The Trade Desk Olympics graphic of a gold medal with a checkmark over a computer screen

Go for gold: your checklist for optimizing campaigns this Olympics season

This summer, all eyes are on the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Audiences that aren’t in the stands will be on Peacock, the most comprehensive destination for streaming the action. For advertisers, it’s not too late to reach these highly engaged live sports audiences on The Trade Desk.

Emerging sports like “breaking” (aka break dancing) and “kayak cross” (a water race) aren’t the only new components of the summer games. For the first time, the Olympic Games are accessible to advertisers programmatically. By partnering with The Trade Desk, NBCUniversal (which owns U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games), will offer advertisers private marketplace (PMP) biddable access to all the action for the first time.

Now, you can bid on all the action from the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, including live and replay coverage. NBCU is offering programmatic inventory for the games primarily through Peacock, its streaming platform. That’s good news, since twice as many Americans will watch the Olympics via streaming or video-on-demand this year compared to the last Summer Olympic Games.1

With the Olympic trials wrapped, we're sharing best practices to help you optimize your campaign. Want to get in on this historic moment? Here’s how.

The following guidance applies explicitly to the “Olympics NBC PMP.

Plan your campaign with a smart approach to scale

As you begin campaign planning, you’ll want to determine your campaign flight dates, placement, and parameters. The Games run from July 24 to Aug. 11 and the Paralympic Games from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8. To help you maximize scale and delivery flexibility, it’s best to set the longest campaign flight possible so that your advertising runs for the entirety of the Olympics.

In our platform, you can set up a dedicated campaign with a budget specifically for the NBCU Olympic PMP. To make the most of your buy:

1. Create a new ad group: By creating an ad group specifically marked as “live sports/events,” you ensure the live events pacing is applied for new games and matches.

2. Set your pacing settings: To help maximize campaign coverage, make sure your ad group is set with the attributes “as soon as possible” and “to daily spend cap.”

3. Optimize scale: Since a vast amount of Olympics programming is on Connected TV (CTV), an omnichannel approach is key. One of the main benefits of buying live sports on The Trade Desk is the ability to utilize robust audience targeting tools. At the same time, it's important to make sure your targeting criteria aren't too restrictive so that you reach the most viewers possible. Consider toggling off the following settings to maximize scale.

  • AutoAllocator
  • Audience Excluder
  • Predictive Clearing

4. Run long: Aim to maximize scale and delivery by aligning your campaign flight dates to all the major moments. We recommend giving your campaign a buffer. Running from July 22 to Aug. 13 is our guidance, so that you don’t risk missing the right moments.

When planning your campaign, keep in mind that you can still geotarget, frequency cap, and audience target as you would normally; however, a strategy that considers the widest reach may be best.

Target your campaigns to Olympics inventory

Once you’ve set your ad group, there are a few ways to target the NBCU Olympics PMPs. You can target contract groups labeled “Olympics,” target specific Olympic PMP deal IDs, or simply select the Paris 2024 tile from the featured and curated groups section of the private contracts section of the platform.

Navigate to your campaign and select your ad group, then select private contract and the tile will surface.

Get your creative in front of the fans

You’ve got your ad group and targets set — great! Now it’s time to upload your ad creatives for NBCU review/approval before the bidding starts. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Submit ASAP: Submit creatives as soon as possible to ensure they have ample time to be reviewed/approved (typically less than 24 hours). You’ll want to mitigate any creative issues and get on-air quickly, and to do so, you can simply assign creatives to the “Olympic PMPs” area within your ad group. Before submitting, double-check to make sure your creative meets NBCU Olympic specifications.

2. Pivot, if need be: If your creative is rejected, you can see feedback by hovering over the publisher icon. Make your revisions and reupload your creatives to stay on track.

Meet the moment — it’s not too late

There’s nothing quite like the cultural togetherness and must-see TV offered by the Olympics. Now with programmatic support, access to the moment is democratized, meaning brands of all sizes can align. Whether your Olympics campaign is already in-flight and you’re looking to optimize or you’re just now considering how to reach highly engaged viewers, live sports on CTV can offer a unique way to connect with viewers.

The 2024 Olympic Games boast the scale you need, with over 5,000 hours of live coverage and increased impression availability compared to the ’21 Games — good news for brands that want to meet the moment.

To get on-air in time for the Olympics events or for help optimizing your campaign, contact us (or get in touch with your account manager today).

Sources: 1: The Trade Desk Intelligence and You Gov Sports fan study, global, December 2023