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200 Brands With the Largest Ad Budgets

Would you have guessed that Chevy spends more than Ford or Toyota? Or that Macy’s spends more than Target? Other rankings that surprised me: Arm & Hammer spends more than Gatorade, Kia spends more than Volkswagen, and Ashley Furniture spends more than Ikea.

Check out this great infographic that ranks the top 200 brands by the size of their 2009 and 2010 ad budgets.

Top Auto Ad Spenders

The top two in each category (first, second):

Auto: Chevy, Ford
Retail: Walmart, Macy’s
Apparel: Skechers, Nike
Telecom: AT&T, Verizon
Restaurants: McDonald’s, Subway
Food and Beverage: Coke, Campbell
Beer: Budweiser, Miller
Cleaning Products: Tide, Clorox
Financial Services: American Express, Chase
Beauty and Personal Care: L’Oreal Paris, Olay
Insurance: Geico, Progressive
Consumer Electronics: Microsoft, Apple
Media: DirecTV, Dish Network
Drugs: Lipitor, Cialis

Axe Sponsors Street Musicians for $1000 Each

Axe Sponsors Musician in Grand Central

From NYT:

“Unilever owns Axe, the personal care line that goes after young men using unusual marketing tactics…. To introduce a leather-scented deodorant called Axe Instinct, Axe sought out about 20 street musicians and college bands in several cities, using Craigslist, MySpace and other Web sites. In exchange for an estimated $1,000, Axe asked the musicians to put up ‘Axe Instinct’ signs, offer free deodorant samples when they play and, a few times a day, sing a ditty ‘Look Good in Leather’ that Axe is using in its commercials. The musicians’ stints started in September and run through the end of the year.”

On the one hand, an extra $1000 is likely a nice boost in income for these musicians over the tips they’ll collect from September through December. But $1000 seems like a pittance to trade for hundreds of live performances of the Axe jingle. Especially when you consider the deep marketing pockets of Unilver: Axe spent around $100 million in marketing over two years to launch in the US.

On authenticity and artistic integrity:

“Asked if it was authentic to have street performers singing a corporate jingle, [Jay E. Mathew Jr., marketing director for deodorants at Unilever USA] said he thought it was. ‘The song itself is a song that was created in 2002 and not something we created for just the ad — it was an existing, organic type of music. We thought it fit perfectly with the campaign.’”

Grand Central Station musician Luke Ryan, for his part, considers his decision to take a corporate sponsor “selling out,” but financial necessities won the day.