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January 11, 2023 5 min read

From Apple to Oofos: See Which Brands Won the College Football Championship on ESPN

EDO releases top-performing airings and categories that generated the most consumer engagement during the Georgia-TCU title match.

This year’s College Football Championship on ESPN had Georgia trouncing TCU in an exciting Monday-night matchup – but it wasn’t just the Bulldogs who won big – brands did, too.

With more than 100 ad airings in the game, we found that the biggest brand spots generated up to 8.5x more consumer engagement than the game’s median ad. EDO measured and analyzed ad engagement across the entire game – and we’re ready to declare the top performing airings and categories.

From footwear to fast food, and even some of our favorite luxury brands in between – there’s no doubt that ESPN’s College Football Championship drove considerable brand performance. In fact, the Championship was the pinnacle of an already successful 2022-23 NCAAF postseason.

Ad Performance in College Playoffs on ESPN Increases Over 2022

“This historic college football season was one for the books with exciting matchups from the very first kickoff through the National Championship and data proves that Disney advertisers saw impactful results when integrated into our studio and live programming,” said Danielle Brown, SVP, Disney Advertising Data Enablement & Category Strategy. “There is no doubt that college football on ESPN networks is one of the most engaging advertising environments and drives performance for brands.”

The 2022-23 College Football Semifinals on ESPN outperformed the same 2021-22 programming by almost 20%. Second only to the College Football Championship, EDO data shows that Semifinal games are the most impactful for advertisers among College Football programming. Advertisers would need about 73 spots across the rest of primetime broadcast & cable to generate as much engagement as one ad during this year’s college football semifinals programming on ESPN.

“The ad performance we’ve seen this NCAA Football season – especially in the semifinals – has been incredible,” said Kevin Krim, President & CEO of EDO, the TV outcomes company. “While Georgia ran away with the Championship title Monday, the NCAAF playoff expansion starting in 2024 will undoubtedly create more thrilling matchups and even higher ad engagement for brands advertising in college games.”

Most engaging ads during the 2022-23 College Football Championship

Starting with no. 10, the top 10 airings by ad engagement during the game were:

No. 10: Taco Bell – Drones – $2 Grilled Chicken Burritos (30s)

 

3.4x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Flying drones in the dessert can be hard work. In Taco Bell’s 30-second spot that uses an early-naughts style pop-punk song as its soundtrack promotes its $2 grilled chicken burritos.

No. 9: VRBO – Always All Yours (30s)

 

3.5x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Is it really a vacation house if you have to share the house with the host? VRBO wants viewers to know that travelers who use their service will get the whole upstairs, downstairs, fridge – and secret naproom, too.

No. 8: Mercedes-Benz – 2023 EQE – For All Senses (College FB Playoff Sponsor) (30s)

 

4.2x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Raindrops can’t stop Mercedes-Benz. The brand declares its all-new, all-electric 2023 EQS elevates the senses – touch, sight, sound and scent.

No. 7: He Gets Us – Refugees (30s)

 

4.5x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Super Bowl rookie advertiser He Gets Us found success with a 30-second black-and-white spot, part of a $100M advertising campaign that launched late last year.

No. 6: Mercedes-Benz – 2023 EQE – For All Senses (College FB Playoff Sponsor) (30s)

 

5.4x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Mercedes-Benz aired the same creative twice during the NCAAF Championship, generating enough consumer engagement per ad to take two spots in EDO’s top 10 airings.

No. 5: Chick-fil-A – The Original Chicken Sandwich – Paige & Tanya (30s)

 

6x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Chick-fil-A aired one 30-second ad featuring chicken-sandwich lovers Paige and Tanya as part of its “A Fan Presents” series. Two 15-second voiceovers are the backdrop to the ad, with both women explaining what makes the Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich original to them. Spicy!

No. 4: Applebee’s – All You Can Eat $14.99 (30s)

 

7x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Who could resist this mirage of fried, saucy, all-you-can-eat goodness? Applebee’s promotes its double crunch shrimp, boneless wings, and signature riblets meals. Now that’s eatin’ good in the neighborhood.

No. 3: SoFi – JH Red Flags (30s)

 

7.8x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Justin Herbert saw red (and yellow) flags from his old bank, so he’s moving on with SoFi. Banker, disqualified!

No. 2: Apple – Apple Watch Ultra (30s)

 

8x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Brave the storm with Apple Watch Ultra. The 30s spot promoting the latest Apple Watch line proves this tech can weather the elements, with a voiceover of Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton’s plea to recruit men for a dangerous mission to Antarctica over 100 years ago.

No. 1: Oofos – Oofos ft. Alex Smith (15s)

 

8.5x more engaging than the median ad during the 2022-23 NCAAF Championship Game.

Oofos is the comfy shoewear company making a name for itself as the official recovery footwear of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. The company’s 15s spot, featuring former NFL QB Alex Smith, took the top spot for most engaging airing of the night.

We’re already reporting the final ad performance scores for advertisers, and it’s certain that the College Football Championship on ESPN will be among the highest ad performance programs of the year – and it’s only January.

The College Football Championship may be over, but EDO’s already gearing up for the Super Bowl. Get ready for NFL ad insights and Monday-morning winners of the Big Game at EDO.com/NFL.