March was a big month for Nintendo with the launch of its long-awaited island life simulator Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It must have been borrowing from the bank of Tom Nook, as it spent an estimated total of $14.6 million in North America over the 30 days. According to iSpot.tv, this was $3 million more than what it spent in February and made it the only gaming brand within this region to spend over $1 million during this period.
All up, it ran 20 ads more than 3,000 times and managed to generate more than 793 million television ad impressions. Its biggest ad spot with a budget of $2.6 million went to the "Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Your Personal Island Paradise" commercial. Take a look below:
Bethesda Softworks was the runner-up, with an estimated spend of $866,251 on two spots airing 425 times and resulting in 116.8 million ad impressions. Its biggest one was the "Official Launch Trailer" for Doom Eternal (which arrived the same day as Animal Crossing). In third place was Xbox, with an estimated spend of $640,961, and another ad for Doom Eternal in partnership with Bethesda.
Despite most of the US economy shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gaming industry increased its advertising during the month of March to $17.3 million. This was an extra $5.3 million more than the previous month's spend, and it makes a lot of sense with the amount of people currently indoors.