Sky-high Olympics television ratings provide lift to airline advertisers

Let the marketing games beginThe London Olympics have proven to be a television must-see event with ratings that have reached and exceeded the expectations of the majority of advertisers. An average of 32.2 million viewers have tuned in for NBC’s nightly primetime telecasts. That translates to a 30% share of all televisions in use. Those are heady numbers in a day and age where advertisers are dealing with a highly fragmented and multi-tasking consumer audience.

There was never really any question that the Olympics would attract a rich and demographically diverse audience of consumers. A more pressing question for Olympics sponsors and advertisers is “how good of a match is the audience with respect to the characteristics of my potential brand users?” In other words, “to what extent will I be reaching the type of consumer who is most likely to be interested in my brand?” Tools like the Experian Ad Relevancy Score help to answer these questions. The score, developed from television viewing behaviors and purchase data collected by Experian Simmons, is derived from profiles of actual brand users compared to the corresponding profile of the Summer Olympics television viewing audience. The higher the score the more benefit and overall sales lift that can be hypothetically derived by the advertiser from placing spots that reach this audience. Think of the score as a general measure to quantify the degree to which the ad will be seen by an audience that is most appropriate and relevant for the brand being advertised. Scores are benchmarked against an average of 100.

After applying the Experian Ad Relevancy Score to a subset of key Summer Olympics sponsors and advertisers, we found that the highest scores are attributed to airline brands. The top five include United Airlines (142), American Airlines (133), American Express (129), Delta Airlines (128), and Citibank (126).

United’s investment in the Summer Olympics appears to be a match made in heaven. The brand’s top score of 142 means that the Summer Olympics viewing audience is 42% more likely to be comprised of consumers who are United flyers. United has been the official airline of the U.S. Olympic team since 1984 and clearly has a nice marketing match with this global event. Nike and McDonald’s, also official sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Team, had scores of 109 and 107, respectively.

A more in-depth analysis and profile of Summer Olympics enthusiasts provides further evidence of a strong connection between interest in the London Games and airline travel. Experian’s Mosaic® USA lifestyle segmentation solution shows that consumer segments including Kids and Cabernet, Jet Set Urbanites and Silver Sophisticates, are among those with a 50% or greater likelihood to be avid fans of the Summer Olympics. Consumers from all three of these segments also have a high propensity to be frequent flyers.

Interested in ad relevancy? Take a look at posts comparing advertisers to audience for these events:

NCAA Tournament

Academy Awards

Super Bowl