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There’s something to be said about financial services advertising when 6 of the 10 most “talk-worthy” campaigns are from financial services brands. However, some companies are spending far more than others in order to get that word-of-mouth, with the company fronted by a talking gecko being the one that spent the most in 2018, according to a report [download page] from Kantar and Ad Age.

Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company for Geico, spent $1.6 billion in advertising last year, a 7.1% increase from the $1.5 billion it spent in 2017. The only other financial service company that came close to spending that much last year was Progressive, which spent 44.6% more in 2018 than the year prior to reach $1.1 billion in measured-media ad spend.

Berkshire Hathaway spent almost two and a half times more than the third biggest financial service advertiser, Capital One Financial Corp., which invested $665 million last year (up 43.8% from the year before) in measured media. Capital One was followed by State Farm, which kept its spending relatively flat. Rounding out the top 5 was Allstate Corp. which increased its advertising spending by 31.8% to reach $452 million in 2018.

While 30% share of the $14.5 billion in total financial services advertising spend went towards digital advertising, network TV (which accounted for 23% share of total spend) experienced the largest increase (14%) in spending between 2017 and 2018, per the report. Recent data from WARC found that, globally, the financial services industry also spent more of their advertising dollars on internet advertising (45.5%) than they did on TV (29.8%).

These were the 3 largest spenders in each segment of financial services last year:

Auto Insurance

  • Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) – $739 million
  • Progressive Corp. – $457 million
  • Liberty Mutual Holding Co. – $263 million

Consumer Banking

  • Wells Fargo & Co. – $203 million
  • Capital One Financial Corp. -$195 million
  • Citigroup – $125 million

Credit Card

  • Capital One Financial Corp. – $454 million
  • Discover Financial Services – $266 million
  • American Express Co. – $223 million

Investment and Retirement

  • TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. – $227 million
  • FMR Corp. (Fidelity Investments) – $149 million
  • Charles Schwab Corp. – $149 million

To read more, download the full report here.

About the Data: Company ranking based on 2018 US media-measured advertising spend.

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