FX’s ‘People v. O.J.’ Draws Auto Sponsors

Crime does pay. A long list of high-caliber advertisers signed on for the first episode of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

The show was also popular in social media, topping the list of shows tweeted about, according to Nielsen, as well as drawing the most emotional reactions for a drama during primetime over the past seven days, according to Canvs.tv.

Advertisers seem to be less skittish about content issues these days and FX has a long history of being able to get sponsors into controversial or edgy programming dating back to The Shield.

Automakers went along for the ride with O.J., with spots for Jeep, Subaru, Audi, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz running during the show. (Ford, maker of the white Bronco, sat this one out.)

Movie companies were in the house, with Sony Pictures, LucasFilm, Twentieth Century Fox, Open Road Films and Universal Pictures buying tickets.

Telecommunications companies were also in the mix, with T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon dialed in.

Among the other advertisers on the shows were Jared, Dollar Shave Club, Michelob, Burger King, Little Caesars Pizza and Subway.

In total, there were 14.6 minutes of commercials during the show.

Nielsen says the The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story generated 111,000 Tweets from 50,000 different authors. The Tweets made 15.6 million impressions.

The mix of emotion reactions to the show ranged from “crazy” (10.9%) to “exciting” (16.3%) to “sad” (3.9%), according to Canvs, which measures emotionality.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.