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Which Olympic Marketers Spent the Most on TV and Digital Ads?



Call it the little family tree that could: Almost no other brand took root during the Olympics like, running 14 TV commercials during the two-week sports extravaganza that ended on Sunday. DirecTV, with 29 ads, was the only individual company to run more spots.

Forty-one brands ran campaigns that entailed television, display, native, video and mobile ad units, including names such as Dunkin Donuts, Verizon, Walmart and the Warner Bros. film War Dogs. Also, digital native advertising drew 107 media buyers, which represented 19 percent of all advertisers and 26 percent of digital ad buyers.

All of those numbers hail from MediaRadar, which, from Aug. 1 through Aug. 20, looked at data from NBC and aggregated stats from more than 6,000 websites, evaluating the kinds of placements Summer Olympics advertisers are buying across TV and digital mediums. (Radio and billboards are not included.) Exact dollar figures are not available, but the tech company’s thorough methodology (find a full explanation at the bottom of this story) suggests this is an accurate glimpse into brands’ spending activity.

Meanwhile, the top category for advertisers was media/entertainment, beating second-place automotive, per MediaRadar.

Here are two charts that highlight some of what the New York-based player learned:


MediaRadar’s system can reasonably estimate TV ad buys through client data and extrapolation. Its methodology for measuring digital buying is more nuanced and relies on a proprietary program called Placement Score, a composite score that weighs different elements of an online buy to help determine its scale and size. Such elements include ad type, location, density on the page, media format and frequency of a campaign. Each is assigned a value that’s calculated into the overall Placement Score. The metric is designed to help you compare the size of buy between advertisers or a brand’s spend on competing websites.

According to MediaRadar, native and video efforts—or campaigns with higher viewability—will be weighted larger than standard box or run-of-site banner ads. So, for example, if Advertiser A has a Placement Score of 20,000 and Advertiser B has a Placement Score of 10,000, you can make the assumption that Advertiser A spent twice what Advertiser B did in the same time frame.