EDO TeamOctober 4, 20233 min read

The Swift Effect: How Taylor’s Support is Boosting Engagement for Ads Featuring Travis Kelce

Unless you’ve been living in exile (ft. Bon Iver), you’re probably aware that pop sensation Taylor Swift has made a pair of high-profile appearances at recent NFL games to cheer on Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end she’s rumored to be dating.

The pairing has been a publicity bonanza for all involved, bringing together Taylor’s passionate Swiftie army with diehard fans of the NFL — two of the last great American dynasties in an increasingly fragmented media landscape.

What you might not know is that these two new romantics are even driving consumers to engage more frequently with TV ads featuring Kelce. By using our database of TV airings information and sophisticated predictive model, we analyzed how likely these commercials were to inspire consumers to engage with the advertising brand online in the minutes after airing.

What we found is that Kelce was already an effective celebrity spokesperson for brands like Pfizer, Campbell’s, and DirecTV — but his new relationship is taking his ad engagement to new heights.

As our CEO, Kevin Krim explained in a recent interview with Adweek: “Taylor Swift’s high-profile appearances at recent Chiefs games have been a boon for network ratings and for advertisers—bringing an entirely new audience to the NFL. Brands that have featured Chiefs star Travis Kelce in ads, such as Pfizer and Campbell’s, are also reaping the benefits of this newfound relationship.”

Even before Taylor, Travis was an ad engagement needle-mover

While Travis Kelce might be a new face to Swifties who are just now entering their “football era,” the eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champ has been one of the NFL’s most recognizable names for some time. And he’s had the advertising impact to prove it.

For instance, Travis co-stars alongside his brother, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Kelce, in a pair of Campbell’s ads that had been running prior to Swift’s first appearance in his family suite on September 24. Those ads were 287% more effective at driving engagement on a per-person, per-second basis than Campbell’s ads that did not feature Kelce.

Meanwhile, DirecTV ads featuring Kelce as the company’s “Overly Direct Sportsperson” were 57% more engaging than the brand’s ads that did not feature the Chiefs tight end.

Swift partnership takes Kelce’s ad effectiveness to new heights

Of course, Kelce’s relationship with Swift has made his ads that much more engaging. 

Ad effectiveness for the Campbell’s commercials were up 4% after Kelce and Swift first connected, and Pfizer is seeing similarly strong performance for an ad that stars Kelce and debuted three days prior to Swift’s first appearance in the Kelce suite.

The Pfizer ad, which humorously pitches viewers on getting a flu shot and a Covid shot at the same time, has proved itself to be 27% more effective at driving consumer engagement than the brand’s ads that do not feature Kelce. In the days after Swift was spotted cheering Kelce on for the first time, consumers have been 32% more likely to engage with the Pfizer creative than they had been previously.

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Boosted by the power of the Swifties, Travis Kelce seems poised to challenge for the crown of the NFL’s most engaging advertising star — a title previously held by legendary former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 

And that’s just one of the stories we’ll be tracking at EDO throughout the course of what figures to be a transformative NFL season for the TV advertising industry. By signing up for our newsletter, you’ll get all the latest data on TV ad performance, all season long.


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