Marketers are getting an early holiday gift this week, and it may be just what they wanted: a live TV event that will draw a massive audience. The twist is it’s not a sports event — it’s the 89th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be televised by NBC.
Adweek reports that the annual parade “has become one of the year’s best bets for advertisers, especially given that Thanksgiving night/Black Friday sales begin just hours later.”
The broadcast averaged 22.6 million total viewers last year, with a whopping 6.2 rating in the key 18-49 demo — beating every non-sports prime-time program on the broadcast nets last fall. The 2013 parade did even better, delivering 25.2 million viewers and a 6.6 demo rating.
Said Dan Lovinger, executive VP of Entertainment Ad Sales at NBCUniversal: “It is one of our biggest broadcasts of the year, every year, consistently. We’ll reach over 50 million nationwide through the live broadcast and live streaming, so it’s a massive audience. It’s a great multigenerational viewing experience — you’ve got families watching in what’s about as wholesome an environment as possible, and ultimately what that leads to is superior advertiser demand.”
The strongest interest this year, according to the NBC exec, has been from the retail, automotive, wireless and movie studio categories.
Lovinger adds: “It’s every category that you would imagine. … There’s no one player this year that’s taking a leadership position.”