Deal or No Deal NBC's Olympic Winner

Study shows ads for NBC game show have top viewer recall.

While Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and beach volleyball were winners at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Howie Mandel had a good couple of weeks, too.

According to an independent study exclusively obtained by B&C from Frank N. Magid Associates on Olympic viewing, Deal or No Deal had the highest ad recall and intent to view of any NBC show promoted, while the network may already have cause for concern about rookie Kath and Kim.

The strong push and response for Deal is timely as in addition to its primetime return this fall, it is also debuting in syndication.

A total of 45% of viewers remember seeing Deal or No Deal ads, followed by Heroes (44%) and The Office (38%). When viewers were asked if they were “likely to watch,” those three shows also finished tops, as 31% said yes to Deal and Heroes and 28% to The Office.

The news was more alarming for Kath and Kim. While 31% remembered seeing ads for the Molly Shannon-Selma Blair comedy, just 13% were “likely to watch.”

The study also reinforced NBC’s stance that the Olympic rings give off a marketing halo effect, especially when the Web and TV are combined. The study said viewer recall of Olympic advertisers was 16% higher when they watched the Games on both on TV and the Web, compared with just TV. Moreover, multiplatform viewers had a much more favorable opinion of an advertiser (a 51% “brand lift”) than those who watched strictly on TV (31%) and those who saw an ad on non-Olympic programming (9%).

“What was surprising was how viewers thought more highly of a product in the Olympics,” Magid senior vice president Richard Haynes said, “and how much more interested they were in seeking more information about it.”

Magid polled 765 respondents across three groups: Those who watch the Olympics on TV only, those who watch on TV and on and those who do not watch the Olympics at all.

Respondents were asked if they’d noticed ads either on TV or the Web from a list of marketers. Just 48% of those who do not follow the Olympics had recalled McDonald’s spots in the past few weeks, compared with 61% of viewers who watched the Olympics on TV and 76% who watched on TV and

Furthermore, 34% of those who watch the Games on TV and the Web were familiar with computer manufacturer Lenovo, which spent substantially on Olympic spots to boost its visibility, compared with 4% who watched the Games solely on television and virtually none who did not watch the Olympics.

Regarding local programming, 38% of Olympics viewers said they’re watching more news on their NBC affiliate during the Games. Within that group, 37% said they’ll continue watching more local NBC news after the Olympics conclude.

The study also showed significant growth in HD viewing, with 53% of Olympics fans having watched the events in HD.

Finally, a bit of good news for marketers in the TiVo era: 47% of those who watched the Games in HD said HD commercials enhanced their viewing experience.