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NFL sacks all comers as video games’ best source of ad impressions


Gaming industry TV ads generated over 1.54 billion impressions from September 16 to October 15, nearly identical to the amount in the previous 30-day period. Just under 75% of impressions came from PlayStation and Nintendo. Of the top five programs that delivered impressions, only one — SpongeBob SquarePants — wasn’t sports-related. The NFL led for impressions (247.8 million), delivering over 100 million more than the NBA playoffs (131.6 million), at No. 2.

GamesBeat has partnered with iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, to bring you a monthly report on TV advertising by the gaming industry. These are the ads, and by extension the games, that game marketers have been putting major muscle behind.

Below are the top five most-seen gaming industry TV advertisers from the period measured.

PlayStation continues to be a heavy hitter, this time generating 650.2 million TV ad impressions from over 1,300 airings of six spots. With 422.1 million impressions, the brand’s most-seen commercial was “The Edge: Play Has No Limits.” Top programming driving impressions: the NFL, NBA, and MLB; top networks included ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2.

At No. 2: Nintendo, which aired 26 spots over 3,300 times, resulting in 435.9 million TV ad impressions. “A True Hero,” promoting Super Mario 3D All-Stars, was the most-seen ad with 60.9 million impressions. Once again, Nintendo was the only top-five brand that didn’t target sports fans; instead (and per usual), it prioritized reaching a family-friendly audience: Nick, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network were the top impressions-driving networks, while top shows included SpongeBob SquarePants, The Loud House, and Big City Greens.

Third place goes to EA Sports, with 216.5 million TV ad impressions resulting from 824 airings of six commercials. Its most-seen commercial, with 73.4 million TV ad impressions, was “A New Era Feat. The Spokesplayer,” featuring King Keraun. Given EA’s focus on promoting Madden NFL 21, it’s not surprising that top impressions-driving programs were all football-focused, led by NFL games and followed by college football and Monday Night Countdown. Top networks included NFL Network, ESPN, and ABC.

Xbox aired three spots 49 times, generating 101.8 million TV ad impressions, which puts the brand in fourth place. A spot for Cyberpunk 2077, “Seize the Day,” featuring Keanu Reeves and music from Billie Eilish, was its most-seen with 45 million impressions. Xbox continued with the industry’s overall sports theme, prioritizing programming such as the NBA, NFL, and MLB; top networks by impressions included ABC, ESPN, and NBC.

Square Enix rounds out the ranking with 51.9 million TV ad impressions generated by a single spot, “Time to Assemble,” promoting Marvel’s Avengers, which ran 103 times. Top programming by impressions included college football, SportsCenter, and College Football Scoreboard, while networks leading by impressions included ESPN, ABC, and Adult Swim.

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