A few months ago I responded to a post about Apple’s Bean Counter ad over at PSFK with this, “It’s kind of funny, but it’s also pretty much bullshit. I mean Apple puts a whole lot of money in advertising as well and they also have a whole lot of issues with their hardware (more so than their software) which could probably be fixed with the money they spend elsewhere. I’d love to see a comparison of revenue vs. ad spending for the two companies. Imagine they’re not that far off.”
Well, The New York Times ran a story today about Apple’s TV advertising that happened to include Apple and Microsoft’s ad spending ($133 and $191 million respectively). Anyway, when you compare those numbers to 2008 revenues ($32.5 and $60.4 billion respectively) you end with Apple spending .004 cents on advertising per dollar of revenue and Microsoft spending .003. While this might not seem like much difference, consider if Microsoft had spent the extra .001 cents on the dollar, they would have spent $241.6 million instead of $191. Not a small difference.
All of this is a super long winded way of saying two things: First, if it’s good enough for Apple, there must be something to television advertising. Second, marketers who talk about their success without mentioning their advertising spend are missing a pretty big piece of the puzzle.