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Who watches TV ads?


One of the reasons TV advertising is often ineffective is because the people watching the show are not necessarily the people watching the ads. Pretty obvious when you think about it for a second but how many marketers have really taken that into consideration? Looks like people who watch dramas don’t avoid ads much while reality show viewers are tuning out:

Audience measures serve as the basis on which billions of dollars of television advertising are purchased each year. However, these measures often fall short of providing marketers and media planners with information about the size of the audience that has the opportunity to see advertisements during commercial breaks. Although program audience measures remain relevant for product placement, the size of the gap between the audience potentially exposed to programming and the audience exposed to commercial breaks has implications for advertisers and networks, affecting decisions such as program selection and ad pricing. The authors use a full television season of live tuning data to study variation across programs in the size of the program audience and the size of the gap between the potential program audiences and the potential commercial audiences, which is found to exceed 20% of the program audience in some cases. Across program genres, the authors find that dramas have increased program popularity and reduced ad avoidance, whereas reality television experiences increased ad avoidance. The analysis reveals the importance of incorporating show-specific random effects because their omission can result in spurious attribution of differences in ad avoidance and program popularity to genre. The authors discuss the implications for networks and advertisers.

Source: “Predictors of the Gap Between Program and Commercial Audiences: An Investigation Using Live Tuning Data” from Journal of Marketing

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