Bring Home the Advertising Gold This Winter

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On February 7, athletes from all over the world will meet in Sochi, Russia, for the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympic games. As millions tune in to watch the action, advertisers have the perfect opportunity to join the conversation and connect with their customers using Olympic-themed digital campaigns.

But just how big of an audience can we expect this winter? Roughly 215 million Americans will watch the 2014 Winter Games over the span of three weeks.[1] And this year, the Olympics will offer a big opportunity for using pre-roll video as the games will produce more than 1,000 hours of live streaming content.[2]

To help advertisers reach people who are getting into the Olympic spirit, we used our proprietary Digital Zip® technology to develop a profile of the most enthusiastic Olympic consumers. Armed with intelligence on the group’s demographics, interests, and top purchases, advertisers can target the consumers most likely to respond to Olympic-themed campaigns.

Profile of Olympic Fans
You can spot an Olympic fan by the content that they consume online. Popular topics among Olympic fans include content on Shaun White, Gracie Gold, Olympic snowboarding, the Olympic curling team, and other related subjects.

When it comes to demographics, Olympic fans:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 54
  • Have annual incomes exceeding $60,000
  • Have college degrees or higher

In addition to Olympic interests, these consumers frequently view content on allergy relief, heart health, weddings, and yoga. This data can guide advertisers as they develop their creative. For example, a consumer packaged goods (CPG) food company could promote the heart-healthy benefits of its cereal by serving ads that say, “Keep your heart strong and healthy like the athletes on Team USA.”

Based on their purchase histories, these fans are perfect prospects for women and family apparel retailers, department stores, music and video stores, and consumer electronics retailers. Any brand that stocks products in one of these stores should run Olympic-themed ads to make their digital campaigns more appealing to the audience.

Of course, while the games are on, spectators will need something to snack on. Our point-of-sale data indicates that their favorite foods include Hershey’s® Symphony® chocolates, Nabisco Classics cookies, Lean Cuisine® frozen dinners, and Baked! Ruffles® chips. Retailers that carry these treats should use Olympic-themed creative to connect with their potential customers and drive sales even higher.

Where Are the Olympic Villages?
Even though the 2014 games will take place in Sochi, Russia, you can find several “Olympic villages” in the United States. Neighborhoods in these cities have the highest concentration of Olympic fans:

  1. Fargo, ND
  2. New York, NY
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Nashville, TN
  7. Boston, MA
  8. San Jose, CA
  9. Huntsville, AL
  10. Seattle, WA

You’ll find tons of Olympic fans in any of these DMAs, but they’re certainly not exclusive to the cities on this list. In fact, if you advertise only on the DMA level, you’ll miss out on reaching the best neighborhoods. Take Fargo, the top city on our list—most of the Olympic fans live in the neighborhoods of Finley, Hillsboro, and Northwood. Even though you’ll generate sales by targeting the entire Fargo DMA, you’ll get the highest return by focusing on these three important neighborhoods.

What This Means for Advertisers
Even if your brand isn’t an official Olympic sponsor, you can still use hyperlocal digital advertising insights from MaxPoint to enhance your digital campaigns. For example, serving digital ads that incorporate winter sports imagery to neighborhoods that over-index for Olympic fans would be timely and resonate with the right shoppers during the games.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your advertising results is to run a neighborhood-level campaign. By focusing on only the neighborhoods with crowds of ideal consumers who are interested in topics related to your product, you’ll bring home the gold both during the Olympic games and beyond.

MaxPoint in Action
Over the years, MaxPoint has helped brands and retailers run both Olympic-related and winter-themed campaigns:

Olympic Athlete Endorses Major Brand of Skincare Lotion—A major brand of body lotion ran a campaign featuring a well-known Olympic athlete. With MaxPoint’s help, the brand used the celebrity endorsement to boost website visits, increase coupon downloads, and drive customer entries for a contest. MaxPoint targeted mothers between the ages of 25 and 54 with college degrees and household incomes above $50,000 per year. Additionally, we served ads in neighborhoods that over-index for purchases of competitor products, which helped the body lotion brand increase its market share. The campaign resulted in a response rate that was more than twice the industry average.[3]

Ski Resort Sells Family Passes—One of the top ski resorts on the West Coast of the United States teamed up with MaxPoint to increase website visits and drive sales of ski passes. To help, MaxPoint targeted mothers between the ages of 25 and 54 who have children between the ages of 2 and 12 and who have household incomes above $150,000 per year. Additionally, we focused on families living close to the resort because they would be most likely to make the trip to hit the slopes. The campaign resulted in a higher-than-average response rate and boosted engagement with the resort’s online properties.

CPG Company Runs Olympic Promotion with National Drugstore Chain—One of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies ran an Olympic-themed promotion to boost awareness of its products at a partner drugstore chain’s locations. To hit the campaign goals, MaxPoint ran a rich-media campaign targeting cost-conscious adults between the ages of 25 and 54 who frequently purchased products at retail drugstore chains. Additionally, we narrowed our ad impressions to neighborhoods within six and eight miles of the retail partner’s locations. The campaign resulted in an interaction rate that was more than twice the industry average for rich-media campaigns.[4]



[3]. Based on an industry average CTR of .09%

[4]. Based on an average rich media interaction rate of 4%