Why Advertise in Olympics? Because It Works.

NBC released results of a Nielsen IAG study on the value of Olympics advertising. Brand recall of TV commercials in the Olympics reached levels that were 130% higher than those in other prime-time programs. Message recall in the Olympics was more than twice as high that of other prime-time programs. TV commercial likeability in the Olympics was nearly three times as high as performance in other prime-time programs.

The network also said that ads with Olympic themes have performed better in those categories than ads without them, and that ads running across multiple media platforms during Olympics programming perform better than those that do not.

And they are spending over a billion on these ads during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  On top of its $10 million in additional advertising sales NBC made since the start of the games, NBC has booked another $15 million in Olympic revenue–mostly coming from retail, movie, packaged goods and pharmaceutical advertisers. This $25 million was on top of the $1 billion in advertising sales NBC said it contracted for with advertisers before the Olympics began.

Here’s the whole story from MediaPost and Ad Age.