Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brand Mix: Lost and Found: Advertising engagement

My kids couldn't be more delighted. What once was Lost is now Wipeout. Much bouncier and more fun, as far as they are concerned. But for those of us who survived six gripping, largely incomprehensible seasons, there's a little hole in our schedule, a little sadness in our hearts.

The Lost audience in the final season wasn't as big as it was at the beginning--some people did manage to get off the island. And it wasn't anywhere near as large as the typical audiences for American Idol. But the people watching the last few episodes did have one thing that many other shows don't have. And that was engagement. Not just with the show but with the ads too.

Nielsen reports that nearly 90% of the national advertisements aired during the final episode achieved higher brand recall compared to their average in other primetime programming. To be specific they, on average, generated 51% higher recall, 92% higher message recall and 66% higher likability. And customized ads that incorporated themes from the show did even better. This smoke monster ad from Target did the best of all:

As James Poniewozik points out in Time, that's why ABC was still able to charge a reported $900,000 a spot. He wonders if this fact suggests that it may be coming easier to monetize a smaller, but intensely interested, audience.

There are not many shows I would put in the same category as Lost in terms of engagement. My list is down to two at the moment: Breaking Bad and Mad Men. But for these few shows, I think advertisers can and should declare themselves as fellow fans and supporters. As the Nielsen numbers show, the audience will definitely give them credit for that...Brand Mix by (Martin Bishop)

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