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2018 Advertising Review: Top Brands By Spend, Impressions and More

Before we get too far into 2019, we thought we’d take a look back at the last year in television advertising  — based on complete data (vs. the full-year projections that were available in late December). So we partnered with iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics, to see which parent brands shelled out the most for TV ads, as well as to find out which companies had the most eyeballs on their spots. Also below: a look at some of the tech companies that dominated over the year.

In total, over 7,600 brands spent an estimated $69.6 billion on over 50,000 spots that aired more than 33.2 million times in 2018, generating an incredible 6.9 trillion impressions. That’s a 2.5% increase in estimated spend compared to 2017.

Top Brands by Estimated Spend

With all the talk of TV disruption and cord-cutting, the simple fact is that money still talks — and major brands are still choosing television advertising to do a lot of talking for them. Leading (by a margin of nearly $1 billion) in estimated TV spend is Procter & Gamble, which owns popular CPG brands including Charmin, Febreze, Gain, Gillette, Olay and many others. Geico follows, and is the only insurance brand to make the top five.

1. Procter & Gamble
Est. Spend: $2.2 billion

Est. Spend: $1.2 billion

3. Pfizer, Inc
Est. Spend: $1.2 billion

4. General Motors
Est. Spend: $993.2 million

5. AT&T
Est. Spend: $981.9 million

Top Brands by Impressions

Knowing how many viewers actually saw your TV ads is crucial. Here are the brands that racked up the most impressions over the year. Procter & Gamble also tops the list, but multiple media/entertainment groups fill out the rest of the top five ranking.

1. Procter & Gamble
Impressions: 228,260,487,082

2. Comcast Corporation
Impressions: 189,878,157,309

3. Discovery Communications
Impressions: 183,407,532,635

4. The Walt Disney Company
Impressions: 154,077,823,818

5. FOX Entertainment Group
Impressions: 111,233,383,871

Tech Companies Spent Big, Too

While they may not have made the top of the chart, popular technology companies upped their game in 2018 when it came to TV advertising.

  • Amazon was the 13th largest spender on TV in 2018
  • Apple was the 14th largest spender on TV in 2018
  • Google was the 21st largest spender on TV in 2018
  • Facebook was the 72nd largest spender on TV in 2018
  • Uber was the 113th largest spender on TV in 2018
  • Netflix was the 155th largest spender on TV in 2018