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ESPN's cross-platform insights

News, 09 March 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: ESPN, the sports network, believes cross-platform advertising can boost metrics, such as recall, purchase intent and brand equity – a finding based in part on analysis conducted during events like the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games.

David Hobbie, ESPN's Director/International Research, discussed this subject at the Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2017, a gathering assembled by KNect365.

ESPN has been pursuing ongoing research into cross-platform advertising for several years, he reported, with some recent efforts including studies undertaken during the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016, both of which were held in Brazil.

"We basically were reading behaviour – people's reaction to what they're watching across TV and digital," Hobbie said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: ESPN explores cross-platform ad lift in Latin America.)

"It's a method of measuring and quantifying advertiser effectiveness on many ESPN platforms – and really getting feedback around what kind of effect your campaign has on your brand health when you're on various platforms."

One such piece of analysis was carried out last year among 3,000 people in each of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico – four nations where ESPN held rights to the 2016 Olympics.

And the company found that this study corroborated its earlier work concerning the impact of cross-platform ads for brands, Hobbie told the Media Insights & Engagement delegates.

"We just compare responses from ESPN users and non-ESPN users. Pretty quickly – and pretty consistently – we can see a lift in brand equity for these brands," he said.

Drilling down into more specific examples, he revealed that a large Mexican telecoms company and Brazilian drugstore chain both enjoyed lifts in recall, brand equity and purchase intent through such campaigns during the 2016 Olympics.

ESPN has also investigated the long-term effects of cross-platform engagement, having recognised the needs of brands to ascertain the enduring impression made by their messaging.

"The campaign lives on, and we need to understand that impact after that as well. In this case, there's a lingering effect on the impact from the TV campaign," Hobbie said.

"But the digital-side – particularly in mobile – really helps sustain that lift … [with] a big impact for, particularly, brand equity and purchase intent."

Data sourced from Warc