TV Celebrates Itself (Why Awards Shows Benefit Advertisers & Actors)

Television’s grand pat on its own back—the Primetime Emmy® Awards—are coming up in a few weeks on NBC. And besides getting high ratings (last year the 65th annual shindig got a 12.0 rating by Rentrak*) and letting all those people in Hollywood with such low self-esteem receive a shiny object to bolster their low sense of self-worth, the Emmys® have multiple benefits for advertisers.

First off, let’s look at engagement. In terms of social media chatter, the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards received a 712 index in terms of volume of conversation. It was the top performing social media network primetime show for that month. Awards are something people like to talk about—as I have mentioned in previous blogs. But the real meat of it was in the ability of the 65th Emmys® to deliver Advanced Demographics (targets for viewers that buy cars, have good credit scores, etc., which only Rentrak can measure given our millions of homes). Now the casual reader can skip over this paragraph or just ponder the infographic below as your author gets into some media math. The smart media buyer (at least from the school of Irwin Gotlieb where I was taught) doesn’t just look at a program score. The first thing to realize, is that CBS Prime shows do very well against most key Advanced Demographics. For example, in terms of buying a new car, CBS had a 116 index. That is, the average CBS TV show (weighted for duration and number of occurrences), was 16 percent more likely to reach a new car buyer in the month of Sept. 2013 than to reach the general population.

Since it is difficult to buy a single program, buyers look at the index of the show compared to the average index of all CBS shows as part of the schedule package. In this case, the 65th Emmys® had a 122 index. So compared to all CBS shows, it had a 105 index (122/116). Complicated? Yes, but it is the comparison within a network within a daypart that drives how the TV business is mostly sold today.

Programmatic buying math will be for another day! So let’s look at just a few key Advanced Demographics indices for the 65th Emmys®. One where it didn’t do well (honesty is good!) is with buyers of new pickups. There it had a 91 index (all indices here use the method described above). For buyers of new luxury cars, however, the awards show had a 122 index, which ranked it number one among luxury car buyers for all CBS series for the month. For those with high Vantage (credit worthiness) scores, it had a 129 index. Okay, so it didn’t do well among conservatives (84 index), but the 65th Emmys® were number one with liberals—with a 119 index. And the categories aren’t just what you would expect. The 65th Emmys® earned a 117 index with high grocery spenders—again number one for the category for the network for the month.

So, to sum up, Tinseltown delivers a lot of people, a lot of chatter, and a lot of valuable eyeballs.

* : Kind of ironic isn’t it that if the Emmy® Awards was a person and we used traditional age/sex demographics, it wouldn’t be picked up in the tried and true swath of A25-54?


In case you don’t know, I am Bruce Goerlich, Chief Research Officer at Rentrak, the global standard in movie measurement and your TV Everywhere measurement and research company. I have been in the research end of the marketing business for more than 30 years primarily on the ad agency side, with my last stint prior to Rentrak in the role of President, Strategic Resources Zenith Optimedia North America. Somewhere along the way I morphed from young Turk to old fogey. Now that I have grey hair and am horizontally-challenged, I can speak with some authority on advertising and research issues – which I will do from time-to-time on this blog.


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