The top 5 wireless ads: Verizon kicks off 2018 by spending big on TV ads

Verizon spend roughly $63 million on its “Awards” ad featuring actor Thomas Middleditch. (Verizon)

FierceWireless has partnered with iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than 7 million smart TVs, to bring you a monthly snapshot of the wireless industry's advertising spending. The results below are for the top five spenders among wireless industry brands from Jan. 1-31.

During the first month of 2018, 21 brands spent an estimated $274.8 million on 113 commercials that ran over 43,800 times and generated 14.3 billion TV ad impressions. Verizon was in the lead, followed by T-Mobile and Sprint.

(Check out how these numbers compare with February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and December of last year.)

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Here’s how the top brands allocated their national TV advertising budgets:

1. Verizon

  • spent an estimated $78.1 million on 13 spots that ran over 6,500 times.
  • generated nearly 3.1 billion TV ad impressions.
  • prioritized spend on these networks: CBS, Fox and NBC.
  • prioritized spend on this programming: NFL Football, NBA Basketball and the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

The Verizon ad with the most spend (est. $62.9 million): “Awards,” featuring Thomas Middleditch


2. T-Mobile

  • spent an estimated $57.4 million on six spots that ran over 7,300 times.
  • generated 2.3 billion TV ad impressions.
  • prioritized spend on these networks: Fox, NBC and ABC.
  • prioritized spend on this programming: NFL Football, The Four: Battle for Stardom and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The T-Mobile ad with the most spend (est. $31.5 million): “New Year, New Phones for the Family


3. Sprint

  • spent an estimated $39.9 million on 16 spots that ran over 7,100 times.
  • generated 2 billion TV ad impressions.
  • prioritized spend on these networks: NBC, Fox and ABC.
  • prioritized spend on this programming: NFL Football, NBA Basketball and South Park.

The Sprint ad with the most spend (est. $13.6 million): “Smarter You


4. AT&T

  • spent an estimated $24.5 million on eight spots that ran over 1,500 times.
  • generated 1.1 billion TV ad impressions.
  • prioritized spend on these networks: ESPN, CBS and ABC.
  • prioritized spend on this programming: CFP National Championship, NFL Football and the 2017-2018 Rose Bowl.

The AT&T Wireless ad with the most spend (est. $16.1 million): “DIRECTV: iPhone 8 on Us


5. MetroPCS

  • spent an estimated $15 million on 15 spots that ran over 2,900 times.
  • generated 816.3 million TV ad impressions.
  • prioritized spend on these networks: Fox, ABC and NBC.
  • prioritized spend on this prog.ramming: NBA Basketball, Futbol Mexicano Primera Division and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The MetroPCS ad with the most spend (est. $5.3 million): “Sharing With No Limits


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

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

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

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