Primetime Jeopardy! Special Engages Millennials

Jeopardy! completes its 38th season in July, and it’s riding the buzz of being named the highest-rated non-sports program on broadcast and cable TV. The December 2021 ratings surge was in big thanks to Amy Schneider’s 40-game winning streak, second only to Ken Jennings’ record of 74 wins. Schneider became the first woman to earn more than $1 million on the show, with $1.4 million in total winnings.

The existing buzz around Jeopardy! has provided an excellent platform for its two-week national primetime Jeopardy! National College Championship program on ABC in February. The special, hosted by actress-by-day, neurobiologist-by-night, Mayim Bialik, pit 36 students representing 36 national colleges and universities against one another in a battle of wits.

Interestingly, the show offers advertisers a unique advantage in targeting Gen Zers and Millennials.

Measuring success

EDO analyzed all ad airings during the Jeopardy! National College Championship and found that the show had an extremely engaged audience in comparison to the average primetime broadcast program in 2022:

  • Viewers who saw a TV ad airing during the Jeopardy! special were 32% more likely to search online for the brand, in comparison to the average primetime broadcast program this year.

  • Talk about a true daily double: the special also drew in 2x as many viewers on average than the primetime broadcast; this combination of reach and engagement made the ad units valuable airtime.

  • It would take an advertiser nearly three ads during the average primetime broadcast program to generate the same impact as one ad during Jeopardy! National College Championship.

Winners: What are Chewy.com, Capital One, and Downy?

Jaskaran Singh, a student from the University of Texas, wasn’t the only major winner of the night. Three advertisers in particular aired spots that align with a younger audience than what the standard, regionally syndicated Jeopardy! show does. 

Capital One’s Action Figures spot pokes fun at millennials and their hobbies. The spot, which aired during the college championship, generated 18% higher Search Engagement than the average Capital One airing during primetime broadcast. 

Chewy.com’s Chatty Pets campaign cleverly targeted a younger generation of viewers who are frequently opting to adopt pets before they have children. In fact, TV viewers were 8% more likely to search online for the brand in the minutes immediately following a Chewy.com TV ad airing during the special.

Downy’s Behind Closed Doors took home the grand prize. The brand had various airings during  Jeopardy! National College Championship, which generated the most online search among viewers. The spot, featuring a young man and a dance party playing La Bouche’s “Be My Lover,” generated an additional 2,000 online searches from its one airing during The Finals episode.

Even more impressive, Downy airings during the Jeopardy! special generated 130% higher online search than Downy airings during primetime broadcast. The viewers were 2.3x as likely to search online for Downy in comparison to the average Downy airing on primetime broadcast.

The right contextual environment

Jeopardy! Continues to reinvent itself for new audiences. As we have seen with Capital One, Chewy.com, and Downy there is much potential to successfully target younger audiences with the right creative and right media environment.

Interested in seeing more? Find what works for your brand and what your competitors are up to. Learn how EDO can help you generate more consumer engagement, contact us today.