March Madness Fans to Advertisers: Make More Interactive and Visual Ads

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Over 40% more likely to make a purchase after seeing March Madness ads

Arkadium, the company innovating visual, interactive content for more than 500 of the world’s leading publishers and brands, released new data on how U.S. sports fans perceived online advertising and marketing campaigns for 2019’s March Madness Tournament.

For the study, Arkadium commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 adult March Madness fans throughout the U.S. Here’s a closer look at what they found.

Most suggest making ads more interactive and visual would improve them

When asked how to improve the ads, 39% of respondents said to make them more interactive and participatory, while 38% suggested making them more visual. Additionally, 32% of ad viewers want something more personalized and 25% seek out more visuals as opposed to plain text.

“Interactive and visual experiences are clearly in-demand,” said Jessica Rovello, CEO and co-founder of Arkadium. “Advertisers should take note. In the future, these changes would benefit the brands, publishers and consumers alike. The brand increases revenue, and the consumer experiences a more enjoyable ad experience.”

March Madness related ads are on average rated as good quality

Nearly half of all respondents, 47%, rated the March Madness ads they’ve viewed online as “good,” with 26% rating them as “acceptable” and 25% rating them as “very good.” 88% of users who rated “very good” were more likely to purchase from that brand. Only less than two percent of respondents rated the ads as poor quality.

“March Madness makes for an effective ad campaign theme this time of year,” Rovello said. “It’s a national event that many get excited about, and among all postseason sports advertising, only the NFL exceeds the annual tournament in spend. This makes for excellent advertising campaign material.”

Consumers likely to make purchases after seeing ads

42% of those surveyed said they are more likely to make a purchase after viewing a March Madness ad. However, 57% of respondents believe that the ads had no effect on them and just 1% are less likely to purchase from the brands.

“That more than 40% who see March Madness campaigns are more likely to buy is huge,” said Rovello. “It’s a major opportunity for brands and they should be taking advantage online.”

77% of March Madness ads were from food and beverage brands

Respondents were asked what types of brands were typically featured in ads they saw and 77% said ads from food and beverage companies. Insurance companies followed at 35% with Auto companies sitting at 31% and technology companies coming in at 29%.

“Every year, food and beverage brands recognize March Madness as a key opportunity to connect with fans online,” Rovello said. “Fans are highly engaged and the right campaign can activate that to drive meaningful lift and grow revenue.”

Sports news and social media win over advertising dollars

The number one place people recall seeing March Madness ads is sports news sites, at 74%, followed closely by social media, at 73%. The least popular place that respondents viewed ads was a brand’s website, at 39%.

About Arkadium

Arkadium is a founder-led interactive content company helping over 500 of the world’s top publishers and brands maximize audience engagement online. Our unique combination of AI, gamification and content helps publishers increase on-site audience engagement, retention and revenue, while helping brands build deeper connections with consumers. Partners include USA Today, Tribune, CNN, The Washington Post, MSN and the NBA.

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