The top 5 wireless ads: AT&T narrowly beats out Sprint to retain lead in TV spending

FierceWireless has partnered with TV advertising measurement firm to bring you a monthly snapshot of the wireless industry's advertising spending and digital engagement. The results below are for the top five biggest spenders among wireless industry brands in June.

In June, the wireless industry spent an estimated $199.8 million, an increase from May's $170.7 million. AT&T narrowly topped Sprint to remain in first place for spending, while Cricket Wireless surpassed MetroPCS to take fifth place. In total, 19 brands ran 101 spots 43,592 times, generating almost 7.3 billion TV ad impressions.

Check out how these figures compare with March, April and May.


Here are the top 5 ads for June in terms of total spending:

1. AT&T led the pack in June with an estimated $37.2 million, which accounted for 18.6 percent of the wireless industry's spend. The brand ran 17 spots 8,154 times and generated roughly 1.8 billion total impressions. AT&T ads aired frequently during sports broadcasts, including Copa Europea UEFA 2016 and Copa América Centenario 2016, and the brand spent heavily on commercials during the 2016 NBA Finals. The top ad, "Siri," had nearly 417 million impressions with an estimated spend of $13.8 million.

2. Sprint grabbed second place, spending an estimated $37.1 million on 13 spots that aired 7,523 times for a total of 1.2 billion impressions. Its top ad, "Paul Switched," features the old Verizon "Can you hear me now?" spokesman Paul Marcarelli. This spot, which aired 3,491 times, generated 360.7 million impressions and had an estimated spend of $18.1 million. It was also the commercial with the highest spend for the industry as a whole during the month. Overall, Sprint spent heavily across ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC. Ads aired most frequently during The Simpsons, South Park and Ridiculousness.

3. Verizon once again took third place with an estimated spend of $33.3 million, 16.7 percent of the industry's total for June. The brand ran 13 spots 6,364 times and generated over 777 million total TV impressions. Its top ad based on TV spend was "Win-Win-Win Event: It's Back - iPhones," which had a total spend over spend of $5.6 million, with $1.3 million during the 2016 BET Awards alone. Overall, Verizon spent heavily on ads that aired during the 2016 NBA Finals, the BET Awards and Copa América Centenario 2016.

4. T-Mobile claimed fourth place with an estimated spend of $30.3 million on 15 spots that ran 6,220 times and resulted in 874.6 million impressions. The company spent an estimated $9.5 million on "Roll Forward: Streaming," a commercial that garnered 133.9 million TV impressions through 1,592 airings. T-Mobile spent the most on ads that aired during American Ninja Warrior, America's Got Talent and the 2016 BET Awards.

5. Cricket Wireless ran 7 spots 4,617 times, which generated 726.9 million TV impressions. Its top ad, "Jumbotron," aired 2,472 times and had an estimated spend of $10.5 million — over half of the company's total estimated spend of $18.4 million. Cricket Wireless spent the most on spots during special events including the 2016 BET Awards, the 2016 NBA Finals and the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

iSpot's data does not include co-promotions or local market data. Click here for more on's methodology.

The company's software leverages proprietary audio and video fingerprinting algorithms to automatically identify and extract TV commercials, movie trailers and show promos.  

The company tracks hundreds of millions of explicit interactions with TV ads across roughly 100 million unique consumersThese interactions include video plays, searches and social activity. The company also analyzes online views across YouTube and, searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo! and social activity on Facebook (including Facebook private views) and Twitter.

The company tags over 40 different dimensions of metadata, including brand, agency, actors, products, songs, moods, URLs and other pertinent data, to create its results.

The top 5 wireless ads: AT&T narrowly beats out Sprint to retain lead in TV spending