TV Viewers Better Recall Brands Placed in ‘Emotionally Engaging’ Programs

December 13, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Media & Entertainment | Television

Products placed within “emotionally engaging” TV programs are recognized, on average, by 43% more viewers in the US, according to a Nielsen Company study reported in its Consumer Insight online news report.

The study sought to understand how viewers’ feelings about and engagement with TV programming affects their perception of brands and purchase intent as a result of viewing product placements and commercials.

Highly Enjoyable Programming

Nielsen asked survey participants to rank their overall program enjoyment for specific programming on a scale of 0-10, with a 7-10 score being “highly enjoyable,” then measured brand recognition and feelings, as well as purchase interest:

  • Brand recognition increased 29% for product placements during highly enjoyable programs, 21% for commercial spots and 5% for the combination of a product placement and commercial spot for that brand.


  • Positive brand feelings increased by 85% for product placements, 75% for commercial spots and 68% for combined campaigns when the program was highly enjoyable.
  • Purchase interest increased 145% for product placements, 120% for commercial spots and 97% when the exposure consisted of both a placement and commercial for highly enjoyable programs.

Not All Programs Equal

The study found that…

  • Product placements during lifestyle programs typically get a 59% boost in brand recognition when the program is highly enjoyable.
  • A commercial spot receives a 28% boost in brand recognition during reality programs when the program is highly enjoyable, compared with a 10% boost during sitcoms.
  • Brands featured as a placement on dramas are recognized 30% of the time, but for dramas that connect emotionally with their audience the average brand recognition rate climbs to 39%, a level that approaches that of an average lifestyle or reality show.

Lifestyle programs are variety programs that emphasize a lifestyle over a storyline, exclusive of direct elimination reality programming. Examples include ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Discovery’s American Chopper or BRAVO’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

More info is available in the Nov. issue of Consumer Insights.

About the data: The findings are based on a survey of approximately 10,000 individuals, 200 consumer brands and 50 TV programs. Participants were asked a variety of questions in terms of their engagement with specific programming, including their overall program enjoyment. Additional engagement questions included entertainment value, believability, information value, emotional resonance, etc. The results of the ongoing study are integrated into the Place*Views application, Nielsen’s tracking service for the brand integration marketplace.


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