Friday evenings on television throughout America has proven one very important point for every advertiser to understand. It is a big night for television and few understand the value and the ramifications of the evening. No. It is not a DEMO favorite. No. It doesn’t draw the A18-49 in a big way. But, it is probably one of the most important advertising nights of the week.
For decades we have been beaten into submission by Nielsen as they have tried to tell us the most important thing is to zero in on the audience that buys. And they have been telling us that this audience is within segmented demographics, far younger than normality demands. This is not an inditement of Nielsen, nor on us. It is squarely the fault of television network’s splitting hairs while they cannot draw the eyeballs to their programs and attempting to convince us that these are the most important people on the planet to advertise to, thus making splitting-hair programming more valuable.
Television is a mass medium designed to do one thing…draw eyeballs. On Friday, CBS draws the most eyeballs, consistently. In fact, the number of eyeballs viewing CBS on Friday is nearly double that of all of the other networks combined. At 8P, the difference is clear. At 9P, the spread begins and at 10P, the game is over. This past Friday, reruns of two 60 year old programs, ‘I Love Lucy’ blew away the competition drawing more than 8 million viewers. At 9P, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ powered ahead even further. Then at 10P, ‘Blue Bloods’ crushed the competition.
No matter the spin, so useful by the suits at NBC, ABC and FOX, CBS dominates Friday, and for that matter, most nights because it understands what the audience wants…quality content for those who have the bucks. Reminder: the majority of wealth in the United States is held by those 50+. Note: This is not the Adult 18-49 crowd. (Yet here is how ABC spun the ratings results: 'ABC is #1 on Friday for the 3rd Straight Week with a Repeat 'Shark Tank' Winning at 9 PM and '20/20' #1 at 10pm.')
As one individual, who chose to remain annonymous, noted in a critique of the ratings on this particular Friday in the comment section of The Hollywood Reporter, “Does the tv industry understand that by not even bothering to report total viewers per show, you are really leaving no doubt that any consumer outside 18-49 is not welcome to the tv industry. Could you imagine any other business turning away paying customers at the door based on their age (other than a bar). Are there insane people running the tv and advertising industries? It’s not even like business is thriving so you can afford to be irrationally discriminating. Your business is dramatically tanking and you are turning away viable customers without any logical or proven basis.”
Enough with this splitting-hair, demographic, rifle shooting attempt to convince clients that their dollar is better spent by having a spot on ‘Shark Tank’ rather than ‘Hawaii Five-O’ or last week having a spot on ‘Dracula’ than on ‘Blue Bloods’. Sure. its cheaper but you are NOT getting the biggest bang for your buck. You are not understanding where the audience is.
That is, unless you are selling bubble gum.
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