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NFL Insights for the 2021-2022 Season So Far

November 9, 2021

The 2021-2022 NFL season is officially in full swing and with it some clever football-related advertisements that many have come to look forward to each year. Thanks to Phoenix Brand Effect, we can keep an eye on shifts in advertising performance across a range of networks and programming, including all of the NFL regular and post-season games, without missing a beat.

Now that these ads have had a chance to wear in with audiences a bit, we’re kicking off this year’s NFL Ad Insights with a ranking of the top 10 performing ads that have aired during NFL games so far this season.

Like we’ve seen last season, many of the ads in the top slots feature NFL players, personalities, or related imagery (also known as contextual ad spots.)

No stranger to our top rankers from the past, Subway is coming back strong this year with four ads in the top 10, all of which feature NFL talent. In addition to their strong banding throughout the ads, the prominent display of the product gives viewers no doubt as to who’s ad this is. USAA made a big debut on our NFL Ad Insights ranking by snagging the number two slot with their “Gronk and Frank” ad and the best Ad Memorability score (percentage of an ad’s natural in-home viewers who are able to remember its content the next day)
of the lot at 94%, compared to the norm at 54%. Like we mentioned before, ads that are contextually relevant (like featuring NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski) are more likely to perform well compared to ads with regular content.

Interestingly, half of the top-performing ads we featured this week are not contextually relevant, including the number one ad by Old Navy, “BODEQUALITY.” This toe-tapping, hip-shaking ad featuring SNL actress Aidy Bryant promotes body and size inclusivity by announcing their newly expanded sizing options of 0-30. At a time when body positivity and inclusion are more prevalent than ever in advertising, this ad resonated well with viewers and scored them the highest of the bunch in terms of Ad Memorability at 64% (norm 46%.)

It’s Game Time

As the 2021-2022 NFL season continues, we will be keeping a close eye on how ad performance is developing and if viewers’ preferences continue to shift. Will any advertisers step it up for the Thanksgiving Day games, or will all eyes be on any hints at a new Super Bowl ad? We’ve got our chips & buffalo chicken dip ready, and we will be watching.

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