Commentary

Wanna Crack TV? Daytime Might Be A Surprising Route

Some research findings take you back a little, and it's always good to have your presumptions challenged. TVSquared has been running the numbers on what it costs to advertise at different times of the day and during different parts of the week and comparing that to engagement. The results are interesting, to say the least.

I think most people in advertising would suggest that if you can afford to, peak time or early-peak advertising are the slots you probably will be most interested in. Sure, the cost is high, but then the audience is massive.

Well, according to the figures released today, daytime advertising makes more sense on a cost per revenue (CPR) basis. 

It means the best time of the day to advertise -- factoring in cost and resulting engagement -- is early morning when CPR is 37% below average, yet engagement is up 380%. 

Then we get into daytime advertising, where response rates are 54% above the average and CPR is up 38%. This goes for the weekend too, when according to the figures, although CPR is average, response rates are doubled.

This means there are some surprising times where it is less cost effective, on average, to advertise. At prime time, response rates are down 18% and CPR is up nearly 50%. Just before prime time, the so-called "early fringe" period also sees elevated cost, and yet engagement is 59% down against the week's average. 

Days of the week are also important, with the researchers noting large increases in engagement at the weekend and then a dip on Monday. 

And here's another real shocker. The most effective programming to advertise against is foreign language and then music content with fine arts coming in third, following by children's programming and sports. These genres give way better response rates than the weather forecast -- but also, rather surprisingly, soap operas. 

So where does that leave us? Well, according to the research, early morning and then daytime tv is the best value, when looking at cost and engagement -- and that stretches to the weekend too, during the day. 

The big surprise for many and myself included is that prime time doesn't compare well -- and nor do soaps and the weather which, you would think, Brits just can't get enough of. 

High-brow content as well as children's programmes and sport would seem to be the way to go to get engagement at reasonable cost. 

This does, of course, come with a huge caveat -- the audience you are reaching. If you want to find people who are not working during the week, then obviously daytime television is the way to go.

However, if you want to hit cash-rich and time-poor executives who are more likely to have the cash to buy a new television or a car, then presumably evening slots are the way to go.

They obviously work out as expensive, but that's for the obvious reason that you stand a better chance of reaching a lucrative audience. The fact that this cost does not result in enough engagement to make the slots cost effective is a surprise, however.

Perhaps we are already seeing that advertisers understand this with ads that require engagement, such as buying a hoover, a new conservatory, a walk-in bath or a new kitchen plastered throughout ad breaks throughout the day.

Then in the evening, it's more a case of brand awareness as beautiful scenery encourages us to visit a destination, a shiny car promises to make our lives better and beautiful people sip the right kind of alcoholic beverage. 

1 comment about "Wanna Crack TV? Daytime Might Be A Surprising Route".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 11, 2019 at 11:17 a.m.

    Sean, no surprises at all. Way back in ancient times highly touted but not very helpful computerized systems were telling advertisers that the best buy in terms of reaching their prime prospects cost efficiently was daytime TV, followed by early evening TV and way down at the bottom of the list---primetime and sports. Why? Because these mindless systems based everything on CPM---no consideration for reach, whether the ads are seen, commercial clutter, the benefits of program environment, the merchandisability of the buys, etc. Give a computer the following info and it can make only one choice: Daytime TV "reaches" targeted viewers ( not many of them, but some ) at a third the cost of primetime. While daytime TV tends to bulk up on lowbrows and oldsters to a greater extent than primetime, the latter's demographic edge in terms of audience composition is usually only about 25-30%. So, naturally, a computer, with just these "facts" will always pick daytime as the best buy.

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