Q2 Real-Time Trend Report to Marketers: Real-Time Sports Trends a Slam Dunk
Another quarter of real-time advertising is in the books and it was another quarter where trend-based targeted campaigns drove performance well-above industry norms. Engagement rates surpassed Q2 industry benchmarks across multiple platforms, with display CTRs by 153%, skippable video view rates by 60% and non-skippable video completion rates by 10%. Across real-time display campaigns, media aligned with celebrity news and sports trends generated the highest user engagement rates. Combined, these two trend categories accounted for nearly 20% of all real-time impressions served and drove CTRs at over 3x above industry benchmarks.
When analyzing all trend categories, sports (+25%) and television (+18%) saw the largest positive gains quarter-to-quarter in terms of ad performance.Sports trends specifically have seen CTR increases for the last three consecutive quarters with Q2 2015 CTRs reaching their peak in the last 12 months.
Within the overall sports category, various sub-categories over-performed in Q2, none more so than trends surrounding the game of basketball. This quarter, one out of every two sports ad engagements came as a result of a basketball trend, with almost an even split between the NCAA Final Four and the NBA playoffs. Trends associated with the Final Four drove CTRs over 5x above industry averages, which is of particular note since ‘March Madness’ trends in Q1 drove CTRs only 3x above industry averages. From mid-April to mid-June, NBA playoff trends combined to deliver CTRs 3.2x above industry averages, proving further proving that Q2 is the premiere time for advertisers to reach basketball fans.
For the foreseeable future, the NCAA Final Four and NBA Finals are going to continue to take place in Q2 every year, spawning new and unpredictable micro-trends to be targeted in real-time. But where there other sports targeting opportunities that helped drive real-time advertising success this quarter? Outside of basketball, golf was the top performing sport driving CTRs 3.8x above average due to Jordan Spieth’s back-to-back majors wins and Tiger Woods shooting his worst round of all time. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao having the biggest fight in decades helped fuel boxing/MMA trends to 3.1x performance over averages. The U.S. women’s soccer team’s march to the World Cup final led to soccer trend engagement rates 2.8x above average. Each remaining sports sub-category drove results at least 1.9x better than industry benchmarks but not all were created equal. For example, despite it being the NFL offseason, 2015 NFL Draft and free agency trends still managed to outperform baseball trends surrounding the start of the 2015 MLB season by 23%.
Be sure to read the full findings of this quarter’s Real-Time Trend Report here, and check back in a couple months for the Q3 edition.