A strong advertising budget and clever advertising professionals are key to keeping a company on our shelves and in our minds. A simple, well-executed advertising campaign that captures our attention can mean millions for a company, and it’s something companies will accordingly invest millions — even billions — in securing.
Now more than ever, advertising is working its clever way into our psyches, and with a rapidly evolving global marketplace, investment in advertising is as significant a priority for companies as their production rates themselves. Companies have evolved past print and television ads (although these are still relevant) and now digital, viral campaigns are what get us interested. With all the information we willingly feed companies about ourselves online, combined with our unprecedented levels of screen time, big corporations have the ability to create ads which speak to us more than ever before.
Now, ads are becoming increasingly personalized and more insidiously incorporated into practically everything we see around us. Despite the inevitable privacy concerns this might provoke, advertising as we know it (and perhaps even as we don't yet know it, so quickly is it evolving) is here to stay. After all, it's about the money.
Gale Group Inc reports that the US has an annual advertising agency revenue of $48 billion and Business Insider reports that in 2013, America’s 100 wealthiest advertisers spent the record breaking amount of $109 billion dollars in ads alone — an obscenely large sum compared to the advertising budgets in the days of old. Companies are continually expanding their advertising budgets, and these newly inflated budgets show no signs of shrinking. For an idea of just how much money is invested in turning big brands into 'household names', check out the following ten companies in America that spend the most annually on ads, based on data collected from 2013 by Business Insider.
10 Fiat Chrysler: $1.97 billion on ads
Fiat has been buying into Chrysler for years, and the relationship became official in 2014 in the form of Italian automotive holding group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In 2013, Fiat Chrysler spent $1.97 billion dollars on its ads. Most of this sum was spent on television ads - $900 million to be exact - reminding us that those fancy car commercials don't come cheap.
9 Toyota: $2.09 billion on ads
Toyota spent $2.09 billion on advertising its products in 2013. Business Insider reports that this is a 4.1 percent increase from their advertising budget of 2012. Once again, the greatest proportion of that money, $959 million, went into producing television ads.
8 American Express: $2.19 billion on ads
AmEx are known for their trendy, catchy advertising campaigns, and these campaigns require big money. In 2013, American Express saw a 5.7 percent increase of its advertising budget compared to 2012. The company spent $2.19 billion on ads, the largest sum of which (129 million) went to internet ads.
7 L’Oreal: $2.34 billion on ads
The French-based cosmetics giant L’Oreal spent $2.34 billion on ads in 2013, reminding us that those beautiful models and celebrity-fronted campaigns used to showcase their beauty products in the glossy mags come at a steep price. It makes sense, then, that the company spent $872 million on magazine ads alone in 2013.
6 Verizon: $2.44 billion on ads
Verizon, an American communications company now focusing largely on wireless services, spent $2.44 billion on ads in 2013. Like so many others on this list, Verizon invested the largest sum of its advertising budget into television ads. An enormous $811 million of their budget went in to spreading the word about the company through airtime.
5 Ford: $2.56 billion on ads
In 2013, Ford spent $2.56 billion telling us about their latest cars. The large sum of $797 million was spent on television ads alone. Its 2013 spending represented a 12.4 percent increase from 2012 — quite the investment.
4 Comcast: $3.08 billion on ads
Comcast, a North American broadcasting and cable company - and the largest of its kind in the world - spent $3.08 billion on ads last year. The huge sum of $901 million dollars went to television ads alone.
3 General Motors: $2.15 billion on ads
In 2013, General Motors spent $2.15 billion dollars on ads, with $185 million going into magazine ads. The company also spent $176 million on advertising via the internet.
2 AT&T: $2.91 billion on ads
In 2013, AT&T saw a 12.3 percent increase of its 2012 advertising budget, spending a total of $2.91 billion. It’s medium of choice was the internet, investing $245 million in advertising online.
1 Procter & Gamble: $5 billion on ads
Coming in as the number one corporate giant spending the most on advertising in America, Procter & Gamble spent a total of $5 billion on ads in 2013. A whopping $1.9 billion was spent on television ads and another $1.1 billion was spent on advertising via magazines. With all this money being put into promoting a company’s product, it’s clear that a major source of spending is going into making us familiar with and trusting of a brand - apparently, gaining our favor is worth billions.