LGBT-Inclusive TV Series Get Significant Ad Spend

October 28, 2011

nielsen-lgbt-ad-spend.jpgLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT)-inclusive programs represented almost a-quarter (24%) of broadcast primetime scripted and reality shows last season, garnering 28% of broadcast primetime TV viewing and over one in 5 (22%) ad dollars, according to Nielsen data released in October 2011. Motion pictures and department stores led all categories driving advertising on LGBT-friendly programming, allocating 28.3% and 27.6% of their ad dollars respectively.

Not far behind, credit cards, telephone, and tech companies also spent a significant share of their ad dollars with LGBT-friendly programs, at roughly 25% each. Of the top 10 overall advertising categories, retail (18.5%) and pharmaceuticals (14.9%) dedicated less of their ad budgets to these shows than they did on the average for all categories.

Youth, Females Drive Viewing

lgbt-2.pngTeen viewers led all age segments, dedicating 39% of their primetime scripted TV viewing to series depicting at least one regular or recurring LGBT character. Millennials followed closely, allotting 38% of their primetime scripted TV viewing to these series. Females spent 20% more time watching LGBT-friendly reality shows than men, although the gap narrowed significantly for scripted TV programs, with females devoting 29% of their time to these series, compared to 27% for men. Overall, females dedicated 29% of their TV viewing to LGBT-inclusive shows, while men spent 26%.

Other Findings

  • Within the 25-49 age demographic, LGBT-inclusive programs (and its advertisers) were most likely to reach college-educated white females, small white collar households, and budding families (those with 3 or fewer members).
  • Non-white, professional Millennials without children also tended to watch LGBT-inclusive shows more frequently than primetime in general.
  • LGBT-inclusive characters were incorporated into shows that skewed towards Eastern and Pacific viewers and were less watched by Midwesterners. This differential was most pronounced among 18-24 year olds in the Midwest, especially when compared to 18-24 year olds in other regions of the U.S.

About the Data: Nielsen’s LGBT-inclusive series list was determined by GLAAD in conjunction with their Where We Are On TV Report: 2010-2011 Season, and includes scripted programs such as Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, 90210, Glee and House, as well as reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother 12.

Harris: Gay Ad Imagery Impact Improves

The impact of advertisements clearly tailored to gay people with gay imagery on LGBT adults has become much more positive in the past four years, according to results of a June 2011 Harris Poll. In 2007, 40% of LGBT adults said gay advertising made them more likely to consider purchasing a company’s products, this figure rose 17.5% to 47% in 2011. While the percentage saying gay advertising makes them no more or less likely to purchase a company’s products rose 37%, from 35% in 2007 to 48% in 2011, most of this shift came from a sharp decline in the percentage saying gay advertising makes them less likely to purchase a company’s products. Gay advertising had a negative effect on 25% of LGBT adults in 2007, this number dropped 80% to 5% in 2011.

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