,777
    • Airings: 395
    • Top network: Disney Channel
    • Top show: Big City Greens

    PlayStation PS4 and PS5 Exclusives

    • Impressions: 62,948,656
    • Estimated TV spend: $1,246,034
    • Airings: 210
    • Top network: ESPN
    • Top show: SportsCenter

    PlayStation PS4 and PS5 Exclusives — Horizon: Forbidden West

    • Impressions: 45,463,354
    • Estimated TV spend: $401,960
    • Airings: 183
    • Top network: ESPN
    • Top show: SportsCenter

    Data provided by, TV ad measurement for disruptive brands.


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