Sony and Warner Bros. Hype Summer Blockbusters as Spending on New TV Ads Dips

Movie trailers dominate national broadcast placement budgets

Warner Bros. Pictures

Odds are you’ve been seeing a lot of movie trailers lately.

After rebounding from a lull in the first full week of July, spending on national broadcast placement for new creative was down again last week. A total of 477 advertisers devoted $85 million to such placement for new ads, according to Kantar Media, down 14 percent from the previous week.

Overall national broadcast placement spending was down as well, falling $2 million from the previous week to $830 million. Without a major advertising event, no single program truly dominated, with advertisers spending $3 million placing new ads during NBC’s America’s Got Talent more than any other show.

Unsurprisingly, movie studios were among those that did spend a lot to place new ads.

For the second week in a row, Sony Pictures spent more than any other advertiser, devoting over $4.8 million to new trailers for The Emoji Movie, The Dark Tower and Spider-Man: Homecoming, a little over half of its overall national broadcast budget for the week. Sony is ramping down spending on the Spider-Man movie, which made its debut on July 7, devoting $755,000 to the latest trailer for the Marvel blockbuster after spending $1.4 million a week prior. The majority of the studio’s spending last week was instead devoted to a trailer promoting the July 28 release of The Emoji Movie, with the studio spending over $3.4 million on national broadcast placement promoting the animated comedy. It also devoted $668,000 to a new trailer hyping the Aug. 4 release of The Dark Tower. The top program for each of the trailers was Big Brother 19, with the studio devoting $135,000 to placing each of the trailers during that program.

Ahead of National Psoriasis Awareness month in August, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis heavily promoted its psoriasis medication, Cosentyx. Novartis spent $4.6 million on national broadcast placement for a new 60-second spot for Cosentyx featuring celebrity spokesperson Cyndi Lauper and other psoriasis sufferers, around 68 percent of the company’s overall national broadcast spending for the week. The spot aired 727 times nationally since making its debut July 17 on NBC’s Early Today and an additional 2,530 times in local markets, according to Kantar Media.

Warner Bros. Pictures spent around $500,000 less than Sony did to air new ads nationally, devoting just under $4.3 million to new trailers for Dunkirk, Annabelle: Creation and The Lego Ninjago Movie, with $311,000 of that devoted to placement during America’s Got Talent. The studio also spent roughly the same proportion of its national broadcast budget for the week on new trailers as Sony Pictures did, with its $4.3 million representing roughly 58 percent of its overall spending.

Warner Bros. devoted the majority of its spending to promoting the July 21 release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, spending nearly $3.7 million on placement for a new 15-second trailer for the war film. The studio also devoted $600,000 to a trailer promoting the Sept. 22 release of The Lego Ninjago Movie and a mere $9,000 on placement for a trailer promoting the Aug. 11 release of supernatural horror film Annabelle:Creation.

Burger King, the top spender on national broadcast placement for new ads during the first full week of July with a spot promoting its grilled hot dogs, also devoted a significant portion of its broadcast placement to another new ad last week. The fast-food chain spent roughly $3.4 million on its “The Parmesan Don” spot promoting its new chicken Parmesan sandwich, around 86 percent of the nearly $3.9 million it spent on overall national broadcast placement last week. Of that, $119,000 was devoted to placement during CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, more than any other program.

Honda rounds out Kantar Media’s list of last week’s top spenders on national broadcast placement for new creative. The automaker devoted nearly the entirety (around 99 percent) of its overall national broadcast budget to a new ad promoting its “Honda Summerbration Sales Event.” America’s Got Talent was the top landing spot for that ad, with $207,000 devoted to placement during the program.