Hot Dog-based Advertising Lessons

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Americans tend to celebrate the 4th of July in different ways. Some go to the pool, others watch fireworks. However, if you are a competitive eater, the 4th of July may be the biggest day of the year. Every 4th of July, Nathan’s Famous hosts a hot dog eating Contest in Coney Island where competitors have to eat (and keep down) as many hot dogs as possible within a 10 minute time limit. Additionally, this year’s event has extra drama as the current record world holder, Joey Chestnut (76 hot dogs in 10 minutes), will not be participating due to signing an endorsement with a plant-based meat alternative brand. Here at LG Ad Solutions, we combined the 4th of July hot dog consumption with our Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to showcase lessons that advertisers can use.

In the last 2 years, more than 3 in 10 cooking/food enthusiasts watched the hot dog eating competition.

Hot Dog Eating Competition on ESPN: Tune-In by Year

hot dog tune in espn

The jury is still out on what tune-in will look this year given the lack of Joey Chestnut. Maybe viewers will have less enthusiasm for the event without the participation of the world record holder (additionally, Takeru Kobayashi, who regularly competed with Chestnut, retired this year). However, maybe viewers will look forward to a new generation of eaters, including current number 2, Gregory Esper, who the Major Eating League describes as a “multi-disciplinary eater.”

So as an advertiser, what lessons can you learn from our data-driven approach to hot dogs?

For one, the 4th of July represents a great opportunity to connect with target audiences over the summer. Summer tends to be a little softer in terms of total TV watch time as households are outside enjoying the weather. However, the 4th of July over indexes in total watch time during summer months and is on par with weekends which already tend to have more watch time.

Aggregate Watch Duration Index: Summer 2023

hot dog aggregate

Additionally, this example shows how advertisers can use ACR to find and target audiences in unexpected places. For example, almost 1 in 10 hot dog contest watchers hadn’t watched ESPN in the previous three months which suggests they tuned-in specifically for the hot dogs!

Advertisers can also use ACR to identify which audiences are more likely to tune-in to specific programming. While it might not be a surprise that the New York media area had the highest tune-in, some surprising strong performers include Tampa, Atlanta, and Boston!

Hot Dog Eating 2023 Tune-in Index – by DMA

hot dog tune in

Ready to win the advertising version of the “Mustard Yellow Belt”? Contact LG Ad Solutions to learn more!