Leisure marketing: More people watch TV commercials than previously thought.

A new study reveals that most viewers stay glued to their TVs during commercials.

A new study reveals that almost 7 in 10 viewers don’t change the channel or leave the room during commercials. And the percentage who do is about the same before, during and after commercial breaks.

New study may cause skeptical marketers to take a second look at TV.

The release of a new study on viewership of TV commercials may encourage skeptical CMOs of leisure brands to take a second look at television as a viable part of their media mix for their advertising.

Media professionals have long suspected that a large percentage of TV viewers turn the channels or take a bathroom break during commercials. But a new study by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) reveals that not as many people do this as previously thought.  It turns out that 34% of TV viewers do channel turn or leave the room while they watch TV, but the frequency of both is about the same before, during and after commercial breaks.

Among the study’s findings:

  • 55% of viewers were solely engaged with the TV while watching.
  • 14% of viewers changed channels during a commercial, compared to 11% just before commercials and 13% just after.
  • 20% of viewers changed rooms during commercials, compared to 19% before and 21% after.
  • 45% of TV viewers made dinner, watched the kids or some other multi-task, but that behavior didn’t increase during commercials.
  • People who watch TV only go to the kitchen if they’re hungry.
  • TV viewers watching with other family members don’t fight over the remote.

Study also found TV commercials reach 8 out of 10 adults daily.

If you’re a CMO marketing a leisure brand, the findings of this study should cause you to reconsider this medium, if your goals require you to generate a high reach and frequency very quickly.  The study also found that TV commercials reach 85% of adults on a daily basis, and viewers typically see 73 minutes of commercials in 26 promotional breaks every day.

The study was the first ever to involve in-person, computer-assisted observation of the consumption habits of TV viewers, and covered over 700 days of observation.  According to Laura Cowan, Chairperson of the CRE’s Media Consumption & Engagement Committee, “This new data is a major development in terms of learning what people watch and how they watch it.”

Read the full Video Consumer Mapping study press release from the Council for Research Excellence.

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