Nielsen: Brand Integration Key to Marketers for Ad-Free SVOD

With advertising not on the table for marketers thus far on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, consumer brands looking to capitalize on the SVOD powerhouse’s subscriber bases need to get resourceful.

With 23% of the total time spent in front of the television during an average week last December devoted to streaming video, Americans streamed more than 132 billion minutes, with big SVOD providers such as Netflix and Prime Video accounting for more than half (53%) of the distribution, according to new data from Nielsen.

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While product placement in movies and TV shows isn’t new, one of the most basic tenets of an advertising plan remains the ability to deliver the right message to the right consumer. Today, marketers are employing new tactics such as becoming part of content storylines, amplifying their presence well beyond passive product insertions.

With Netflix generating almost 75 million subscribers in North America through 2020, Nielsen contends 10.4% of the streamer’s audience for original series “Cobra Kai” does not watch traditional linear television. As a result, brands such as Enterprise Car Rental, Coors, Dell Computer and Mercedes Benz featured prominently in the first two seasons of “Kai.”

Besides placement, Coors actually factored into the storyline of series character Johnny Lawrence. It’s his favorite beer, and he drinks a lot of it on the show. That calculated product favoritism paid off for Coors.

Nielsen says the Golden, Colo.-based brewer’s exposure on the show garnered almost 170 million equivalized and valued impressions among viewers 21 and older through the first four weeks the program was available on Netflix. Separately, character Daniel LaRousso runs a car dealership, and thus it’s no surprise that cars play a notable role in the plot, including the destruction of Johnny’s beloved Firebird and the Dodge Challenger that ultimately replaces it.

However, much of the inventory at Daniel’s lot, however, is luxury cars,
which provides Mercedes-Benz, Audi and others the opportunity to take center stage throughout the episodes.

Brand integrations in “Cobra Kai” delivered Mercedes-Benz on average more than 43 million impressions among viewers 18-49, according to Nielsen. And in the first four weeks of being available on Netflix, season one of “Kai” delivered Dell more than 70 million impressions to viewers 18-49, a key age demo for computer users.

“Branded integrations in SVOD programming don’t just provide exposure in an ad-free environment, they reach audiences that traditional TV typically doesn’t,” read the report. “SVOD programs tend to reach lighter viewers of traditional TV, which makes the incremental reach of SVOD significant.”

Indeed, in a four-week period, Nielsen found that 19% of the combined total audience exposed to both “Cobra Kai” and linear-TV programming featuring Coors ads watched only “Cobra Kai.”

“Branded integrations provide advertisers and agencies with a modern way to integrate brands into the burgeoning streaming realm while simultaneously gaining incremental reach,” Nielsen wrote.