Media Unleashed

Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Shift in Ad Development /Ad Buying

By: Dagmar McGannon    December 23, 2019

It’s eight months until the Summer Olympics debut in Tokyo. For advertising executives, eight months isn’t much time to develop and approve creative. Enter NBCUniversal’s new research tool called the Olympic Advertising Engine. Its purpose is to help advertisers develop their TV spots. NBCU has used AI before for their big events. For example, they’ve analyzed TV spots from previous Super Bowls, and proposed over 500 variables for marketers to consider when creating TV commercials.

But it doesn’t seem that NBCU has anything to worry about in terms of earning advertising commitments. The network has already received more than $1 billion in national advertising commitments for next summer’s big event. This is a double-digit percent increase over the same time period four years ago for the Rio Summer Olympics. NBCU expects to surpass Rio’s total of $1.2 billion in national ad sales.

Olympic packages are being sold for as little as $1 million to a high of $100 million. What is different for this coming event, though, is the convergence of linear and digital TV coverage with ad placement. NBCU is selling audiences rather than platforms and is offering a “single viewer guarantee” whether that viewer is watching the games on linear TV or digitally. This allows advertisers to toggle back and forth between linear and digital viewership, taking advantage of viewership ebbs and spikes on each platform. Additionally, NBCU has partnered with Twitter to broadcast limited live events and shows on their platform.