Olympic Ads Net Brands Higher Recall, Likeability Scores

Gabby-DouglasNBCUniversal outperformed ad sales expectations in the recent London Games and among its arguments to keep momentum going in two years is Olympic-casts, which can bring considerably higher ad engagement than other programming.

Research presented this week showed brand recall, message recall and likeability scores for ads shown during the Olympics were higher than for the same ads appearing elsewhere.
The Nielsen IAG research results delivered by NBCU research chief Alan Wurtzel showed that for 56 brands, advertising both in and out of the Olympics brand recall was 71% higher with the Olympic presence, message recall was 93% higher and likeability of the ads was 58% higher.
The data is for the 18-to-49 demo and compared ads in NBC’s prime-time coverage versus a norm for other broadcast and cable prime-time programming. The dates used for the comparison didn’t match entirely, so some of the norm would likely have included very low-rated programming.
Nielsen compared ad performance during the 17 days of the Olympics with a norm for a period that started back in July 2011 and ran through the last night of the games.  
Wurtzel, who presented at the MPG Collaborative Alliance, also argued that brands running spots repeatedly in NBC’s Olympic coverage still generated pop from their spots as the 17 days moved forward.
The data also came from Nielsen IAG, which took 41 brands that advertised in both the first 10 days of the London Games and the last seven on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network. It then compared results to a norm for the same brands covering a pre-games period running from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012. (The Olympics started July 27.)
Brand recall during the “early” part (first 10 days) of the London Games topped the norm by 46%. That increased to 55% for a “late” period (last seven days).
Message recall for the “early” period was 70% above the norm and up to 75% for the “late” period.
In likeability, the figure was 39% above the norm for the “early” period and 58% during the “late” period. Besides its TV results, NBCU has touted strong performance data for its digital content, which included the live streaming of every event.
Here is the list delivered by Wurtzel of the events with the most “live stream starts” (compiled by Onmniture):
1) Aug. 9 – U.S. vs. Japan women’s soccer final – 1.47 million  
2) July 31 – U.S. women’s gymnastics team wins gold – 1.46 million
3) Aug. 5 – Usain Bolt wins gold in the 100-meter dash – 1.29 million
4) Aug. 2 – Michael Phelps wins 200 individual medley gold – 1.19 million
5) Aug. 2 – Gabby Douglas wins all-around gymnastics gold – 1.1 million
6) July 30 – men’s gymnastics team gold medal final – 1.07 million
7) Aug. 6 – U.S. vs. Canada women’s soccer semifinal – 1.05 million
8) July 31 – U.S. men’s swimming 4x200 gold performance – 1.01 million

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