Consumers have never been closer to the content they love. From smartphones to tablets and laptops, audiences can bring their favorite shows, movies and artists with them wherever they go. However, nothing beats the experience of being able to touch and feel the content you love in real life.
Opportunities for fandoms to come together in person for cultural celebrations have never been more popular – from trading jerseys at soccer matches and swapping friendship bracelets at Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras tour to the swarms of dressed-up crowds at Comic Con, consumers are looking for experiences that reflect culture. When fandom is a relationship, in-person experiences create community by forming an indelible bond between consumers, content and culture.
NBCUniversal reflects, shapes and creates culture – it’s how we have united communities through our iconic premium content for nearly 100 years. More than any other media company, at our core – we’re storytellers – and we tell stories across film, television, experiential, gaming and so much more. When we combine our brand of storytelling with cultural relevance, it creates momentum, and that momentum gives NBCUniversal’s stories the ability to grow across platforms and channels. Momentum is a key component of virality – that’s why fans dressing up as Gentleminions at the theaters went viral for the premiere of “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” why thousands of thrill-seekers dare to enter Universal Destinations & Experiences’ annual Halloween Horror Nights, and why for years Bravoholics jump at the chance to catch all the piping hot tea at BravoCon – one of the most impactful fandom events in the industry.
Bravoholics are one of the most interactive and engaged fandom communities organically created around our IP. Their passion and intense connection to Bravo is how we bring BravoCon to life, by combining culture and storytelling all while bringing brands and consumers together to celebrate their love of Bravo through language, inside jokes and constant references to classic moments and personalities. For those who know both the lore and the lingo – “It’s not about the pasta!”, “Who gon’ check me, boo?” “I made it nice!” or “Life isn’t all diamonds and Rosé, but it should be” – you’ll feel right at home at BravoCon. And this year, that level of engagement and excitement will hit a new level as BravoCon moves to Las Vegas for the first time ever. Bravoholics from around the country are descending on Sin City this November, for an even bigger communal moment with their favorite shows and Housewives – all powered by brands who recognize the power of fandom.
Brands that lean-in to this cultural zeitgeist reap the benefits. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it continue this year as fan love for Bravo’s content creates an advertising halo effect for our partners. In addition to placing storytelling at the center, NBCUniversal’s contextual advertising and privacy-minded data solutions connect viewers to content and brand messages they actually care about in environments they choose to spend their time. At last year’s event, brand partners experienced an average of 99% brand recall and a +223% increase in new fans across social platforms and became an integral part of the attendee experience.
Our unique combination of storytelling and momentum has allowed us to cultivate fandom communities spanning a variety of genres and generations from media to music to sports. The Citi Summer Concert Series, hosted by NBCUniversal’s TODAY, is one of our longest standing in-person events. Each summer, Citi powers live weekly concerts with global superstars that have proved to be incredibly impactful for fans and brands. 70% of Citi Concert Series attendees leave the show with a significant increase in brand awareness, brand favorability and ad recall thanks to Citi’s ongoing commitment to providing the shows for free with seamless integrations.
From concert venues to sports stadiums, NBCUniversal offers countless opportunities for every type of fan. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 aired exclusively in Spanish on Telemundo and Peacock and drove double-digit higher ad attention compared to our English-language competitors thanks to NBCU’s combination of culture and storytelling around major Latin American teams. Advertisers saw massive impact for their businesses, with four in five viewers saying NBCUniversal’s World Cup brand partners had a meaningful contribution to their positive viewing experience.
No matter if you are a music lover, sports fan, or reality obsessed – we continue to see the power of creating tangible moments around our content. I like this quote by Dr. Scrivani, a celebrated clinical psychologist: “Over time, we come to see the folks portrayed on screen as friends. We identify with their struggles and triumphs.” It’s that deep connection that keeps fans engaged year-after-year with their favorite artists, athletes and reality stars. It’s that deep connection that has grown the People’s Choice Awards into the country music space and made our Live From E! Red Carpet programming the most socially driven and sought out awards show coverage for both celebrities and brands alike. Our live programming strategy has evolved to meet demand from consumers and the needs of advertisers, creating can’t miss moments all year long. Brands that understand the connection between culture and storytelling can then watch what happens when fans associate them positively with their favorite cultural moments across the NBCUniversal umbrella – and we look forward to continuing to deliver unforgettable experiences.