Most baseball fans start counting down the days to Major League Baseball Opening Day shortly after the last out of the World Series, but with the bulk of opening games taking place in daytime hours during the middle of the week, running Opening Day television campaigns wouldn’t appear to be an ideal strategy.
However, our engagement data throws a curveball into the mix and shows that campaigns tied to Opening Day and Opening Weekend are more effective than one might expect.
More engagement than the playoffs?
EDO’s engagement rate metric measures how likely a viewer is to engage with a brand airing a national spot in the moments after the ad runs, on a per-person, per-second basis. Since consumer engagement behaviors such as brand searches have been linked by research to growth in market share, this enables us to determine how effective a TV ad was at driving the outcomes that are most predictive of future business results.
And when it comes to Opening Day, our engagement data shows a home run for brands who advertise at the beginning of the MLB season. Ads running during the first day of the 2023 season generated 62% more per-person consumer engagement than the average broadcast or cable primetime spot. Meanwhile, ads that ran during 2023’s Opening Weekend were 32% more effective than the benchmark.
Surprisingly, Opening Day 2023 ads were actually significantly more engaging than ads during the postseason. Excluding the World Series, consumers were 43% more likely to engage with ads during the 2023 MLB playoffs than the broadcast and cable primetime average — as compared to the Opening Day ads that were 62% more effective.
For comparison’s sake, viewers were 14% more likely to engage with ads throughout the 2023 regular season than they were during the average broadcast or primetime program.
Beer brands round the bases
Many baseball fans like to welcome the new season by cracking a cold brew, and two beer brands were among the top five during 2023 MLB Opening Weekend. Each of those five were twice as likely to engage consumers as the average broadcast and cable advertisers.
Top advertisers can be found in the concession stands
Considering the brands listed above, it should come as little surprise that food and beverage was the top category during last year’s Opening Weekend. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a snack and a drink during the ballgame? The top five categories, per EDO’s ad effectiveness scores, were:
- Food and beverage, 58 airings, +137%
- Entertainment and Recreation, 48 airings, +117%
- Pharmaceutical, 10 airings, +88%
- Insurance, 28 airings, +42%
- Restaurants, 43 airings, +14%
But first, the Super Bowl
Before the first stretching sessions of Spring Training, the National Football League will crown a champion on February 11 in Las Vegas, when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.
EDO will recognize the Big Game’s advertising winners shortly thereafter in our annual EDO’s Super Bowl LVIII Ad Ranker.
Be one of the first to see which brands and creatives drove the most engagement by signing up get every Super Bowl ad delivered to your inbox the morning after the Big Game.
To keep up with all our insights, predictions and intel, sign up for our newsletter.