Advertising Strategies and Lessons


The Rise Of Cross-Platform Advertising For The 2020 Olympics

September 12, 2019 Charlene Sterphone

2020 summer olympics

As summer winds down and a chill enters the air, thoughts naturally turn to cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice. But for NBCUniversal (NBCU) and brands looking to get a piece of the 2020 Olympics advertising pie, the countdown to next summer has already begun. Despite being nearly a year away, the 2020 Summer Olympics is already on track to break advertising records for NBCU and marks a shift in the way advertising is bought and sold.

According to Dan Lovinger, EVP of Advertising Sales of NBC Sports Group, the broadcaster is already “pacing significantly ahead” of where the company was at the same point leading up to the record-breaking 2016 games, which generated $1.2 billion in ad sales.

2020 Summer Olympics Audiences Projected Using Total Audience Delivery Metric

To account for evolving viewing habits, NBCU is selling ad space as a unified offering, incorporating broadcast, cable, digital and social reach for advertisers. “In our opinion, a viewer is a viewer, regardless of how, when and where they’re watching,” Lovinger said. The 2020 Olympics will be the first Summer Games where NBCU is guaranteeing audiences using its Total Audience Delivery (TAD) metric, measuring audiences across a variety of platforms including linear, out-of-home, digital and streaming.

Programmatic Advertising Opens A New World Of Targeting Possibilities

The 2020 Olympics also marks a shift in the way ads can be precisely targeted based on a seemingly endless array of criteria. Using programmatic advertising, advertisers can reach key target audiences contextually regardless of channel. According to AdAge, “machine learning technology identifies the athletes, events, logos and geographic landmarks that marketers want to associate with their brands, creating an environment for more welcomed and relevant ads.” Programmatic buying enable advertisers to target Olympics inventory based on metrics including foot-traffic patterns, time of day and breaking news, for example, creating opportunities for advertisers to run targeted ads based on when Olympians endorsing a product for particular advertiser receive a medal.

NBCU Partners With Twitter For Exclusive 2020 Olympics Content

NBCU Partners With Twitter

Continuing to expand the growing digital footprint of the 2020 Olympics, NBCU announced a partnership with Twitter, designed to bring interactive and exclusive content to the social media giant’s users. A daily 20-minute live morning show will air exclusively on Twitter recapping Olympics highlights, news and athlete interviews.

The Twitter partnership will also include a daily live view of Olympics coverage, selected each day by users voting via a Twitter poll on what type of content they want to see, potentially focusing on a specific athlete or sport. “We have had a long and effective Olympic relationship with Twitter, which provides a perfect complement to our coverage and is an ideal platform for the massive social conversation that occurs during every Olympic Games,” Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

Social media, once viewed as a threat to traditional media, strategically functions as a complement to traditional media, particularly for high-profile sporting events. According to Twitter, “users following sports on both Twitter and TV [demonstrate] higher levels of engagement (+18%) and memorability (+13%) of TV ads when compared to the TV-only audience.” As viewing habits continue to evolve with the rise of over-the-top (OTT) streaming services and enhanced social media content options, more opportunities for cross-channel, cross-device consumer engagement become available to advertisers. Marketers should work to stay in the loop on emerging opportunities to ensure they are maximizing their reach and results.

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About the Author

Charlene Sterphone

Charlene Sterphone, Director of Marketing A focused and highly motivated creative thinker, Charlene Sterphone develops, executes and reports on strategic marketing programs surrounding lead generation, paid search, email, social media, mobile targeting, SEO and compliance as Director of Marketing for Digital Media Solutions (DMS). Throughout her diversified marketing career, Charlene has spent time in both the agency and direct corporate and start-up settings, including positions at Sparkroom, Education Dynamics and CBS Corporation, where she has seen success with digital and traditional marketing campaigns. As an analytical marketer, Charlene enjoys discovering new and innovative tools and techniques and using them to drive growth.

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