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Daytona 500 Advertisers Enjoy Higher Brand Recall, Likeability
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Daytona 500 Advertisers Enjoy Higher Brand Recall, Likeability

Even with all the hype surrounding last week’s Super Bowl and the upcoming Winter Olympics, one sporting event that can’t be overlooked – especially by sports advertisers – is this weekend’s Daytona 500. NASCAR’s signature race brings the biggest U.S. TV ratings for the sport each year – and that translates to a big opportunity for marketing partners to appeal to the sport’s loyal fan base.

According to data gathered by Nielsen IAG, traditional ads airing in last year’s Daytona were 26% more likely to be recalled by race viewers than those who saw the ad run elsewhere. Spots by NASCAR advertisers Home Depot, McDonald’s and State Farm Insurance particularly enjoyed brand recall levels that were at least twice that of airings outside the race.

Highest Brand Recall, Daytona 500 Advertisers
RANK Brand Recall Index
1 Home Depot 233
2 McDonald’s 200
3 State Farm 200
4 Sprint 174
5 Taco Bell 161
Source: Nielsen IAG, September 22, 2008 – September 20, 2009.

Brand Recall Index compares performance in the Daytona 500 to the broadcast and cable average for the brand’s performance outside auto racing.

Limited to brands with sample >=100 inside and outside the Daytona 500

 Not only were Daytona watchers more likely to remember the ads, but they also enjoyed them more. Commercials aired during last year’s race were 25% more likeable than when they ran on other programming. Ads by Home Depot and McDonald’s once again achieved likeability levels more than twice that of airings outside the race. And ads by Sprint, the namesake of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, were also twice as likely to be favored by Daytona 500 viewers as all others who saw the same spots outside the race.

“It’s no secret that NASCAR offers one of the most passionate fan bases of any sport, and that passion extends to many of their sponsors and partners,” said Stephen Master, VP for Nielsen Sports. “Successful marketers know that when it comes to effective advertising, events like the Daytona 500 are the checkered flag, and not just a pit stop.”