Here’s How Much Amazon Spent on Prime Day Ads

Retail giant's advertising budget got a major boost

One of the company's major goals was recruiting new Prime members — and it worked.
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Amazon increased its Prime Day ad spend by more than 25% this year—to the tune of $40 million, according to media analysis company MediaRadar.

The uptick comes amid increased competition in the fifth year of the online retail giant’s marquee sales event. More than 300 retailers offered copycat summer sales of their own this year.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. However,MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman said in a statement that Amazon’s efforts reflect a desire to protect its territory and lure more Prime members, something Amazon said it accomplished last week.

“With more of Amazon’s competitors offering competitive shipping, Amazon heavily promoted the other services that users receive from a Prime Membership in the months leading up to Prime Day,” Krizelman said.

How Amazon’s expenditures break down

Media analysis company Kantar found Amazon spent $5.9 million on digital ads from July 1 to July 16, with most going to banner ads on (though not all were for Prime Day). If it were actually paying for those ads, the firm estimates Amazon would have received a bill for a cool $37 million.

In addition, Kantar found Amazon spent more than $350,000 to own the search term “Amazon Prime” on Google. It also spent $33,000 on related keywords like “Amazon sale.”

Kantar’s figures are based on analysis of all U.S. ad spend as well as the occurrence of creative across broadcast, print and digital (with the exception of social). MediaRadar, on the other hand, aggregates advertising data from websites, publications and TV channels and calculates spend via algorithms and agency-confirmed pricing.

In terms of more traditional advertising, Kantar determined Amazon allocated $8.1 million of its $13.2-million TV budget to Prime Day from July 1 to July 16. That breaks down to $4.3 million on cable TV, $1.6 million on Spanish-language network television and $1.8 million on standard network TV. The other $400,00 was spent on spot TV.

MediaRadar said Amazon’s $12.5-million in pre-Prime Day promotion on linear TV in the first two weeks of July marked a 17% increase over 2018. A “sizeable part” of the increase came from spending more on prime-time ads, according to its data.

@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.