Aug 16, 2019

By Kelby Clark
Adults are more attentive to ads when they watch TV with their kids.

Despite endless content options and increased fragmentation across devices and screens, there’s a viewing trend that’s persisted: families still spend quality time together watching TV.

According to a recent Viacom study that analyzed co-viewing behavior, watching movies and television at home is a top activity in households. As adults put aside devices to focus on family time, they are more tuned in to content and commercials—this more likely to recall brand advertisements and to talk to their kids about what they see on-screen—which presents unique opportunities for advertisers.

For marketers who hope to capitalize on the co-viewing trend, here are the key three things to know from the Viacom study:

 

Adults see TV as a way to bring everyone together.

Sixty-one percent of parents say they are more attentive when watching TV with their kids than they are when watching alone. According to the results of the Viacom study, that’s because they see it as a way to spend quality time together. During shared activities, parents are more likely to immerse themselves in the experience and be fully present. They also consider the opinions of everyone. When choosing what to watch, the whole family tends to be involved in the decision. 

 

Adults surf channels less often during family TV time.

Once parents and children have settled on a program to watch together, they are more likely to stay on the channel through commercial breaks. This is a significant behavior, as it means marketers and advertisers have a better opportunity to command their attention and awareness while audiences across generations are tuned in.

 

Adults are more likely to buy products shown during coviewed programing.

Just as they pay more attention to programming, adults are also more attentive to commercials they see while watching TV with their families. The upside of this trend: they’re 2.5X more likely to buy products they see advertised. This has a compounding effect since parents, as a consumer base, tend to spend more than non-parents, especially when their kids are involved in the purchase decisions. 

 

The big picture

For households with children, watching TV remains a unifying experience. This is increasingly important, as today’s generation of parents want to involve their children in more household decisions. It means that the choice of what to watch can also affect decisions of what to buy, thanks to the impact and efficacy of TV commercials, especially in a co-viewing scenario. 

For marketers and advertisers, this is especially important. By developing creative that appeals to audiences across generations and focusing on media buys that support family programming give you a better chance of driving awareness and purchase decisions for all the stakeholders in the family budget.

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