The 57th GRAMMYs kick-started award show season into high gear on Sunday night on CBS. “Music’s Biggest Night” celebrated the year’s most popular music and provided the network and advertisers with the type of viewers few other programs can: engaged real-time viewers (the “in-the-moment” nature of the shows makes them resistant to DVRs), and lots of them. An average of 24.8 million adults tuned in to the telecast last Sunday.
According to Nielsen Entertainment’s Audience Insights: Award Report, audience attentiveness is higher for award shows than other special TV events, and with increased audience attentiveness and engagement comes increased ad performance. Branded integrations, where product placement is integrated into an award show, have become more widely used in recent years and are showing positive results in memorability and recall when compared with the norm. According to the study, viewers were better able to remember the placement (64% vs. 59% for the norm) and were better able to recall the actual brand (5% points higher versus the norm). Collectively, these integrations were shown to have a significantly higher lift on viewers’ perception of the brand.
While advertisers look for innovative and authentic brand and award show integrations, artists are increasingly appearing in conventional advertisements. During Sunday’s GRAMMY Awards, Target, known for its advertising support of the award show, used four minutes of advertising time to feature a live performance by rock band Imagine Dragons. Through the integrated product placement, the advertiser became a content creator, delivering an exciting branded performance to the average 16.3 million households and 10.5 million adults in the coveted 18-49 demographic who tuned in that evening.
Advertisers and networks love nothing more than passionate consumers who are eager to share and talk about what they’re seeing on TV. According to Nielsen Social, a total of 13.3 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of the 13.4 million Tweets sent about the GRAMMYs on Sunday. The Tweets were sent by 2.4 million people and seen more than 1 billion times (Twitter TV Impressions). The most-Tweeted minute of the night was at 10:42 p.m. EST, when 121,000 Tweets were sent after Kanye West approached the stage following Beck’s win for Album of the Year.
The awards show formula is a win-win for networks and advertisers. Not only do viewers watch real time, they are attentive to the brand messages they see.
Nielsen Music Audience Insights: Award Shows tracks audience engagement with award ceremonies through several Nielsen products: Nielsen TV Ratings, Nielsen Social, Nielsen BDS/Soundscan, Nielsen TV Brand Effect (24-hour viewer recall of program content and advertising) and Nielsen Scarborough (single-source consumer behavior and purchasing information). Data collected Nov. 24, 2013-Nov. 9, 2014. The following award ceremonies from the 2013-2014 season were used in the study: GRAMMY Awards, American Music Awards, People’s Choice, Billboard Music Awards, iHeart Radio Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Country Music Awards, American Country Music Awards, American Country Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards.