March Madness One Week Wonders

As mentioned in our March Madness report earlier this month, just as some schools are eliminated from the NCAA tournament during the first round, the same holds true for some advertisers. Last year 96 different marketers showed up and 16 of them only ran spots during the first week of the event.

This year, the number of marketers during the first round grew to 99, with 127 individual advertisers. Out of the 127 advertisers, 22 were no shows for the second week. The dropouts included a diverse group of categories ranging from automotive, to beer, television, quick service restaurants and more.

NCAA Week 2 Dropouts 

These advertisers all had a relatively low share of voice during the first week of the tournament. Miller was the only one that topped just over 1% share during the games for week one.

In week two, with fewer games meaning less ad inventory available, some multi-brand companies decide to reduce the number of brands advertised in order to maintain weight and frequency goals for the remaining active brands. For example, this year Anheuser-Busch In Bev advertised for both Michelob and Budweiser during week one, however only promoted the latter during week two. This strategy helped AB In Bev maintain a presence while increasing share of voice for Budweiser from week to week, as opposed to splitting the budget between two brands and having a lesser presence for each.

Late to the Party

Conversely, five new advertisers appeared this year during week two. Aleve, Bayer, Dr. Scholls, HP, H&R Block and Fruit of the Loom decided to join the marketing madness during second week of the tournament. Most of these advertisers ran only one spot during the second week. H&R Block ran two spots, but the exception was Fruit of the Loom who ran 17 spots, delivering a relatively high share of voice for the week two of the tournament of 1.41%.

Though H&R Block only totaled 30 seconds of airtime, it was the only new advertiser that used a basketball themed creative to tie its commercials to the tournament, likely in an effort to appeal to the intended audience. The H&R Block commercials featured Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans discussing having his taxes done at H&R Block for half of what he paid to get them done elsewhere last year.

Looking for further insights into advertising during the March Madness tournament? Read our full report!

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