Since 2009, Apple has doubled its ad budget, hitting $1 billion in fiscal 2012, the company said in its annual report. Back in 2009, Apple's ad budget was a "mere" $501 million.
The culprits are the iPhone (launched in 2007) and the iPad (launched in 2010). Apple's ad budget was rising only marginally from a base of $467 million in 2007 until 2010. That year, Apple began a series of new product launches in both the iPhone and iPad lines that has continued unabated, most recently with iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, both coming in the last few weeks.
Apple's ads are created by ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab.
The company is not leaning more heavily on ads to shift product, however. Because sales of iPhones and iPads have been astronomical, the proportion of expenses Apple burned on sales, general and admin costs actually declined in 2012 to 6% of revenues, from 7% in 2011. In other words, that $1 billion arsenal is actually more efficient at driving each dollar sale than it was previously.
Here's the visual:
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