What is a mega-brand?

What is a mega-brand when it comes to advertising?

I was reading an article on Ad Age when I stumbled across an interesting artcile about “mega-brands”.  What classified a company as a mega-brand?  According to the article it is simple – they spend a TON of money.  And.  They spend a TON of money.  Oh and.  They spend a LOT of money.  Sitting at the apex of the list, living among the giants, are two communication mega-brands; AT&T and Verizon.  The top two brands combined for just over $3 billion in advertising budgets.  It's interesting at a second glance, both companies are down approximately 14% year over year in advertising spend. 

Coming to the “big dog” list for the first time in a while, at #21 – spending nearly $500 million – is Microsoft.  Microsoft also laid claim to the second biggest jump in year over year advertising at nearly a 70% increase.  No doubt driven by the new fangled device – or not so new fangled if you are familiar with the oh so trusty tablet world – the Surface. 

As for competing through advertising, I am sure we all agree there are benefits to a healthy competition.  Take Samsung – #1 on the list of biggest increases in advertising spending, at 125% in year over year spending, bringing their annual budget to just under $600 million in measured media.  So what makes these brands “mega-brands”?  Is it the dollar amount they are spending?  Not without great creative I say.  Samsung – you are winning right now – not spending as much as Apple, but gaining MAJOR market share in the ever crowded smart-phone mecca. 

I think that local companies can be “local mega-brands”.  I feel that it takes great creative and smart strategies at the end of the day to lay claim to a “mega-brand” and not just the money you spend!