Study: Ads on local TV news drives greater awareness


A new survey with 2,500 local TV news viewers in Hearst Television markets by Frank N. Magid Associates finds local television news more effective in engaging viewers’ attention to advertising than most TV program genres and competitive television media. The local TV news viewers were defined as those who watch local TV news twice or more per week.

Among the findings:
Local TV news is the most important programming genre as a part of TV viewers’ daily routines. Local TV news ranked first – at 49% – among program genres selected by viewers when asked which type of program “is a major part of my daily routine.”  Broadcast primetime dramas and sitcoms ranked second (47%) followed by broadcast network primetime reality TV (42%) and cable network primetime dramas/movies (37%).  Cable news ranked fifth, at 34%.

Similarly, 45% of respondents said they “pay more attention” to local TV news than most other TV genres; cable news was cited by 39%.

Fully 81% cited local TV news as the “most important” news source among local, network broadcast and cable TV news.  Not surprisingly, it also was cited as the most important TV source for weather information.

The largest number of respondents cited local TV newscasts as being the most effective medium for delivering awareness of products and services advertised during the programming.  Local news ranked #1 with 27% of respondents replying that ads during local TV newscasts “keep me in the know with regards to products/services.”  The #2 genre cited in response to this statement, informational talk shows, was cited by 24%.

Similarly, local newscasts were considered a superior platform to most other TV genres in terms of:
Driving purchase of products; Trustworthiness; and Advertising products that appeal to the viewer.

Local TV news video is on par with broadcast network entertainment programming in popularity for online viewing (31% vs 32%); cable news ranks third at 25%.

Local TV news is relatively “DVR-proof”; only 17% of respondents cited having recorded local TV newscasts for later viewing.  Similarly, 57% said they “never,” “rarely” or only “sometimes” fast-forward through portions of recorded local TV newscasts; by contrast, 69% of respondents said they “most of the time” or “always” fast-forward through portions of cable network primetime dramas/movies.

In terms of news consumption across all media platforms, 55% of respondents said they prefer local TV as their medium for news.  Websites were second, at 19%.

Local TV news ranked 1st among all media platforms when choosing the medium that “is essential to keeping me informed,” “is my most important source of information in my community,” “is my most important source for weather” and “as a source for political information.”

Among news sources on the Web, local TV news sites ranked second only to search engines as the most frequently used sites for local news, but ranked first among all Web sources for community information and weather.

Similar to the findings relative to on-air local TV news, ads on local TV news websites were found to do a better job than ads on most other types of websites in terms of keeping viewers in the know regarding products and services; Driving purchase of products; trustworthiness; and advertising products that appeal to the viewer.