Fewer TV Ads Correlates With Program, Commercial Success

While many factors still contribute to a TV commercial's success, less commercials in a particular pod -- a group of TV spots -- has the highest importance.

According to a new study from Comscore and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the relative importance of the number of commercials in a pod posted a “high” number -- 104.3 (the sum of weight attributes).

The second most important factor was the TV program's originality where a commercial is airing (which includes rerun factors) which had a 97.3 number. Somewhat lower importance went to “ad pod placement” (85.9) and “ad duration” (85.4).

Comscore says: “Ad pod placement or the placement position of the ad in the pod and ad duration are still important in influencing viewing declines, but less so. While these findings may not be new on their own, they demonstrate that in combination, these four attributes can accurately predict viewership declines of ads in linear TV.”



The study applies Syracuse University’s machine learning to Comscore’s second-by-second television viewing data, program ratings, and commercial ratings to identify key attributes and patterns that predict commercial viewership.

Comscore says one key analysis comes from “The Big Bang Theory” from September 2016 to February 2018, where a combination of program originality/rerun, ad duration, the number of ads in a pod, and number of pods in a program had more than 80% accuracy in predicting commercial viewership declines.

1 comment about "Fewer TV Ads Correlates With Program, Commercial Success".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 20, 2020 at 12:56 p.m.

    Wayne, numerous studies going way back in time have shown how important the number of discrete messages in a break can be. Frankly, the data cited in this study  seem to greatly understate the case. If conventional verified ad recall and motivation metrics were the basis for evaluation and results were compared for ads in breaks with, say two messages, versus breaks with ten or more messages, I would expect a much greater difference in favor of commercials in the less cluttered breaks. Judging by your explanation, the basis for the determinations seems to have been some variation of set usage or "holding power" analysis, which, in my opinion, is not the same thing as a tightly conducted viewer response study. If I'm wrong in my assumption, I hope that someone will clarify regarding the mnethodology.

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