Nielsen: Tech ad spend soared in Q1 with Microsoft in the lead

Nielsen: Tech ad spend soared in Q1 with Microsoft in the lead

Summary: Nielsen identify some winners in the "the never-ending battle to gain market share and stand out as the 'it' gadget of our time."


Analysts at various market intelligence firms seem to be pointing toward a petite tech boom this week. Following up a report from CB Insights about improving IPOs, Nielsen is chiming in with positive figures for technology ad spend.

To clarify, the figures refer to how much technology companies dished out to advertise their own products, or as Nielsen reps put it, "the never-ending battle to gain market share and stand out as the 'it' gadget of our time."

Nielsen found that domestic tech ad spend climbed to $723 million during the first quarter of 2013 -- a 30 percent increase annually.

The report also highlights how significant this is when ad spend was actually down by approximately one percent across all other verticals.

Analysts reflected that this surge is due in part to more aggressive tactics being employed to convince consumers that they (and they alone) offer the fastest and smartest devices on the market.

Here's more:

The technology industry hasn’t seen a first-quarter jump of this magnitude in several years—especially not when advertisers are exercising restraint in most other industries. But it speaks to a larger, recent trend of consumers’ willingness to adopt new technology, and advertisers are making sure they don’t miss an opportunity to connect with potential customers.

Turns out the leader in tech ad spend during Q1 was Microsoft, which was firing on all fronts trying to push Windows 8, Windows Phone, and the Surface tablet.

With a whopping 200 percent increase in ad spend year-over-year, Microsoft knocked Intuit out of the top spot for the first time in five years.

That might seem like an unusual match-up, but when you consider that the first quarter is dominated by the tax season -- Intuit's prime time ahead of April 15 -- then it goes to show how aggressive Microsoft must have been in its advertising and marketing efforts.

Topics: E-Commerce, CXO, Microsoft, Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • and how

    Much return did they get for their money. RT is being firesaled, while Surface Pro and WinPhone continue to disappoint.
    • Obviously not enough!

      The interesting thing is that Microsoft was said to have budgeted between 1.5 to 1.8 billion dollars for the roll-out of Win8, Surface (Pro &RT) and WinPhone8. If there was not a bigger spike in market spending in the last Qt 2012 then where did the rest of the $$$$ get spent. Unless the rest went into other markets or lobbing, etc.. Still that leaves quite a bit of $$$$ unaccounted for from the announced budget, unless that was a ghost figure designed to scare the competition.
      • Interesting. On one day you decry that Microsoft does not advertise enough

        The next day you shout Microsoft is advertising too much.

        If there is no pleasing you, then why do you bother to comment?
        John Zern
  • decent but could be better

    The Microsoft commercials have improved but I still think they could be better. The general public is unaware of radical changes and features offered in many new Microsoft products. I can see how it is hard to advertise to both high tech and low tech users. Apple seems to target low tech, and Microsoft high tech and business users. Personally I am sick of the lame low tech commercials with dancing people and devices flipping around. I would like more "tech" in my tech product commercials.
    Sean Foley
    • Getting the awareness out is the ROI

      The fact that people know of the product is the first step, which they are successfully accomplishing.

      Their new commercials appear to be more informative then choreographed dancing, even Apple-esque in one.
      John Zern