NFL Draft Provided Strong Ad Engagement

    • 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.

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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.