The Return of Fresh Late-Night Shows Gives Advertisers a Boost

Pete Davidson on Saturday Night Live
Pete Davidson hosted the return epsiode of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ (Image credit: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

The end of the writers strike and the return of original shows to late night have been a boon for advertisers, according to EDO, which tracks the effectiveness of ad campaigns.

The season 49 premiere of NBC’s Saturday Night Live was the show’s most effective episode for advertisers since EDO began tracking engagement in 2015.

With former SNL cast member turned Taco Bell spokesman Pete Davidson as host, consumers were 102% more likely to engage with ads, and the show was 8.5% more effective than the next most-engaging episode on a per-person per-second basis.

The show also got a boost from the appearance of power couple Taylor Swift and Jason Kelce

SNL's strong performance for advertisers highlights a continued Swift Effect with further star power drawn from guest host Pete Davidson and musical guest Ice Spice, who are all having cultural moments,” EDO said. “The greater ad effectiveness is a result of consumers' hunger for new premium programming and massive star power.” 

Previously, the most-engaging SNL episode aired on November 12, 2016, a few days after the presidential election. The episode was hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle and featured Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton playing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on the piano. 

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.