Cannes Lions Preview: How Past Winners Apple, Google and Burger King Are Spending on TV

With insights from iSpot

Next week the global advertising industry will descend on Cannes, France for the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Most of the finalists won’t be announced until the festival begins, but one accolade has already hit the press: the 2019 Creative Marketer of the Year, which goes to Apple.

Although Apple has obviously had a huge impact on the advertising world over the last few decades and has won countless awards, this is the first time it’s won Marketer of the Year.

We worked with TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv to see how Apple, plus previous Marketers of the Year Google and Burger King, have been spending on TV so far this year—and which of their commercials have grabbed viewers’ attention the most. The data below covers Jan. 1 through June 10.

Related: NBCU Pushes Creativity at Cannes Ad Festival

Apple (2019 Marketer of the Year)

Although Apple has run TV ad campaigns for a variety of its products and services this year, it’s prioritized the iPhone with an estimated spend of $191.1 million on 17 spots that have aired over 7,000 times, generating nearly 5.2 billion TV ad impressions. The company has spent heavily across sports-related programming including NFL Football, the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament and the 2019 NBA Finals. Top networks in terms of spend include CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and ESPN.

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With nearly 1.3 billion impressions, “Private Side” has been the iPhone’s most-seen spot this year so far—and it’s also one that’s attracted high levels of viewer attention with an iSpot Attention Index of 166, meaning it’s received 66% fewer interruptions than other commercials in the smartphone space (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV).

Google (2018 Marketer of the Year)

Similar to Apple, Google has promoted a variety of products and services this year. A major focus has been Google Pixel, with an estimated spend of $56.9 million on 49 commercials that have aired over 5,800 times and generated nearly 3 billion TV ad impressions. Google has devoted much of its spend on the 2019 NBA Finals, and top networks for the brand include TNT, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

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Google’s most-seen spot this year so far is “Real Talk With 2 Chainz and Awkwafina,” with 535.4 million TV ad impressions—but a commercial that’s grabbed viewer attention more is “Unlimited Photo Storage” (also featuring 2 Chainz and Awkwafina), which has an iSpot Attention Index of 129, receiving 29% fewer interruptions than the average for smartphone ads.

Burger King (2017 Marketer of the Year)

This year Burger King has spent an estimated $177.4 million running 42 commercials over 100,000 times, resulting in 17.1 billion TV ad impressions. Continuing the trend above, sports programming has been a big focus for the fast food brand, with the 2019 NBA Finals, NFL Football and Super Bowl LIII topping the list of programs drawing BK’s highest spend. Specific networks with high spend include TNT, Fox, ESPN, Adult Swim and ABC.

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Burger King’s most-seen spot with 1.9 billion impressions is “Turning Up the Heat.” This ad has also been successful in terms of viewer attention, with an iSpot Attention Index of 129, receiving 29% fewer interruptions than other commercials from the quick-serve industry.

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