Warner Brothers Topped the List of TV’s Biggest Spenders on New Ads Last Week

Advertisers spent $14 million during the NBA Finals

The studio spent nearly $1.3 million on a new 15-second trailer touting the critical and box office success of Wonder Woman. Warner Bros

Last week saw an increase in advertiser spending on national broadcast placement for new ads. Advertisers devoted $109 million to new creative, up from $92 million a week earlier, according to Kantar Media. The spending increase came despite the number of brands advertising increasing by just two, from 594 to 596.

The increased spending can largely be attributed to the inflated cost of placement during the NBA Finals, which accounted for over $14 million of such spending, up from $8.7 million the previous week. Three of the top five advertisers spent more on placement during the NBA Finals than any other programming. The increased spending came despite the number of advertisers running new spots during the games falling from 33 to 26 and the number of new ad placements going from 103 to 57. That should give you some idea of the amplified cost of advertising during the final games of the series, which concluded Monday with the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 to capture the NBA title. Advertisers shelled out some $14 million on placement during Games 3 and 4 alone.

Overall spending on broadcast placement was up as well, with advertisers spending nearly $782 million, compared with around $746 million the previous week. That figure still fell short of the $828 million spent the week before that, however.

A week after it was the runner-up, Warner Bros. topped Kantar Media’s list, devoting around 65 percent ($4 million) of its broadcast placement budget for the week to new trailers for Wonder Woman and two other movies, including almost $1.5 million on trailers running during the NBA Finals.

Of that, the studio spent nearly $1.3 million on a new 15-second trailer touting the critical and box office success of its adaptation of the DC Comics character, which premiered June 2. Warner Bros. has been hyping the movie since March, spending an estimated $26 million to promote it thus far with a mix of broadcast, digital, mobile, display, print and radio ads, including $2.1 million on a similar trailer the week before.

Warner Bros. also spent $2.7 million on a new trailer promoting the June 30 release of The House, which has received a healthy promotional blitz of its own in recent weeks, with the studio devoting $1.5 million to placement for a different trailer a week earlier. It also spent $5,000 on a new trailer promoting the July 21 release of Christopher Nolan war film Dunkirk to run exclusively during the NBA Finals.

Warner Bros. narrowly edged out the week’s second biggest spender, Kohl’s, which spent almost $3.9 million. The retailer also devoted a far higher percentage of its overall broadcast placement budget, about 80 percent or $4.8 million, on placement for its new ad promoting the chain’s Father’s Day sale. Of that, Kohl’s devoted $440,000 to placement during ABC sitcom Black-ish.

Burger King spent around 68 percent ($3.3 million) of its total broadcast placement budget on a new spot promoting its Crispy Chicken Sandwich and BBQ Bacon Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Of that, the fast-food chain devoted $1.2 million to placement during the NBA Finals.

Of the top five spenders on Kantar Media’s list, Sony Pictures spent the smallest portion of its overall broadcast placement budget on new creative. The studio devoted 45 percent of its overall national broadcast placement budget of just under $7.2 million (about $3.2 million) on new trailers. Of that, $600,000 was spent on placement during the NBA Finals.

Sony Pictures spent over $1.9 million on broadcast placement for a new 15-second trailer promoting the June 16 release of Rough Night, the Lucia Aniello-directed dark comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and Zoë Kravitz.

The studio also spent $697,000 and $391,000, respectively, on new trailers promoting the June 28 releases of Baby Driver and Spider Man: Homecoming as well as $177,000 on one promoting the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, which hits theaters Aug 4.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.