BrandIndex's Friday column in Brandweek: The winners in MLB post-season advertisers

Top 5 Buzz Gainers of the MLB Post-Season

Nov 5, 2010

Unlike the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball's post-season takes up a month and at least two dozen games. The very nature of the event gives advertisers an ample window to roll out campaigns—sometimes with multiple executions and substantial amounts of repetition. Research firm YouGov has created this exclusive report for Brandweek, outlining the winning brands for the playoffs, including two TV networks that provided the coverage: Fox and TBS.

Almost a dozen companies either signed official deals with MLB for the post-season or introduced new campaigns during the broadcasts. When it comes the biggest buzz gainers with adults over 18, the winner by far was one of the official sponsors, Chevrolet, which notched up 18 points in the 30 days ending Nov. 1.

Chevy's campaign debuted with the kick-off of the World Series on Oct. 27. The six Tim Allen-voiced spots all followed the “Chevy Runs Deep” theme, and promoted new vehicles, such as the Cruze and the Volt.

Two credit card brands also made the top five: MasterCard gained eight buzz points as the “preferred card of Major League Baseball,” touting 20% off all MLB gear. Meanwhile, Visa climbed four points with a co-branded campaign with Bank of America, and it got prime sponsorship visibility at the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park.

DirecTV’s most highly visible commercial during the post-season drew up a new battlefront—not with another satellite dish company or FiOS, but with Netflix. The spot spells it all out for consumers: “DirecTV’s got them. Straight from the theater to your living room… one month before Netflix.”

During the month of October, DirecTV made great strides to close the buzz score gap with Netflix. DirecTV zoomed from 30.4 on Oct. 1 to 58.6 by the end of the month. Netflix had been hovering in the high 80s most of that time, except for Oct. 15, when it briefly slid down to 70.

Another official sponsor, Geico, rounded out the list by edging up three points thanks to a series of value-focused ads.

Advertisers weren't the only ones to benefit from the post-season exposure; the broadcast networks did too. At the beginning of October, Fox, TBS and ESPN were within the 28-31 range in their impression scores (a general positive feeling about a brand). As the playoffs progressed, Fox and TBS broke away from ESPN.

Fox peaked on Oct. 20 with a score of 36.7 and TBS cruised at 41 for a few days. ESPN, however, remained in that initial 28-31 range. Leading up to the World Series finale, all three networks appeared to be closing the big gap between them.

The Brandweek BrandIndex Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral.

YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.