With the 66th Annual Emmy Awards airing tonight on NBC, advertisers are seeing the value in not just the air time, but in the social media opportunities that surround major live events such as this one.
Part of the appeal is that most viewers watch these events on live television—instead of recording them on DVR boxes for later viewing—so they are more likely to actually see the commercials, rather than skip over them. And viewers of this type of event programming are usually engaged in talking about both the show—and the commercials—on Twitter and Facebook, reported The New York Times.
One advertiser betting big on the event is Audi, which is the official automotive sponsor of the Television Academy for the fourth year in a row. According to Kantar Media, Audi was last year’s biggest Emmy advertiser, with a spend of $3.98 million; followed by Target at $3.48 million; Samsung at $2.99 million; Discover at $1.99 million; and Sony Pictures at $1.24 million.
“Audi is thrilled to be returning as a sponsor,” said Loren Angelo, director of marketing, Audi of America, in a statement. “We look forward to honoring Hollywood’s brightest stars and introducing the all-new Audi Q3, demonstrating the brand’s devotion to style, technology and performance on television’s biggest night.”
Audi started its campaign early, with a video featuring three past Emmy winners—Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—in a humorous spot that helped generate pre-Emmy buzz. It also began airing its #OffScript series of videos featuring Emmy-nominee Fred Armisen highlighting the Audi Q3 and encouraging viewers to tune in to the awards.
“Audi knows the importance of event-driven premium video programming and connecting that with the content we created specifically for real-time social integrations on the day of the Emmy Awards drives very powerful viewer engagement,” said Sari Feinberg, svp of client solutions and advertising sales at NBCUniversal. “This partnership reflects our commitment to deliver a comprehensive creative experience so our advertisers can reach our diverse audiences across all platforms in a meaningful way.”
L’Oréal Paris is another advertiser planning to take advantage of the opportunities around pre-and post-awards coverage on NBC and sister network E!. The svp for marketing of the L’Oréal Paris division of L’Oréal USA, Malena Higuera, noted that the company plans to have a “significant presence” across all of the platforms, including television spots, social media and digital platforms like YouTube.
“We have been advertising around the Emmys for 10 years,” Higuera said. “This year we are taking the activation to a whole new level.”