- Brands like Campbell’s Soup and Pfizer have seen more engagement from ads with NFL star Travis Kelce.
- Kelce’s popularity has soared from his rumored relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.
- Swift has also helped boost ratings for NFL games.
Brands that support Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, such as Pfizer and Campbell’s Soup, are seeing significant increases in engagement as a result of Kelce’s possible relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.
Following rumors that he was dating Swift, interest in the NFL star grew, and peaked on Sept. 24, when Swift was spotted cheering for the Chiefs alongside Kelce’s mother at Arrowhead Stadium.
According to EDO, which measures audience engagement by looking at search queries for a company after it airs a TV ad, this halo effect has also benefited the brands that Kelce endorses.
On September 22, Pfizer launched a campaign starring Kelce to encourage people to get the updated COVID-19 booster shot. There was a 32% increase in Pfizer searches among those who saw the ad after Swift’s Sept. 25 appearance, compared to before.
EDO also discovered that Pfizer ads featuring Kelce generated 27% more search activity than Pfizer ads that did not feature him among people who saw the ad.
Pfizer did not respond to a comment request.
According to EDO data, a Campbell’s Soup ad starring Kelce and his brother and fellow NFL player Jason Kelce, which debuted in August, resulted in a more modest 4% increase in searches among people who were exposed to the ad.
According to Marci Raible, VP of integrated marketing at Campbell’s, the brand has seen a 600% increase in people engaging with its non-paid media, such as its website and Instagram posts, since the Swift-Kelce rumors.
“The interest and recent fan base Travis seems to be building has certainly offered a halo to existing content performance as intrigued consumers seek out any — and all — information about him,” Raible said in a statement.
A Kelce-led Experian TV ad that was posted on YouTube on October 1 has already received over 800,000 views, while a Kelce-less Experian TV ad promoting the same product has only received 189,000 views.
Experian declined to comment on the campaign.
To be sure, Kelce is well-known among NFL fans, and he has appeared in commercials for State Farm, DirecTV, and Lowe’s long before he entered Swift’s orbit.
Kelce’s own social following, which he uses to promote the brands he supports, has grown significantly in the last week. According to SocialBlade data, he gained more than 500,000 Instagram followers between September 25 and September 28. After Swift attended the first game, sales of his merchandise on Fanatics’ websites increased 400%.
Swift’s presence has also benefited broadcasters who air the already-popular NFL games. According to NBCUniversal, Swift’s attendance at the Oct. 1 game at MetLife Stadium, where the Chiefs faced the New York Jets, averaged 27 million viewers, up 22% from last year’s Week 4 game.