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Event-Specific Advertising: How Brands Make the Most of Televised Events

May 8th, 2018   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

With everyone hanging up their hats from the Kentucky Derby, it’s a good time to reflect on event-specific advertising. Each year, live and recorded annual events provide brands an opportunity to take part in something special: a brief window in which they can reach the unique audience tuned in to see who wins whatever race, fight, or contest that’s being televised.

Seizing the Day—Literally

Event-specific advertising is unique in several ways. Brands opting to advertise during the coverage of an event—whether the Indy 500, the World Cup, or a similar TV fixture—must make the most of the opportunity within a very short window of relevance. These special programs also tend to prompt brands to further customize their advertising in order to reach the relevant audiences.

The Kentucky Derby, for instance, is a two-minute race that draws viewers from all over the country. Television coverage lasts several hours, and brands have creative ways of tailoring their products to the experience. Last year, chocolate maker Ghirardelli launched a dark chocolate bourbon caramel candy at the derby. As the company’s assistant brand manager explained in Adweek, the brand made the choice because the event is located in bourbon country.

With over 16 million television viewers in 2017—the largest audience since 1989, according to Sports Media Watch—brands can create experiences for both those in attendance and those viewing at home. Advertisers generally manage to cover all the bases, from Ram trucks for horse owners to Sentient Jets for the luxury crowd.

Creating Excitement in a World of Short Attention Spans

Beyond reaching a large audience with unique messaging, event-specific advertising also creates excitement brands can leverage to grab attention. DNA testing company 23andMe is working with FoxSports to create excitement for the World Cup in the U.S., despite the national team being out of the competition. AdAge explains how the concept behind the ads, “Root for Your Roots,” connects the international teams to American viewers’ heritage.

This concept doesn’t only benefit FoxSports’ viewership of the upcoming games; it also creates interest and excitement around DNA testing from 23andMe, tying the brand to games that manage to hold viewers’ valuable attention.

Leveraging Local Markets

Considering the large audiences these events draw, local broadcast affiliates are well-positioned to take advantage of the increase in interest and viewership. National brands frequently leverage local inventory to reach specific audiences—even during the Super Bowl—and these other live events are no different.

By connecting brands to these special events and familiarizing those brands with the relevant viewing audiences, broadcasters and advertisers stand to win valuable impressions from engaged viewers through the power of event-specific advertising.

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