Zion & Zion Study Examines How TV Programming Impacts Advertising Effectiveness

Zion & Zion, a top-ranked, full-service, national marketing agency, continues their in-depth research analyzing how media involvement impacts advertising effectiveness. In this new study, the Zion & Zion media and marketing science teams consider how individual TV programs and program genres rate with respect to cognitive (i.e., intellectual) and affective (i.e., emotional) involvement.

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Zion & Zion Research: The figure shows the affective (i.e., emotional) and cognitive scores of 111 of the top television shows, color coded by genre.

“Academic researchers have recognized that advertisement performance varies by TV show; however, no one has ever compiled a usable database based on this information,” said Aric Zion, CEO of Zion & Zion. “This unique data provides a much deeper understanding as to why advertisements are more effective on certain programs, even within the same genre. Media planners can utilize this data, combined with our Ad Effectiveness Model, to select the best program in which to place advertising to maximize both ad viewing and processing.”

Zion & Zion’s research contains multiple noteworthy findings. Cable news shows have higher cognitive and affective involvement compared to network news shows. Comedies and reality TV shows have a wide dispersion of affective involvement; however, both are on the low end of cognitive involvement. Sports programs have mid-range levels of cognitive involvement but are on the medium-to-low side of affective involvement. The shows with the highest affective involvement are dramas.

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As explained in Zion & Zion’s Ad Effectiveness Model, programs that have high cognitive involvement will increase ad viewing but will generally decrease ad processing because viewers are already busy processing the program. Conversely, programs that have high affective involvement will increase ad viewing as well as increase ad processing. 

The Zion & Zion media and marketing science teams collected data from 2,041 TV viewers, providing a total of over 10,000 evaluations of 111 of the top TV programs across 12 programming categories.

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