This month’s FIFA World Cup is not only one of the biggest sporting events in the world but a cultural phenomenon that transcends languages and cultures around the globe. It’s in good company as one of the many major live events NBCUniversal has launched over the past 18 months – from two Olympic & Paralympic Games to Super Bowl LVI, which capped a strong Sunday Night Football season.
And as we create opportunities for marketers across sports tentpoles in a constantly evolving media landscape, some ask, how are we connecting the dots for our partners? How are we supporting advertisers leading up to, during and after these major milestones across our One Platform? Through our investment and expertise in data-informed insights.
We’re working every day to bring meaningful insights to our clients beyond consumption. Because the more granular, more relevant data we can provide, the better decisions our partners can make to grow their business.
A Go-To-Market Strategy Rooted In Insights
When we engaged advertisers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ on Telemundo, our Insights & Research team shared learnings from previous multicultural sports tentpoles – including the 2018 World Cup, 2019 World Cup & Copa America, Tokyo Olympics and more – to show marketers a holistic picture of NBCU content, our viewers and their relationships with advertisers.
We proved to buyers that the World Cup opportunity in Spanish spans dimensions. Based on 2018 results, Telemundo delivered:
- Exclusive audience, at scale: 37M total viewers – more than half of all U.S. Hispanics – with 2/3 of that audience watching exclusively on NBCU networks
- Multiplatform reach: +67% increase in average livestreams per match from the previous event
- Captivated by must-see content: 97% of those total viewers tuned in live and delivered +20% higher social interactions than competitive audiences
- With greater emotional intensity: +14% during gameplay and even higher, +22%, during ads (vs. English-language broadcasts)
- Translating to stronger ad performance: +21% higher brand recall vs. English-language TV norms
In this transformative, modern, premium video space, we are looking beyond traditional linear TV ratings. We are actively measuring viewership, engagement and advertising as a comprehensive, cross-platform experience.
Leveraging Research To Foster Our Partners’ Success
Our focus on insights doesn’t stop when partners commit to our content. We continue to apply our insights to build consultative tools that help our partners succeed.
The Super-Sized Ad Model and the Olympics Ad Engine evaluate past Super Bowl and Olympic ads, respectively, to deliver actionable insights that enhance creative impact. These products apply machine learning and statistical models to understand historical performance of more than 2,000 ads in these events – correlating the impact of more than a thousand ad attributes on various marketing KPIs. We equip partners with insights about how their creative will perform in each tentpole before it even airs – and make recommendations to optimize ads towards specific campaign goals.
Along the way, we pinpoint themes that help ad creatives stand out – like the optimal point to introduce branding, the connections that can be built by featuring families/children & animals and how to effectively align to an audience’s values. For the World Cup, our data proved that impactful creative transcends languages and the greatest opportunity during this current cultural moment was to tap into the ethos of the event, participating in an authentic way.
Continuing To Educate Partners in Real-Time
This endeavor continues with our current, extensive research in flight within the 2022 tournament to support today’s partnerships – and build insights in advance of the upcoming 2023 and 2026 FIFA World Cups.
As we enter the final stretch of the Tournament, the Insights & Research team is full steam ahead – informing our partners daily on the record-breaking engagement and impact of the World Cup on NBCU. These findings have already reaffirmed the tournament’s lasting cultural significance as well as that, indeed, futbol is better in Spanish:
- A multi-platform tentpole: Total Audience Delivery is up from 2018, with record audiences from streaming: more than 1 in 4 average viewers watching on digital platforms
- Deeper emotional connections lead to greater engagement: Emotional intensity – as measured by MindProber’s galvanic skin response testing – is higher for viewers watching matches in Spanish vs. English (+19%); that intensity extends to the advertising (+17%)
- Delivering full-funnel impact: Telemundo partners are seeing strong performance for their campaigns vs. competitive norms, with higher attention to their ads (+18%), greater brand recall (+22%), more search engagement (+30%), lifts in purchase intent (+60%) and growth in loyalty (+25%)
As we look ahead to future tentpoles for sports, NBCUniversal is setting itself apart by investing in the innovative methodologies, data and insights that propel our partners forward. Our research is the backbone of what we do across our sports portfolio, including the Olympic & Paralympics, Sunday Night Football, Golf, Premier League and in 2023 – the Big Ten. We make these investments to fulfill the promise of #OurPartnershipCommitment and deliver on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – and beyond.