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Big Game, Bigger Impact: Top Super Bowl Commercials According to Cadent Employees

Once a year, viewers tune in to watch the most unique, innovative, and iconic commercials on TV. Oh, and there is a football game to watch, too. All jokes aside, ads that make that big of an impact come with an equally big price tag. Super Bowl commercials now cost $7M for 30 seconds of airtime, before production costs. For Super Bowl LVII, Fox reported $600M of total ad revenue. Despite the investment, the reason why brands keep coming back is that, with a household rating of 40.0, Super Bowl spots drive not only brand recognition but the priceless emotional buy-in from consumers.  

Learn more about what makes NFL games some of the best programs for reach. 

To get ready for this year’s big game, we asked our employees what their favorite Super Bowl commercials were from 2010 and on. Let’s look at the ads they voted for the top three and what elements made their ads the most memorable.  

1. Puppy Love, Budweiser (2014)  

Starting with number one, it’s no surprise that 10 years later, “Puppy Love” has remained an all-time favorite. Created by the agency Anomaly, the spot Puppy Love aimed (and was quite successful) at tugging at the viewers’ heartstrings. It features the unlikely friendship between a loveable lab puppy and a Clydesdale horse, showing all the things they could do together as #BestBuds. The brand hints were subtle, with only a Clydesdale and the logo on a baseball cap, to keep the audience guessing until the Budweiser brand was revealed at the end. According to Adweek, the ad “not only topped the USA Today Ad Meter when it ran in 2014, but it also led TiVo’s list of the top Super Bowl ads of all time in 2016—with Entrepreneur praising it as ‘distinct’ and ‘emotional.’” 

2. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, Old Spice (2010)

The Wieden Kennedy-produced commercial was a Super Bowl ad that never actually aired during the big game. The spot was pulled at the last minute and instead ran right after the game but went viral online for being witty for its use of deadpan humor. The ad features former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa, imitating a superhero-style voice, as he addresses the women in the audience. In the interactive ad, Isaiah goes from a bathroom scene to ending up on a horse, all the while echoing the message that if your man smelled like Old Spice, anything could be possible. Upon its release, the ad held eight of the top 11 most popular videos on YouTube and went on to win the Grand Prix award at that year’s Cannes Lions. 

3. You’re Not You When You’re Hungry, Snickers (2010) 

Coming in third, we have the unforgettable Snickers commercial starring Betty White and created by BBDO. The commercial garnered attention for being hilarious, outrageous, and inventive. It starts with a pick-up football game when suddenly Betty White gets tackled into a mud puddle. The viewer is left scratching their head as the team huddles to tell Betty (aka “Mike”) that he’s “playing like Betty White.” That is until he eats a Snickers bar, at which point, he starts playing like himself again. The ad concludes with the unveiling of their then-new slogan, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” According to Ad Age, “The White spot inaugurated a campaign that turned Snickers into the No. 1 candy bar…And in 2020, the commercial topped USA Today’s Ad Meter as the best Super Bowl campaign of the last 25 years.” 

Cadent at the Center of Your NFL Strategy

As you plan for next year’s big game, consider how Cadent can curate NFL audiences and deliver your ads within premium supply from leading publishers across the linear and digital landscape. 

Ready to activate on data-driven TV and leverage the power of the big game next season?  

NBA Promotions: Win Big with Slam Dunk Advertising Strategies

Earlier this summer, the NBA took center stage during the 2023 finals, featuring the Denver Nuggets against the Miami Heat, when the Nuggets took home their first NBA title. A week later, the draft showcased the latest group of young athletes eager to leave their mark on professional basketball. So, as the Nuggets claimed their championship and the sport welcomed a new wave of potential superstars, the league once again demonstrated its knack for captivating audiences – reaffirming its position as top-tier sports entertainment programming. 

With millions of viewers tuning in, the NBA offers advertisers an engaged fan base with a remarkable platform to not only strategically reach precise audiences, but also increase brand awareness and achieve favorable ROAS. 

Score with Surging Viewership 

According to the NBA, the 2022-2023 season garnered more nights with 1 million plus viewers than any other major league sport in the U.S. In parallel, the playoffs achieved an impressive 2.7 rating and attracted an average audience of 5.12 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. This notable viewership performance signifies the NBA’s highest average viewership in five years, and the third highest in the past decade.  

Adding to the excitement, this past NBA season accounted for 15 of the top 20 most-watched programs among viewers under 50, during the months of April to June. This significant statistic holds value for advertisers who strategically align campaigns with key holidays like Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Father’s Day, unlocking a world of engagement opportunities (hint, hint).  

A Perfect Layup for Today’s Advertisers 

With the next NBA season fast approaching, there is still time for brands to plan advanced targeting strategies and leverage world-class data to engage avid basketball fans – who will undoubtedly be tuning in throughout the entire season. Cadent’s audience-first approach through Aperture Platform, gives advertisers access and scalability to a wide range of robust segments such as:  

  • Enthusiastic NBA fans and NBA TV viewers 
  • Dedicated followers of the NBA playoffs 
  • Frequent visitors to NBA arenas 
  • NBA 2K interest propensity 
  • Coinbase buyer propensity 

Multi-Channel Opportunity from Screen to Screen  

It’s no surprise fans are viewing sports across a variety of devices and screens while multitasking on other devices. According to a recent study, NBA viewers will simultaneously look at a second screen to browse social media, ad-addressable websites, and sports apps, or play mobile games presenting multi-channel marketing potential. Yet, to reach these viewers exactly where they are, it’s crucial to work with an end-to-end partner for effective brand messaging deployment.  

Cadent’s data-driven solutions simplify the execution of cross-screen advertising, unifying audiences, inventory, and measurement. Cadent enables brands to reach consumers across linear, OTT, and digital video formats for a more personalized and engaging experience. With an unparalleled depth of coverage across 90+ cable networks, 1100+ broadcast stations, and 100+ million households through CTV, Cadent connects audiences to the entire TV ecosystem through our patented cookie-less technology and drives quantified business results with comprehensive campaign reporting and measurement analytics.  

Next Steps for NBA Advertisers

As the NBA season approaches, capitalizing on advanced targeting solutions and amplifying reach through innovative platforms like Aperture Platform, brands can engage audiences across multiple channels for a truly immersive advertising experience. 

Ready to activate data-driven TV for your next NBA campaign? 

Gold-Medal Olympic Advertising Strategies for Brand Marketers

Live sporting events have continued to serve as a prime arena for advertisers seeking meaningful engagement with high-value audiences. However, one event rises above the rest and presents a gold-medal advertising opportunity for brands – the Summer Olympics.  

The Olympics Take Center Stage   

As nations come together to celebrate athletic excellence, the Olympics offer a unique platform for marketers to connect with a broad audience of viewers. With millions of people tuning in, advertisers can target demographics across various age groups, interests, and locations, and engage both heavy (77%) and light (18%) sports viewership households. According to NBC, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics averaged a total of 15.6 million U.S. viewers per night with 120 billion minutes (or about 230,000 years!) of content consumed across their primetime and digital platforms.  

And while viewership was affected by the time difference between the US and Japan, the 2020 Olympics presented a much bigger opportunity for advertisers to dap into unique digital viewers.  

Win Big with Olympic Advertising  

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics proved to be a historic moment in many ways. Notably, it pushed the boundaries of Olympic broadcasting across TV, digital streaming, websites, mobile apps, and social media. While spectators were unable to attend the event live due to COVID-19, increased coverage ensured fans could still come together and experience the excitement.  

The 2020 Tokyo Games produced 44% more content than the 2016 Rio event, making it accessible across more devices and platforms than ever before. This new direction also increased digital consumption by 74% making the 2020 event the most-watched Olympic Games ever on digital media and emphasizing the evolving TV landscape.  

While traditional TV remains the leading platform for Olympic consumption, brands should consider leveraging a multi-channel approach to combat fragmentation and reach unique digital viewers that stream across different screens and devices. Marketers must be able to activate brand messaging across multiple platforms to make the most of this high-impact tentpole event. However, marketers need an end-to-end advertising solution to engage fans where and how they are watching.  

Cadent’s data-driven audience solution simplifies the execution of cross-screen advertising through Aperture Platform, connecting the entire TV ecosystem. Leverage multiple-week coverage and customize plans across platforms to extend reach amongst unique digital viewers. Measure proof-of-performance through elevated standardized reporting and deeper audience understanding to achieve greater investment accountability.  

Forging Strong Consumer Connections 

Successful Olympic advertising campaigns hinge on the strong brand association that echoes the spirit of the games. By aligning brand messaging and creative elements with Olympic ideals such as excellence and unity, brands can build deeper connections with viewers.  

A unique association will last beyond the duration of the event, as the extended schedule allows brands to maintain a consistent presence and reinforce messaging across a wider window of time. Strategically extending promotional efforts across the 16-day period maximizes impact to create a lasting impression. By boosting exposure and presenting cohesive brand messaging, brands can significantly increase awareness and reach. Ultimately, investing in Olympic advertising allows brands to drive meaningful engagement with their target audiences.  

Next Steps for Olympic Advertisers 

The Summer Olympic Games present a golden opportunity for brands to showcase their messaging to a sizeable national audience. With the diverse array of platforms and devices that fans use to watch the event, marketers have the chance to create powerful, memorable, and engaging campaigns that foster strong brand affinity.  

The Olympics provide a stage like no other and now is the time to seize this opportunity – with a team of experts by your side.  

Don’t miss the chance to secure packages for the highly anticipated 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. 

Why Advertisers Can’t Afford to Miss Out on this NFL Season

The NFL is once again proving to be a jackpot for advertisers looking to reach a loyal and niche audience. With millions of consumers tuning in to watch games every week leading up to the big game, the NFL offers a dedicated fan base and platform for advertisers to tap into to increase awareness, consideration, and ROAS.  

Score Big with Your Campaign Goals 

Advertisers know that the NFL is a smart investment to score incremental reach among a diverse audience, whether it’s the regular season, playoffs, or the big game. Already off to a great start, the 2023 NFL draft saw a 12% increase in TV ratings, averaging 6 million viewers on ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network – proving this season is going to be a hit.  

During the 2022 regular season, the NFL captivated an average of 16.7 million viewers per game, while an impressive 115.1 million viewers watched the big game, making it the most-watched NFL game in history. And although the average viewership was down slightly from 2021 partly due to the shift of Thursday Night Football from linear TV to Amazon Prime, the NFL accounted for 82 of the top 100 most-watched TV shows in 2022.  

According to Nielsen, the NFL is comprised of a broad audience, split almost evenly between men and women, with 55% of viewers being male. Fans come from the full spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds but are considered relatively affluent with an average household income of $115k+. Notably, NFL audiences span a wide range of age groups, with 70% of viewers aged 18-49 (over-indexing P35-49), providing marketers with the opportunity to tailor advertisements to specific demographics within a broad audience.   

Not only does the NFL provide a diverse fan base, but American football fans are one of the most devoted sports groups, supplying a highly engaged audience for marketers. According to CBS, this highly captivated audience tunes in for an average of four hours per week, and 97% of the viewership is watching games live, meaning fans are sitting through more advertisements. Understanding that this audience is highly influenced to purchase through ads, only increases the value of the NFL for marketers and offers the opportunity to build brand affinity.  

Learn more about what makes NFL games some of the best programs for reach.

Multi-Channel Opportunities   

With recent shifts in industry trends, it’s no surprise fans have access to a wide variety of viewing options which gives marketers an array of ad opportunities and the possibility to strategically target audiences across multiple channels and touchpoints. And whether fans are switching from linear TV to smart TVs or internet-connected devices, viewership is projected to increase year-over-year as viewing options expand.  

The latest research shows that NFL viewership on Smart TV devices has increased by 58% among fans aged 18-34, and while 59% of fans still plan to watch games on linear TV, 41% of fans are switching to OTT (CTV, smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.) to live-stream the season, allowing advertisers to engage with online audiences and deliver content in real-time. However, it means marketers are seeking an end-to-end advertising solution in this fragmented marketplace to meet fans where they are and activate brand messaging across screens.  

Cadent’s data-driven solution to simplify the execution of cross-screen advertising through Aperture Platform, connects the entire TV ecosystem, unifying audiences, inventory, and measurement. Cadent enables brands to reach consumers across multiple devices for a more personalized and engaging experience. With an unparalleled depth of coverage across 90+ cable networks, 1100+ broadcast stations, and 100+ million households through CTV, Cadent connects audiences to screens through our patented cookie-less technology, mapping device IP addresses with household viewing habits.  

Next Steps for NFL Advertisers 

The NFL is a sure bet to maximize ROI and reach a large audience with high engagement. By taking advantage of the various platforms and devices NFL audiences use to watch football-related content, marketers can create an impactful and effective ad campaign that connects with fans and creates strong brand affinity.  

Ready to activate on data-driven TV and leverage the power of the NFL fanbase? 

Why the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a Goal-Winning Ad Opportunity

In 2019, 14.3 million U.S. viewers tuned into the FIFA Women’s World Cup final match making it the TV event with one of the biggest nationwide audiences. And, as the sport becomes increasingly popular in the United States, advertisers are beginning to take notice of this untapped opportunity.  

Scoring Big with Women’s Soccer  

The 2019 match demonstrated the power of this fanbase, with 17 million more TV impressions and 20% more viewers than the 2018 men’s World Cup. With this summer’s WWC, the two-time world champions, Team U.S.A. will be the center of attention – scoring incremental viewership amongst a diverse audience.  

According to Global Web Index, WWC viewers in the U.S. skew slightly more toward males (55%) than females (45%) but overall, are relatively even split. Notably, the female audience is made up of younger age groups, while the male audience is made up of older age groups – both considered relatively affluent. This audience composition, paired with the knowledge that consumers plan to spend more this summer than in 2022, only increases the value of this July event for advertisers.  

Yet the WWC is not the only women’s sporting event beginning to gain recognition. The trajectory of women’s soccer is unrivaled and already catching the eye of many investors. Specifically, the National Women’s Soccer League championship has seen viewership growth of 453% year-over-year. The fast-paced atmosphere and fan pride encourage viewers to gather around the big screen and be part of the action – even among viewers who do not typically watch the sport. So as Women’s Soccer continues to generate significantly more revenue than Men’s Soccer, advertisers will reap the benefits of ad placements through increased awareness, consideration, and ROAS. 

Meet Fans Where They Are Watching 

With its widespread appeal and diverse audience, it is no surprise that the way fans consume World Cup content is ever-changing. The latest survey shows that 60% of audiences prefer to watch the World Cup on linear TV; however, 32% will also view it on streaming platforms, 31% report that they have tuned in on a smartphone or tablet, and 18% on a laptop or desktop computer. This means brands seeking an end-to-end advertising solution will need to meet fans where they are and activate brand messaging across screens.  

Cadent’s creative approach to converged TV advertising through Aperture Platform allows brands to engage audiences across-screen and help them find missing sports audiences – on a national footprint. With access to over 90+ cable networks, 1000+ broadcast stations, and 100M HH through CTV, Cadent allows marketers to reach the right audience, efficiently and effectively.  

Next Steps for FIFA Women’s World Cup Advertisers  

Although the Women’s World Cup schedule is brief, the opportunity to reach a wide audience is huge. To capitalize on this major tentpole event, it is critical to engage viewers across screens and utilize third-party insights for advanced targeting and measurement.  

Ready to activate data-driven TV for your next sports campaign?  

Finding Sports Fans Across the Fragmented TV Landscape

It should come as no surprise that live sports on broadcast, cable, and CTV consistently draw in a strong viewership. Have you ever tried to record a game and watch it the next day? Good luck avoiding spoilers from friends, co-workers, and social media! Live TV remains an impactful medium to reach audiences with improved targeting and attribution capabilities. Whether marketers need to drive brand awareness or sales lift, live programming provides an effective path to achieve your business outcomes.

And while the TV landscape continues to fragment and audiences shift toward OTT/CTV platforms, you wouldn’t know it based on the sky-high ratings of live sports. In fact, according to Sports Illustrated, 23 of the top 25 most-watched broadcasts in 2021 were NFL games. Further, the Tokyo Olympics snagged 16 spots within the top 100, while events like the NCAA’s March Madness Final Four, the NBA Finals, and the Masters all claimed their spot on the list.     

To help you get started, we’re sharing our top three strategies that marketers can use to reach their target audience through sports programming.  

3 Strategies to Reach the Sports Audience 

1. Play into the passion of live sports viewers

There’s nothing like the energy of watching a live sports game! Some die-hard fans will even watch regular-season games with the same fervor as a playoff or championship. So how can advertisers capitalize on key moments throughout the sports season? It’s important to keep the momentum going. Some brands opt to make a single, big splash; however, it can be more impactful to activate your media plan over several weeks or months. This consistent pacing will allow you to target your audience with non-skippable advertising and reap the benefits of frequency-capped, repeated exposure – a win-win for brands.   

2. Maximize impact with a cross-channel approach 

If you are already activating on linear, consider extending and amplifying your reach with CTV media. The lion’s share of live sports is still found on cable and broadcast, but increasingly, leagues and networks are airing games through OTT and CTV platforms. Simultaneously, more and more households are cutting the cord with their cable providers, but still want to tune in to watch their beloved sports teams. For marketers looking to improve the efficiency of their media buying for sports programming, a cross-channel approach can be a game-changer! Live sports on CTV give advertisers the real-time advantages of linear with targeting and attribution similar to digital.  

3. Reach an upscale audience – at scale 

Most sports benefit from a broad-reaching audience – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey each draw fans from the full spectrum of individuals that make up the 18-49 demographic. However, a few sports boast a more niche appeal. Golf and tennis in particular provide marketers with the opportunity to engage with a fanbase that falls in a higher income demographic, making these sports an ideal space for luxury retail, luxury auto, and financial services advertisers. In fact, according to Scarborough Research, 30% of adult tennis fans and 27% of adult golf fans have household incomes of $100,000 or more. High-net-worth individuals are notoriously difficult to advertise to, so advertising during golf and tennis matches allows brands to get in front of this hard-to-reach segment.   

Sporting events on TV offer marketers endless advertising opportunities. A multipurpose solution, activating your message on TV enables marketers to meet both their upper and lower-funnel KPIs.  

Ready to take your sports TV advertising to the next level? Get in touch with a Cadent account executive.