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How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Reach‌ ‌Hairspray‌ ‌Buyers‌ ‌with‌ ‌Crime‌ ‌Shows‌ ‌on‌ ‌Linear‌ ‌TV‌ ‌

By Peter Topol, VP, Advanced TV Partnerships

Significant reach, premium content and quality storytelling with top talent make linear television a primary means for brands to speak to their customers. That’s why each upfront, advertisers are faced with the same critical decision:

Which programming should I buy to reach my intended audience?

Traditionally, advertisers have purchased linear TV based on the age and gender of the viewer watching. Given the high reach, surely this must be the most efficient way to reach target customers, right?


Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. There’s no denying that linear offers incredible reach. And you might have a core segment of buyers who are adults aged 18-49. But chances are, your buyers span several demographics.

This is where purchase-based targets come in. 

Content is clearly important, but reaching the lapsed buyer, the loyal brand buyer or the category buyer is even more relevant. Since nonlinear media has evolved, advertisers have been more focused on finding the consumer rather than the demographic. Many of our advertiser clients match our NCS purchase data with the Nielsen People Meter (NPM) panel in order to see the age and gender of the viewer—as well as the household’s purchase habits. (You don’t always have to choose.)

To help illustrate, imagine a shelf-stable soup brand looking to advertise with A&E Networks on cable television. In assessing which network to advertise with based on the 25-54 demographic rating, one might conclude that the A&E Network is the best option, with the highest ratings.

Q1 2020 A&E Network Portfolio Ratings by 25-54 Demo

But what if you zoomed in on a more relevant segment?

What if you looked at what your actual buyers watch? After all, evidence shows that people who bought your product in the past are most likely to buy it in the future. In fact, past purchase behavior is the number one predictor of future consumer purchases.

Focusing in on your buyers, you would see that A&E Network is no longer the most viable option; the History channel is your best bet, with your customers rating the channel 69% higher than the A25-54 demographic.

chart showing A&E Network ratings of soup brand buyers

Now suppose your soup brand benefited from a high number of trial buyers during the Extreme Buying stage of COVID-19 (3/11-3/21), when consumers were craving nostalgic comfort brands. If you’re in conquest mode, now would be a great time to target these new or lapsed buyers who recently tried your brand, to move them up the loyalty ladder. 

If you used purchase-based targets to reach new buyers, what network would come out on top? 


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