Viewers Say Ads in Local TV News Are Relevant, Drive Action

June 26, 2014

HearstTVGfK-Media-Users-Attitudes-to-Ads-June2014Almost 6 in 10 regular viewers of local TV news agree that they rely on local TV news for product and service ideas that are relevant to them in their lives, and half agree that ads they see on local TV news feel like they are chosen specifically for people like them. That’s according to a Hearst TV-commissioned GfK survey [pdf] of 2,655 adults aged 25 and older who watch local TV news at least a few times per week. The results also suggest that ads in local TV news compare favorably with other media in driving viewers’ action.

Some 56% of regular local TV news viewers said that they sometimes or often investigate further or purchase a product or service advertised in local TV news. Among regular users of 9 media types, local TV news came second only to search engine sites (57%) by a slim margin in stated advertising effectiveness. By comparison, a relatively smaller 38% of regular social networking site users said they at least sometimes investigate further or purchase a product or service advertised on social networks. (Editor’s note: that much-ballyhooed Gallup study about social ad effectiveness was actually conducted from December 2012 to January 2013. Much has changed in the past 18 months…)

While search and local TV ads took top billing in terms of driving consumer action, they were on opposite sides of the spectrum when it came to community relevance. Indeed, 45% of regular local TV news viewers agreed that they know when advertisers put an ad on local TV news that they care about them and their community. Just 18% of regular search engine users shared that sentiment. (It’s worth noting that the sample size was quite small for regular search engine users.)

Looking further at the impact of local TV news ads, the study finds that they have a significant impact with female viewers aged 25-54:

  • 46% claimed to have run an internet search for more information after seeing a product or service advertised on local TV news;
  • 55% agreed that they find themselves talking about the products and services they see advertised on local TV news with family and friends; and
  • 50% agreed that they find themselves recommending such advertised products and services to their family and friends.

About the Data: The 2,655 respondents were drawn from 24 Hearst Television markets. Data was weighted (using MRI targets) by key demographic variables of local TV news viewers.

Interviews were conducted March 27-April 9, 2014 via a 20-minute online survey.

Sample sizes for regular media users were as follows:

  • Local TV news: 2,655;
  • Newspapers: 653;
  • Magazines: 652;
  • Cable news: 651;
  • Broadcast network news: 652;
  • Radio: 651;
  • Online video sites: 248;
  • Social networking sites: 256; and
  • Search engines sites: 220.
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