Emotional Olympic TV Ads, Videos Spike Mobile Searches, Social Shares

Making a connection with a brand through an emotional television ad and online video does more than make people feel better about the brand. It prompts viewers to pick up their mobile device to search and share content, according to research.

NBCUniversal reportedly sold more than $1.2 billion in TV ads for the Rio Olympics games, which also apparently paid off in online searches and social shares. During the broadcast of the Summer Olympics, Google found that television ads drove searches nearly exclusively on mobile devices. In fact, 83% compared with an average of 55% for those brands when the ads did not run on TV.

Determination and triumph over adversity often result in heartwarming responses from viewers. BMW drove 3.2 times more searches compared with the average of the top 12 ads that Google analysts studied, with help from their campaign featuring a Performance wheelchair. The ad helped the automaker garner the top spot with a response strength index of 3.21, according to Google.

McDonald’s and Samsung were in second and third place with 2.01 and 1.57, respectively. 

While emotional and product ads from McDonald's and Samsung drove 50% more searches on average, this did not necessarily pay off to become an official Olympic 2016 summer sponsor.

Ads by Olympic non-sponsors running on television also drove 17% more searches than their sponsor counterparts.

Emotional ads also prompt people to pick up their mobile device and share and talk about the advertisement and their feelings about the ad.

Nike’s success was driven by two key reasons. The popularity of the videos for their Unlimited campaign, which the company unveiled the day before the Olympics began, and the size of their social following. On Instagram alone, Nike counts more than 60 million followers. During the Olympics, Nike’s 13 Olympics-related posts on Instagram averaged over 265,000 likes each, according to Origami Logic data.

More than 78% of the engagement activities experienced by brands were on the Instagram platform. However, this number is skewed by the fact that the top three brands — Nike, Adidas and Under Armour — racked up large numbers accounting for about 90% of the engagement on Instagram.

Video also drove searches, shares and conversations, as in Under Armour's compelling video Rule Yourself featuring Michael Phelps. The emotion in Phelps' goodbye to the Olympic competition drove more than 70,478 shares.

Facebook was the platform with the second-highest amount of engagement activity, with Samsung leading the way with a total social engagement score of over 1.7 million on the platform.


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