If you looked closely, there was actually some football being played between those endless hours of FanDuel and DraftKings commercials.
The NFL kicked off its first Sunday slate of games yesterday and the only way to avoid seeing a commercial for the two fantasy betting websites was to not turn on the television.
From early in the morning with paid programming blocks to 30-second spots during the games, ads for FanDuel and DraftKings blanketed the airwaves as the companies duke it out for a piece of the multibillion industry. In total, both companies spent a combined $31 million for roughly 9,000 national television spots last week, according to advertising tracking firm iSpot.tv.
People voiced their annoyance on Twitter, labeling them as “freaking annoying” or mocking the incessant manner they aired. Here’s a sampling:
Does anybody know if FanDuel or DraftKings offer opportunities for ordinary fans like me to make easy money weekly?
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) September 13, 2015
Ok I’ve watched and read everything. I’ve got draftkings v fanduel in Super Bowl 50 We wait 7 months for this. Enjoy the season !! — MikeTirico (@miketirico) September 13, 2015
You may see more DraftKings and FanDuel ads than actual football this NFL season.
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 13, 2015
Would a federal law banning all FanDuel and Draft Kings ads be illegal? Probably, but we should think it over. — Tom Ley (@ToLey88) September 13, 2015
The expected reaction to a Fan Duel or Draft Kings commercial by Week 9. pic.twitter.com/Q85VEcpVlg
— Tim Ryan (@TheSportsHernia) September 14, 2015
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Draft Kings or Fan Duel sends someone to my apartment to convince me to sign up.
— Jesse Pickard (@jessepickard) September 14, 2015
So, yes, people were annoyed. Data from Brandwatch provided to Digiday shows that conversation online about both brands’ commercials were overwhelmingly negative.
The data shows that 76 percent of FanDuel commercials were received negatively, while DraftKings was just as hated with 75 percent of mentions tracking negatively.
“Negative mentions don’t generally concern themselves with the quality of the ads, or the messages within them, but just seeing them repeatedly,” said Brandwatch analyst Kellan Terry, adding that people simply felt “inundated.”
Still, the general sentiment surrounding both companies remains positive despite their suffocating marketing efforts. Although the majority of tweets about their commercials were negative in tone, 81 percent of tweets about DraftKings overall were positive with 54 percent of tweets about FanDuel being positive.
DraftKings remains the king of marketing online too, at least in part because of its larger Twitter presence compared to FanDuel. The former boasts 155,000 followers while the latter has 123,000 followers. Over the past week, DraftKings collected 39,000 mentions on Twitter and FanDuel had 21,000 mentions.
The mass marketing suffocation is by design, said Dustin Gouker, a writer for fantasy sports industry website Legal Sports Report.
“DraftKings and FanDuel are both in the stage where they are trying to acquire new customers in mass quantities, and their best avenue to do so is by getting in front of eyeballs on televised football broadcasts,” he told Digiday.
He admitted there’s a “chance” that football fans will suffer from fatigue eventually, but he says enticing people with million-dollar prizes is working in attracting attention.
And with 16 more weeks of football left, the ads are unlikely to stop anytime soon.
Photo via YouTube/screenshot.