Marketing Content Fills 42% of Prime Time

June 2, 2010

In Q1 2010, an average hour of monitored prime time network programming contained 10 minutes and 55 seconds (10:55) of in-show brand appearances and 14 minutes and 20 seconds (14:20) of network commercial messages, according to Kantar Media.

Marketing Content Fills 42% of Each Prime Time Hour
The combined total of 25 minutes and 15 seconds (25:15) of marketing content represents 42% of a prime time hour, Kantar says. Unscripted reality programming had an average of 19 minutes and 42 seconds (19:42) per hour of brand appearances. Combined with 14 minutes and 26 seconds (14:26) of network ad messages, each hour of unscripted reality programming contains 34 minutes and eight seconds (34:08) of marketing content, representing about 56% of total time.

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In comparison, each hour of scripted programming, such as sitcoms and dramas, has just six minutes and 59 seconds (6:59) of brand appearances per hour. Combined with 14 minutes and 16 seconds (14:16) of network ad messages, each hour of scripted programming contains 21 minutes and 15 seconds (21:15) of marketing content, representing about 35% of total time.

Meanwhile, late night network talk shows had an average of 11 minutes and 58 seconds (11:58) of brand appearances per hour. The combined load of brand appearances and network ad messages in these late night shows was 28 minutes and 21 seconds (28:21) per hour, or 47% of total content time.

TV Influences Q1 Ad Spending
TV had a major impact on overall Q1 2010 ad spending results, according to other findings from Kantar Media. The top three advertisers increased spending significantly: Procter & Gamble spending jumped 17.7%, AT&T boosted spending 26.7%, and General Motors increased spending 28.5%.

Procter & Gamble maintained its position as the largest advertiser, spending $772.6 million; budgets continued to shift toward magazines and away from television. However, AT&T rose to the second spot with spending of $576.4 million, behind a large TV ad buy in the Winter Olympics. Rival Verizon (fourth-largest advertiser) reduced its total expenditures by 9.1%, to $517.2 million. Both telecom companies continued to allocate more resources to promote their TV service products as they try to win subscribers from cable and satellite operators. General Motors was the third largest advertiser, spending $533.7 million.

About the Data: Kantar Media says it tracks the duration rather than the number of brand appearances because of the short length of those appearances. Duration, therefore, is a more relevant metric than a count of occurrences for quantifying and comparing the gross amount of brand activity that viewers are potentially exposed to in the program versus the commercial breaks.

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