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by Allen Bush, CMO, Alphonso

July was a big month for TV advertising in the retail industry, with big-box titans Walmart and Macy’s, which are both releasing earnings this week, making significant outlays to reach their target customers.

With Alphonso TV data for both brands, we took a close look at how each spent their TV ad dollars last month. Walmart was the big buyer, spending more than three times as much as Macy’s. Over the course of July, Walmart purchased $25.5 million worth of TV advertising, as compared to just $6.8 million for Macy’s.

In the 25 ads it aired during July, Walmart focused its creative messaging on the upcoming back-to-school season, as well as its mobile ordering app and online delivery features. For instance, the retailer’s most-aired ad showed a busy father purchasing back-to-school products via his mobile device.

Walmart spent $6.2 million – nearly a quarter of its monthly spend –to air the ad nearly 2,000 times. Given that Walmart’s top ad sought to drive back-to-school sales, it’s no surprise that it ran often on family-friendly networks like Universal Kids, National Geographic and Animal Planet.

Macy’s used its 22 July ads primarily to promote the sales it held throughout the month. The store’s most-aired ad promoted savings on jewelry, women’s clothing and children’s styles during a 48-hour sale. The ad ran nearly 800 times, frequently during Family Feud, Nik Jr.’s Paw Patrol, and during reruns of the 1970s sitcom Good Times on the BET competitor TV One.

What’s in store for these two iconic retail brands this month, as back-to-school is in full swing? We’ll just have to wait and see.

To see granular TV ad analytics for thousands of brands across all categories, visit

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