NFL Draft Provided Strong Ad Engagement

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  • The 2020 NFL Draft drew 15.6 million viewers on Thursday night, besting the previous record of 12.4 million.
  • TV ad measurement company EDO found the NFL Draft audience 37% more likely to search for brands and products advertised than last year’s draft.

After weeks of Tiger King, season three of Ozark and The Office reruns on Netflix, the NFL Draft was a landing pad for millions of sports-hungry viewers. 

The 2020 NFL Draft drew 15.6 million viewers on Thursday night, besting the previous record of 12.4 million. And after all those hours of commercial-free streaming viewers were apparently willing to engage with the ads over the weekend as well.

TV ad measurement company EDO – whose president and CEO, Kevin Krim, chatted with FOS earlier this month – found the NFL Draft audience 37% more likely to search for brands and products advertised than last year’s draft. 

EDO data suggested that these were the top ads during Thursday’s first round:

  • Nintendo Switch (Two different ads aired on ESPN)
  • Apple TV+’s Beastie Boys Story on ABC
  • Apple TV+’s Defending Jacob on ESPN
  • Netflix’s Extraction on ESPN
  • Defending Jacob on ABC
  • State Farm (Two different ads aired on ESPN)
  • Sleep Number on ESPN
  • Showtime’s Billions on ESPN

A quick glimpse at the top 10 ads from the first round broadcasts on ABC and ESPN show there was a keen interest from viewers for new streaming content and video games – two of the most popular activities while people are quarantining at home.

On average, EDO found a single ad airing during the first round was equivalent to 2.0 ads on primetime TV, which makes sense because the 15.3 million people made it the most-watched TV program since March 13.