Dodging The Commercial Dodger

On Demand, premium channel subscriptions, TiVo, satellite radio — these are all services that have gained widespread traction over the past few years. With On Demand you can choose from hundreds of movies and hundreds of television series to watch with a click of your remote. Premium channel subscriptions such as HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz give you the luxury of being able to watch your show/movie without being interrupted by commercial breaks. TiVo gives peace of mind to those “on-the-go” who do not have time to catch their favorite TV show when it’s airing; the record feature allows you to save and watch at a later date. In addition, the fast-forward feature means you can speed right past those pesky commercials if you so choose.

In terms of radio, satellite is your best bet if you want options without all the local commercials broadcasting between songs and interrupting your jam session. Notice a common underlying feature of these services? You guessed it, avoidable commercials. Despite the millions of dollars spent on advertising every year, it’s very important to keep your target market in mind; because, if this market happens to be an affluent crowd, chances are pretty high that they subscribe to a variety of these services and can opt to pass by much of your efforts. Nielsen reports that there’s a substantial difference between regular cable TV viewers and on-demand (VOD) viewers when it comes to high-income households. Studies confirm that 31% of VOD users earn more than $100,000 per year, compared to 21% of the entire TV audience.



So what opportunities exist for those marketing to the affluent to ensure that their efforts are not going unnoticed? Two key strategies with proven success are: (1) Maintaining a strong web presence and (2) Implementing product placement.

Strong Web Presence

The affluent have a much higher spending power than the average person. However, studies show that with this power comes more concern for the purchases that they are making. According to a study conducted by Martini Media and Ipsos MediaCT titled “The Martini Report: The Affluent Audience Online,” “Across segments, 71% to 92% of affluent consumers researched products or services on a computer, and many did pre-purchase research on smartphones and tablets as well.” This study focused on the digital habits of those with a household income of $75,000 or more. Ensuring that your brand is well positioned on the web is vital to ensuring a positive experience with your brand during their pre-purchase phase. Successful pre-purchase research often leads to sales.

Product Placement

With myriad options out there to skip over advertisements, it might be wise to consider spending your ad dollars on product placement within TV shows. Think of the Coke cups and Ford displays on “American Idol”; the Sears appliances, trucks, etc. on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”; Larry David’s Toyota Prius on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; or even more subtly, Oreos in the Lindsey Lohan version of “The Parent Trap.” While affluent consumers obviously have the means to take advantage of TiVo, the chances of them fast-forwarding through portions of their favorite shows just to dodge any brands that might be mentioned is highly unlikely. 

3 comments about "Dodging The Commercial Dodger".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, March 25, 2015 at 12:32 p.m.

    Brittany is correct that a strong web presence is important for marketing to the affluent. She seems to have overlooked other marketing opportunities/strategies (beyond product placement, which is questionable) for reaching the affluent. For example, direct mail should be employed, for the same reasons that upscale print media is effective, to target the true affluent much more accurately and cost efficiently than TV and other broadcast media.

  2. dorothy higgins from Mediabrands WW, March 25, 2015 at 3:22 p.m.

    Not all affluent consumers are VOD'ing all the TV they watch all the time. There are always some number of programs that they will watch live. Let's not kill off TV just yet.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 25, 2015 at 5:37 p.m.

    dorothy is right. While it is clear that income is the primary driver of SVOD, currently, this does not mean that affluent Americans don't watch 'linear TV", which, by the way, includes basic cable, not just the broadcast TV networks. Nor does it mean that ad-free SVOD dominates their TV viewing time, making them unreachable by conventional TV commercials.

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