Key takeaways from unBoxed on the Thursday Night Football audience and generating incremental reach

18 November 2022 | By Dora Wang, Content Marketing Manager

Danielle Carney speaking during unBoxed 2022

Who is the audience for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch?

We offered some answers to that question recently at unBoxed 2022 in New York City. Alan Moss, Vice President of Global Ad Sales for Amazon Ads, shared some of our recent learnings about the TNF audience during the Day 1 keynote presentation. Danielle Carney, Head of NFL Sales for Amazon Ads, went into more detail during her session on live sports streaming.

These insights, gathered from the first several weeks of TNF viewership, illustrate the core TNF audience on Prime Video and Twitch: tech-savvy young adults who are affluent and highly engaged.

  • Young adults: The 18-to-34-year-old demographic comprises 23% of the TNF audience, a concentration higher than the NFL on linear as well as other well-known sports properties.1 Within this age group, TNF has ranked as the most-watched programme across broadcast and cable every Thursday night this season, and has increased the 18-to-34 viewership 26% compared to the 2021 TNF average.2
  • Purchasing power: With an average household income (HHI) of more than $99K, the Amazon TNF audience has a HHI that is 20% higher NFL linear viewers, and is also higher than other streaming services.3
  • High engagement: Amazon TNF viewers watch 86 minutes per game on average, which is 37% longer than Monday Night Football viewers and 18% longer than Sunday Night Football viewers watch their respective broadcasts.4 A Kantar study also showed that 80% of Amazon TNF viewers are extremely or very likely to pay attention to advertising while watching sports.5

Spotlight on our sponsors: Carnival Cruise Line and Little Caesars

For our TNF sponsors, the best way to connect with this engaged, affluent audience is to provide them with engaging and innovative experiences.

When Carnival Cruise Line became a TNF sponsor, the brand was interested in both traditional in-game advertising and more custom branded opportunities. Jennifer Austin, Senior Director of Media Strategy and Planning at Carnival Cruise Line, joined Moss at the keynote to discuss The NFL Pile On, a Wednesday night show presented by Carnival. As the first-ever official NFL comedy show, The NFL Pile On generates pregame excitement with a lighthearted, family-friendly approach, helping drive brand awareness through content that embodies the energy of the Carnival brand.

During the game itself, Carnival uses their placements to help generate interest, and then reengages viewers after the game. “We use Amazon audience insights to better remarket to those connected TV buyers [...] well beyond the final whistle,” said Austin. “And this post-game communication is a must, since we found that customers are 143% more likely to engage with Carnival Cruise Line after seeing our ad on Thursday Night Football.”6

At Carney’s session, she was joined by Alex Stone, who is Senior Vice President of Advanced Video and Agency Partnerships at Horizon Media and represents Little Caesars. After being named the official pizza sponsor of the NFL last year, Little Caesars also became one of TNF’s first sponsors. Working with Amazon, they found an innovative way to engage their audience: a QR code displayed during the pregame show that allows viewers to quickly and easily order Little Caesars pizza.

One of the ways Little Caesars measures the success of the campaign is by looking at incremental sales. “A major thing that we looked at was [if there was] cannibalisation, in which Tuesday or Wednesday night sales were actually diminishing because of Thursday night sales. And thankfully that’s not something we saw,” said Stone.

TNF helps brands reach incremental audiences

According to Nielsen, there are viewers watching TNF on Prime Video and Twitch who aren’t watching NFL linear TV. For example, Carney shared the Nielsen data that among 18-to-49-year-olds7:

  • 19% of TNF viewers didn’t watch Sunday Night Football on NBC
  • 19% of TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on FOX or Monday Night Football
  • 13% of TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on CBS

Nielsen data on viewers in the 18-to-49 age group

19% of TNF viewers didn’t watch Sunday Night Football on NBC

TNF viewers didn’t watch Sunday Night Football on NBC

19% of TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on FOX or Monday Night Football

TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on FOX or Monday Night Football

13% of TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on CBS

TNF viewers didn’t watch NFL on CBS

This means that brands have the opportunity to reach incremental audiences through TNF. Combining TNF with other Amazon Ads products may also lead to even greater reach. A study during the 2021 season showed that running a TNF campaign alongside Amazon Streaming TV ads and display ads could lead to incremental reach of +75% and +25% respectively.8

Carney also introduced the unBoxed audience to Football Audience Remarketing, which now allows brands to continue the conversation with audiences by reengaging viewers who watched their TNF ads across Amazon’s other owned and operated properties. Brands can further refine their audiences – based on interest, lifestyle, in-market, and product- or brand-based first-party audiences – to make their messaging relevant to viewers.

Opportunities abound for brands to connect with customers through TNF, and this is just based on half of the first season of Amazon’s 11-year agreement with the NFL. There’s plenty of room to grow, both in terms of audiences and advertising innovations.

To learn more about advertising with TNF or Streaming TV ads, reach out to your Amazon Ads account executive.

1-2 Nielsen National TV Services, Live+Same Day through 10/27/22
3 Nielsen National TV Services, Live+Same Day through 10/6/22
4 Nielsen NPOWER, Live+Same Day through 27/10/22
5 Kantar, TNF Viewer Study, 2021
6 Advertiser-provided data, US, 2022
7 Nielsen, Live+Same Day through 27/10/22
8 Amazon internal data, US, October 2021 – January 2022 (sample size > 2M users)