In fact, the 2014 games broke several TV records. In Germany, 34.5 million people watched the final match, the highest number of all time; and in the Netherlands, 9.1 million tuned into the semi-finals. In the U.S., 18.2 million people watched ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. vs. Portugal match, becoming the most-watched soccer game in U.S. TV history. Univision’s coverage of the Netherlands vs. Mexico match had 10.4 million viewers, which also made it the most-watched Spanish-language TV program in the U.S.
With such a large audience, it’s not surprising that well-known brands plan to leverage this year’s World Cup (June 14-July 15) to reach engaged, enthusiastic soccer fans around the world.
But it’s important to understand: just because there’s a guaranteed large audience, it doesn’t mean that this un-targeted, massive group of people will engage with your brand. With major events like the World Cup, advertisers can experience top-of-the-funnel leakage, lost conversions or lower-than-expected ROI.
Here are three quick tips to maximize your World Cup TV campaign (or any TV campaign, for that matter):
- Plan based on response: Ratings data tells you nothing about campaign performance, and to plan a TV initiative around ratings alone is a big mistake. Rather, you need to analyze spot and response data to plan TV based on efficiency and performance – the real-world actions generated from spots.
Analytics identify the creatives, games (and even the times within those games) that result in the most response via web, call centers, search, app activity, SMS, online sales, etc. While the World Cup final could bring you 18+ million viewers, the data might show that a quarter-final game drew three-times the amount of response.
- If Possible, Make In-Flight Changes: A growing number of advertisers are leveraging more flexible buying options to make in-flight changes to improve the performance of on-air spots. This is especially the case for multi-day/week sporting events. Most commonly, those changes are around creatives or moving from one network to another (in the same network family).
During the World Cup, same-day analysis could show you that matches on FS1 are driving more response than those aired on FOX. Depending on the buy, you could then make changes to improve spot effectiveness.
(It will be interesting to see how FOX handles this type of flexibility for advertisers, considering many World Cup matches will be rebroadcast due to time-zone differences. There’s also the issue of the U.S. not qualifying, which happened after FOX bought exclusive rights to the games. Subsequently, this led to some advertisers pulling out.)
- Make TV and search work together: A best practice for all brands is to not treat your offline and online activities as separate initiatives. They should be coordinated and work in harmony. There’s no better example of this than with TV and search.
TV ads deliver direct response to a brand’s web and mobile assets in the moments after they air. A large percentage of those engagements is driven by search activity, as interested consumers use second-screen devices to learn more about a brand in the minutes following TV ad exposure.
As the gold-standard in TV measurement and optimization, TVSquared syncs TV ads with search campaigns to boost performance.
With TVSquared’s SearchSync, advertisers connect TV ads with their paid search campaigns to optimize bids when traffic is high, securing the top search position when it matters most. The end-result is maximum response and double-digit conversions.