Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend

Comcast spent $7.036 billion in 2018, while AT&T spent $5.1 billion, Amazon spent $13.814 billion and Proctor and Gamble spent $7.103 billion during the same time period.

COMCAST

ADVERTISING SPEND
  • In the cable communications segment, Comcast's advertising, marketing and promotion expenses are those used to attract new customers and promote their service offerings.
  • In the cable networks segment, the expenses are those associated with promoting programming on their cable networks and digital properties.
  • In the broadcast television segment, the advertising money is used for the promotion of their owned and acquired television programming, the marketing of DVDs and costs associated with their digital properties.
  • In the filmed entertainment segment, the expenses are associated with advertising for theatrical releases and marketing films on DVDs and in digital formats.
STRUCTURE OF THEIR MARKETING PLAN
THE COMCAST HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
  • The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, which debuted in 2008, is an annual holiday tradition in form of a free 15-minute show that "features Christmas carol sing-a-longs and a virtual sleigh ride through Philadelphia." It takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day at the Comcast Center lobby and is shown on "one of the world’s largest, high resolution LED displays", the 83.3 feet by 25.4 feet Comcast Experience video wall.
  • To date, the show has been experienced by over 2 million people, and it recently celebrated its two millionth visitor.

PROCTER AND GAMBLE

ADVERTISING SPEND
STRUCTURE OF THEIR MARKETING PLAN

Part
02
of five
Part
02

Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend (2)

GM spent $4.3 billion on advertising in 2017, while Charter Communications spent $2.42 billion during the same time period.

GM

  • When it comes to advertising, GM has spent $4 billion and $4.3 billion during 2018 and 2017, respectively.

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

"ONE FOR YOU, ONE FOR ME" HOLIDAY MARKETING CAMPAIGN


FORD

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

THE "BUILT FORD TOUGH" MARKETING CAMPAIGN

  • The "Built Ford Tough" campaign took place in the 2018 holiday season, focusing on the television and online video advertising channels, such as YouTube.
  • The campaign consisted exclusively of video advertisements, showing a Ford truck hauling a large amount of Christmas presents, as well as a Christmas tree in the following scene. The main tagline of the campaign was "Built for the Holidays".


VERIZON

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

"BEST" — MARKETING CAMPAIGN


CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

"HOLIDAYS: THE BEST DEAL" MARKETING CAMPAIGN


REEARCH STRATEGY

In order to analyze marketing strategies of GM, Ford, Verizon and Charter Communications, we examined third-party descriptions of their marketing strategies and manually reviewed recent holiday marketing campaigns they launched. Regardless, our search suggests quarterly advertising spend information hasn't been published by the companies under investigation. Instead, advertising spend information focused on the annual level, which we provided in lack of more specific data.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend (3)

Quarterly advertising spends for the companies Alphabet, Walmart, American Express and Samsung aren't available. Below, we analyzed each of the companies marketing strategies and outlined the strategies deployed in the course of research.

ALPHABET (GOOGLE)

MARKETING PLAN

"HOME ALONE AGAIN" CAMPAIGN

SAMSUNG

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

SAMSUNG 2017 HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN

WALMART

  • Walmart spent $3.1 billion on advertising in 2018. Monthly or quarterly breakdowns of advertising spend aren't available in the annual reports.

MARKETING PLAN

"ROCK THIS CHRISTMAS" HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN

AMERICAN EXPRESS

  • According to its annual report, American Express spent $6.47 billion on marketing and business development in 2018. No quarterly or monthly breakdowns of advertising spend are available.

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

RESEARCH STRATEGY

No holiday campaigns American Express has done could be found. Also, we were unable to detail how Samsung, Alphabet and Walmart are spending their advertising money. There is not enough publicly available information to analyze the advertising spend for these companies, which we determined after approaching the research in the following ways:

We examined each of the companies annual reports, websites, press releases, interviews with marketing teams as well as CEO's, hoping to locate statements directly from the companies, but found that the available information focused on campaigns that aren't holiday-themed or related. In the annual reports, only the general yearly advertising spend information could be located, often paired with sales or business development expenses.

We scanned third-party publications, such as Marketing Dive and Wall Street Journal, hoping to locate reports on holiday campaigns and analyses of advertising spend for the companies under investigation. Scattered information on American Express' advertising expenses per marketing channel was available, however for other companies, this information couldn't be located. For Walmart and Google, most of the available information focused on their advertising services, rather than their internal marketing efforts. Still, this way, we obtained enough information to analyze holiday campaigns for companies Google, Walmart and Samsung.

We resorted to breaking down the companies into products and searching for holiday campaigns for each product individually, as well as marketing expenses per product, to analyze companies' marketing spend. This strategy enabled us to analyze each of the companies marketing strategies, but still, no holiday campaigns American Express has done could be located, and no information was available on companies' marketing spend per products.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend (4)

Quarterly advertising spends for the companies aren't available. JPMorgan Chase spent $3.29 billion on marketing in 2018, while L'Oreal spent $2.14 billion on marketing during the same time period. Our findings, as well as explanations of how we approached this research, have been outlined below.

JPMORGAN CHASE

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

"CHASE PAY VILLAGE" MARKETING CAMPAIGN


L'OREAL

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN


NESTLE

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN


PFIZER

  • This company hasn't published information on marketing spend in its annual report.

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN


RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research team was unable to locate comprehensive information on how L'Oreal and Nestle spend their advertising budgets, or any holiday marketing campaigns Nestle, L'Oreal and Pfizer have done in the past 24 months. For L'Oreal, some 2016 marketing spend information has been provided in lack of more recent findings. We attempted to find this information in the following ways:

First, we examined each of the companies' annual reports, press releases and other sources where the companies might have disclosed information surrounding their advertising spend and holiday campaigns. The general idea behind this strategy was to locate direct relevant statements from the companies, as well as statistics compiled by companies' research teams, such as breakdown charts of marketing spend. No information on holiday campaigns or details on their marketing spend could be found for companies Pfizer, Nestle or L'Oreal, although this strategy was successful in locating all the required information for company JPMorgan Chase.

Secondly, we turned to third-party reports on these companies, hoping to locate analyses of advertising spend, as well as reports on holiday campaigns these companies have done. Sites such as Ad Week and Ad Age were searched, among others. This way, we managed to gather enough information to analyze Pfizer's marketing spend, however no details on advertising spend could be located for any of the remaining companies. For the remaining companies, various reports on marketing campaigns existed, however no campaigns specifically focused on holidays, represented holidays or were launched inside the holiday season. In case of Nestle, reports on the recently launched "Grinch-themed cookies" were available, however because the company hasn't yet made any marketing efforts surrounding the product, we couldn't use this example in our research.

Next, in order to locate holiday marketing campaigns the companies under investigation have done, we dived into marketing campaign databases, including Campaign and iSpot TV. Our goal was to manually review marketing campaigns each of the companies has done, in order to pinpoint and extract those that have been holiday-themed or promoted a holiday-themed product. Although some campaigns were launched in the holiday season, none were holiday-themed. For instance, in December 2018, Pfizer published a TV advertisement titled "A Different Direction" which promoted XELJANZ, one of its products, however the advertisement was not holiday themed and depicted regular everyday activities.

In another attempt to locate advertising spend details for these companies, we resorted to scanning interviews and public statements with and from each of the company CEO's and marketing officers, but the available interviews mostly focused on general marketing strategies and efforts of these companies, rather than details on advertising spend. No mentions of holiday campaigns could be located this way. Still, this strategy gave us additional insights surrounding L'Oreal's marketing plans.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Top US Companies with Biggest Advertising Spend (5)

Quarterly advertising spends for companies Berkshire Hathaway, Expedia, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Johnson & Johnson aren't available. Our analysis of the companies' marketing strategies and spend has been outlined below, along with explanations of how we approached this research.


BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

'LIGHTEN UP' TV CAMPAIGN


EXPEDIA

  • Expedia spent $1.816 billion on advertising in the US only in 2017.
  • Expedia owns multiple companies, including Hotels.com, Hotwire, Trivago, Vrbo and HomeAway, among others. Advertising spend values are not available for any of these companies.

MARKETING PLAN


FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES

  • This company spent $1.975 billion on advertising in the US during 2017.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns the following brands: Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romero, Jeep, Maserati, Ram, Dodge and Ferrari.

ADVERTISING SPEND

MARKETING PLAN

"DODGE CHALLENGER SANTA SLEIGH" CAMPAIGN


JOHNSON & JOHNSON

  • This company spent $1.926 billion on US advertising in 2017.
  • Company Johnson & Johnson encompasses various brands, including Listerine, Visine and Band-Aid, among others.

MARKETING PLAN


RESEARCH STRATEGY

The research team was unable to locate holiday campaigns companies Johnson & Johnson and Expedia have executed. Also, information on advertising spend for these two companies couldn't be located. We attempted to locate this information in the following ways:

First, we examined each of the companies' websites, press releases and annual reports. There, information on various marketing campaigns was available, but no campaigns specifically focused on holidays or were holiday-themed. Interviews with company CEOs and marketing team members were also searched, in hope of locating direct statements from the companies that could provide relevant insights. Neither advertising spend details or monthly/quarterly breakdowns of advertising spend could be located in annual reports, although general information surrounding advertising spend, such as year-over-year increases, could be located.

Next, we scanned third-party publications, such as Business Insider and Mobile Marketer, in hope of locating relevant advertising spend details and reports on holiday campaigns. Although reports on some campaigns existed, again, we were not able to specifically pinpoint those that were focused on the holidays. General advertising spend information for the companies was available, but the available information didn't go in depth and was surface-level, focusing on marketing spends at the company-wide level, across all marketing channels.

We then decided to break down the companies into products, brands or subsidiaries they own and search for information on advertising spend and holiday campaigns for these products and brands individually. This way, we obtained nearly all information required to analyze companies' marketing strategies and holiday campaigns, but still, advertising spend information on Johnson & Johnson's and Expedia's proprietary brands couldn't be found. After manually reviewing marketing campaigns from Johnson & Johnson's and Expedia's proprietary brands, it was evident that none focused on holidays or were holiday-themed.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
From Part 03
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "One big advantage Chase has is that unlike other companies in industries like consumer packaged goods, it has loads of first-party data and isn’t reliant on data providers. For marketers looking to do more media themselves, that can be a huge boon."
  • "Of course, it’s also cheaper. Canavari said one of the biggest impetuses for Inner Circle was that Chase looked at how much it spent with external agencies and realized it was “a lot.”"
  • "Kristin Lemkau, the chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase, prefers a “healthy tension” when it comes to ad agencies. It began in 2015, when the company launched Inner Circle, an internal agency, as part of its marketing department. Inner Circle began with doing mostly creative, but has since expanded to almost every part of marketing for the JP Morgan, Chase and JPMorgan Chase business lines."
Quotes
  • "Free checked bag? Priority boarding? Five of the top fifteen sites for JPMorgan Chase & Co. over the last thirty days were travel sites ranging from Hotels.com (Expedia) to Airfare Watchdog (TripAdvisor). Considering the company was focused on promoting their United MileagePlus Explorer Card, their site targeting makes a lot of sense."
  • "Advertising for that credit card alone consumed approximately 45% of JPMorgan’s digital budget during November, indicating that holiday travel proves to be beneficial for cards with airline perks."
  • "While JPMorgan invested heavily nearly half of their budget in the United MileagePlus Card in November of 2017, the card only received just over a quarter of the company’s budget during November 2016. The travel perks credit card was still the top sub-brand for JPMorgan, however their strategy was more diversified across their other offerings. The Chase Sapphire Card and general banking campaigns both followed closely behind in 2016, along with investment fund campaigns."
  • "Other trends included a shift towards more display advertising. Year to date, spend for JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been pretty split between desktop display and desktop video advertising, with video reaching its peak during the summer months before dropping off. During the month of November close to 75% of the company’s spend was budgeted on display, up ten percent from the same timeframe in 2016. "
  • "In November of 2017, digital spend for the Sapphire Card was only a fraction of what it was the year prior and general banking campaigns were also down. Priority shifted towards campaigns for J.P. Morgan Asset Management services, taking nearly thirty percent of ad spend during the month. "
Quotes
  • "L’Oréal has developed a tool, dubbed cockpit, that measures the ROI and productivity of its digital media investments so it can see what is working in real time and make decisions on where to spend."
  • "To facilitate this transformation, L’Oréal has upskilled 20,000 of its people and recruited 2,000 digital experts and put a focus on personalisation."
  • "And now L’Oréal is entering the second phase: reinvesting in the consumer experience through innovation, services and personalisation. And for that L’Oréal is looking to new technology such as augmented reality, conversational commerce and artificial intelligence. To accelerate this, in March L’Oréal bought Modiface, which develops custom AR beauty apps."
Quotes
  • "Pfizer, being a pharma company, can no directly advertise its products. Usually marketing pharmaceutical medicines involves dealing with Medical representatives, arranging meetings and seminars with the doctors and other professionals in the healthcare industry to help in promotion of the medicines. Medical representatives advertise and explain the product and hand out free samples and other promotional materials."
  • "Due to intensive use of internet these days, people are directly buying medicines from online stores. This has given rise to direct consumer advertising in Pfizer. Advertising of OTC medicines like is done through newspaper, television and social media. Advertising helps them to communicate the value and benefits they give in their product which in turn helps them create a loyal customer base."
  • " Pfizer also released mini documentaries featuring their scientists to connect with their consumers."
From Part 05