Safe to say there has been ample discussion in the media over the past few weeks about Taylor Swift’s attendance at NFL games and (more specifically) the air time she’s received. This has sparked debate, garnered ire from football fans, and brought in new viewers in the form of “swifties.”
So, let’s break it down: how much air time does Taylor Swift actually receive, and is it good or bad for the NFL? And is her going to the Super Bowl as significant as some marketers make it out to be?
On average, Taylor Swift has received less than 30 seconds of air time per game that she’s attended. The New York Times reported, “The reality is Ms. Swift is typically onscreen for less than 25 seconds over the course of broadcasts that run longer than three hours, with her name rarely being mentioned.”
Taylor Swift’s fan base brings value to the NFL
However, this short air time has had a massive impact. The Wall Street Journal reported that the NFL has seen its highest ratings since 2015 and data shows that in just one game, the Kansas City Chiefs saw a 63% increase in female viewers between the ages of 18-49.
Apex Marketing Group estimates Swift brings a total value of $331.5 million to the Kansas City Chiefs brand and the NFL. Now the Chiefs have won the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the year for football fans and a prize for advertisers too.
While there were questions about whether Swift would make the big game (given her commitments to her Eras tour in Tokyo) she managed to make an impressively quick international flight to support the Chiefs and her significant other in Las Vegas.
The mere presence of Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl likely contributed to its supersized 2024 audience – a broadcast with 123.4 million viewers and the largest TV broadcast since the 1969 moon landing. After hearing the news she might attend, advertisers and social media marketers quickly got on board, ready to reach (potentially) the broadest audience the Super Bowl has ever seen.
Many brands sought to capitalize on the brand power of Taylor Swift by including references to her work and songs in their campaigns, similar to how State Farm did earlier in the NFL season when it sat Jake from State Farm beside Swift in her box.
Fun and engaging celebrity references are always a success in Super Bowl ads and with so many Swifties in the audience, it just makes sense to bring her into the fold.
Effective marketing considers and embraces its context and in this case, that means including Swifties in this year’s target audience for Super Bowl ads and social media campaigns.
So, how many Taylor Swift references did you expect to see on game day? And were you right? You can see some of the best ads from 2023’s Super Bowl here and keep an eye out for our 2024 Super Bowl ad favorites later this week.