effectiveness of tv advertising

Healthcare Marketing: Think Consumers Click off of TV Commercials?

Research indicates the vast majority of consumers do not change channels during TV commercials.

A commonly held belief is that consumers have the remote ready and click to other stations when commercials come on.  But a recent study conducted by the Council of Research Excellence , an independent research group created and funded by the Nielsen Company indicated that 86% of viewers stick with a given channel during commercials. The study was conducted using live TV-consumption habits of 376 adults across 750,000 minutes.

As reported by Michael Malone in Broadcasting & Cable , the study showed very little change in viewer habits during programming and during commercials.  About 12% of the viewers changed channels during the regular programming and only 14% changed during commercials. The study followed only live TV viewing and not DVD viewing.

The study also indicated that television advertising reached 85% of adults each dayAnd the average consumer was exposed to 73 minutes of real-time TV commercials or promos each day.

So for those who say television advertising is dead or almost dead – perhaps not.  This is the first real study of viewers’ habits during commercials and certainly discounts the assumptions by some that viewers don’t watch commercials.

Television is still an extremely effective medium and this just proves that a large majority of Americans are watching television daily and are not clicking out of the commercials. So despite the recent impact of new media and social media, television still delivers!


Hospital Advertising: DVRs Not the Enemy Once Thought

Studies show that even when viewers watch their favorite shows on their DVR, many of them are watching the commercials.remote control

Many thought the coming of the DVR was going to be the end of television advertising or at least seriously affect its effectiveness. It makes sense, viewers will record their favorite shows to watch at a later time and when watching, skip through the commercials.  But that has not necessarily proven to be the case. 

Bill Carter,  in an article published in the New York Times on November the 1st, cited Nielsen in stating that 46 percent of viewers 18-49 years old are watching commercials during playback.  And considering that because of DVRs, the viewing audience of many shows, has actually increased, advertising effectiveness and has not taken the hit many predicted.  Not only can viewers watch their favorite shows when they first appear, they can now record the show and watch it whenever they wish.   This has caused significant increases for many programs. 

Two years ago, Nielsen started using the “commercial plus three” ratings which measured viewership for commercials in shows that are watched live or played back on VCRs within the next three days.  This resulted in shows like House increasing its ratings almost 18% and the Office viewership increasing 26%. 

DVR penetration has increased to 33% of American households and what was thought to be a death knell for television advertising has not proven to be the case at all.  Even though it’s counter intuitive, almost half of the people using their DVRs still watch the commercials. Carter quotes Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, in referring to television watching, “It’s still a passive activity”.  Apparently viewers watch television when using DVRs just like they do when they watch it live. They watch leisurely and passively, taking in the commercials rather than making the effort to fast forward through them. 

This is valuable information for hospital marketers who have relied upon television advertising to build and promote their brand. It means television advertising is still effective and is not eroding as quickly as many feared.

Television advertising still works. And the good news is that it works long after the programming has aired.