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Which Brands Won Attention During ESPN College Gameday Last Season?

The 2018 college football season began with a choice few games this past weekend, but kicks off in earnest starting on Thursday, August 30.

ESPN’s the sport’s largest broadcaster in terms of live content — on linear TV and streaming — though the coverage doesn’t just stop there. The family of networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, Longhorn Network, SEC Network) also host a variety of studio shows and preview programs. However, the marquee program for over two decades now has been College Gameday.

At one point simply a pre-game show on campus sites, it’s now turned into a three-hour bonanza of guest appearances, in-depth stories, interviews, brand placements and of course, Lee Corso’s mascot picks. Along with the engaging and fun content, College Gameday also lends a captive audience to advertisers, many of whom are also the most noticeable brands during game broadcasts as well.

With the season’s first edition of College Gameday coming up this Saturday (from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.), we wanted to look back at which brands earned the most attention from College Gameday audiences during the 2017 season, along with other interesting audience metrics from the show last year.

*All data from iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than eight million smart TVs.


Of brands with at least five million live TV impressions, plumbing fixture company American Standard actually had the highest attention score (percentage of an ad that’s played across TV devices), at 97.75. Infinti was close behind American Standard in terms of attention score, at 97.59, followed by Nationwide Insurance (97.37), Diet Dr Pepper (96.88) and Reese’s (96.85).

American Standard’s “Mad Dash” was also among the least-interrupted ads overall, according to iSpot.tv’s attention index, receiving 81% fewer interruptions than the average College Gameday spot. BMW‘s “Perfect Sense” was No. 1, with 92% fewer interruptions, followed by Hilton Hotel‘s “Sports Weekenders” (88%) and Warner Bros.‘ “Justice League” trailer (84%).

Audiences were watching the ads live, too, as 99.4% of impressions were live and same day. College Gameday’s viewers skew heavily male (67.3%) and 71.7% of them are age 35 or older. That helps inform the sorts of industries that advertised most during the program as well:

Beyond ESPN’s own ads, automakers garnered the most impressions of all industries, along with home improvement stores, insurance companies and beer brands. Needless to say, the advertisers know exactly who they’re talking to here.

Will we see if the same advertisers are back in action this year, too to earn attention once again. Based on College Gameday’s preview show airing last week, car brands (Mercedes, BMW, Chevrolet) are already pacing the field along with Heineken and Bleecker Street Media‘s trailer for “Papillion.”