Nintendo led gaming industry TV ad spend in August, but others are catching up

Nintendo may have ruled August when it comes to TV time, but with the fall game season upon us, PlayStation is opening its wallet and catching up.

GamesBeat has partnered with, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TV screens, to bring you a monthly report on how gaming brands are spending. The results below are for the top five gaming industry brands in August, ranked by spend.

As summer began to come to a close, there was an uptick in gaming industry spend for television, jumping to an estimated $17.1 million from July’s $12.2 million. In total, 29 brands ran 81 spots nearly 9,000 times and generated over 1.1 billion TV ad impressions.

Nintendo maintained its lead as the biggest spender with an estimated $4.5 million outlay. The brand aired 14 commercials over 1,600 times, racking up 230.6 million impressions. The spot with the biggest budget (an estimated $931,632) was “New, Sleek Look,” which promotes the new 2DS XL. Once again Nintendo prioritized budget to reach a youthful audience watching networks including Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Nick, and shows such as SpongeBob SquarePantsTeen Titans Go!, and American Dad.

Despite not running TV ads until midway through August, PlayStation came in second place with an estimated $2.5 million in spending. It ran just three spots 453 times and received 94.9 million impressions. Most of PlayStation’s budget was allocated to “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy: Treasure Hunting.” The brand prioritized spend across Comedy Central, MTV, and Adult Swim and, in terms of specific programming, during episodes of South ParkTosh.0, and Catfish: The TV Show.

InnoGames slipped from second to third place this time around with an estimated $1.5 million in spending for five ads that aired 839 times and generated 98.4 million TV ad impressions. “Forge of Empires: Trade” had the largest budget, an estimated $964,408. Male-skewing audiences were targeted with spend focused on networks including SyFy and NFL Network, and programming such as NFL preseason football, Inside Training Camp Live, and Training Camp Primetime.

Back in the ranking this month: Xbox, which also started running ads later in the month (Aug. 14). The company spent an estimated $1.3 million on a single spot — “Madden NFL 18: This Is the Year” — which aired 356 times, garnering 46.3 million impressions. As you’d expect, Xbox targeted a football-loving crowd, prioritizing spend on networks including ESPN and NFL Network, and on programming such as NFL preseason football, SportsCenter, and NFL Live.

King closes out the ranking with an estimated spend of $1.3 million for four ads that aired almost 1,900 times and generated 269.8 million TV ad impressions. The brand focused on promoting Candy Crush, with “Candy Crush Saga: Special Event: Candylicious Rewards” receiving the largest chunk (an est. $870,356) of the budget. ION, ABC, and Investigation Discovery were the three networks that got the most spend, while The View Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order were some of the shows attracting the most King dollars.