Did you catch Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah on CBS last weekend? If not, there are over 17M Americans who can fill you in on what’s quickly become one of the biggest TV interviews of the past year.
That’s right – over 17M US viewers (not to mention the 11M viewers that watched the ITV broadcast in the UK on Monday). The US viewership alone is more than double the audience of this year’s Golden Globe Awards and nearly triple the audience of the NBA All-Star Game that aired the same night as the interview.
It was a winning combination. Americans are fascinated by the British royals. We love Oprah. We love a love story. And nothing draws attention like family drama – just look at the long-running success of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
From glimpses of the family’s life at home in California to discussions touching on racism and Meghan’s mental health to the gender reveal of the couple’s daughter arriving this summer, the openness and truths revealed made sure this was an interview no one will soon forget.
Winning Meghan and Harry’s first TV interview since their departure as working members of the royal family was a coup for CBS, as the viewership numbers show. It was also a coup for their advertisers. For the 54 brands that aired national ads during the interview, on average, Meghan and Harry’s sitdown with Oprah was 38% more effective at driving viewers to engage online with these brands than a regular broadcast primetime program.
The most successful, though, was Procter & Gamble. During an interview that touched on weighty topics including love, family, and racism, the brand ran the third-ever airing of its :60s “Lead with Love” spot.
This powerful ad showcases a diverse group of babies displaying eight emotions that we’re born feeling – the most powerful of which is love. The underlying message is that we’re not born with hate or discrimination in our hearts – as two toddlers of different ethnicities run towards and hug each other, the brand urges us to “lead with love” and join P&G in committing to performing 2021 acts of good in 2021. It was a moving ad that touched on the same themes as the moving interview – family, fighting racism and discrimination, and leading with love. And it was a wise choice for P&G as viewers were 9x more engaged with the ad than the average ad that ran during the interview.
So what does this tell us? We love love. We love to see lovers overcoming challenges to be together for their happily ever after. And we love that love overcomes evil. See your repertoire of Disney movies and rom-coms for further details.
This is part of why both Meghan and Harry’s journey and P&G’s call to action resonated so deeply with viewers. After a year of widespread hardship, suffering, and loss through the pandemic, their new beginning gives us hope in the power of love to lead the way. We could all use a little more of it.