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New Study Finds Lifestyle TV Programming Generates Higher Viewer Ad Engagement

Nielsen study commissioned by Scripps Networks underscores value of lifestyle programming to advertisers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 20, 2017-- A new study reveals that advertisements seen in lifestyle television programming have potential to score significantly higher in generating viewer engagement than identical commercials appearing in television shows of other genres, such as reality, general entertainment, sports or news.

The Environment and Advertiser Impact Study, commissioned by Scripps Networks Interactive and conducted by Nielsen, employed both attitudinal and consumer neuroscience methodologies to better understand how TV program genres impact advertising effectiveness – particularly whether or not the same ads across the largest ad categories are perceived differently in the lifestyle environment compared with other TV genre environments.

“Strong creative grabs viewers’ attention, generates an emotional response and builds or reinforces long term memories,” said Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. “This study suggests that in the context of lifestyle programming, ads may gain additional benefit.”

Highlights from the attitudinal research, which measured how viewers feel about advertising and the programming environment, include:

  • Commercials running in the lifestyle programming environment scored 22 percent higher among all viewers across the four pillars of advertising engagement: interest in products, attention to brands, intent to seek information and purchase intent.
  • Additionally, lifestyle programming had the largest impact on brand favorability across all eight advertising sectors measured. Viewers had a more favorable opinion of every brand advertised across the categories of auto, consumer packaged goods, food and home, home improvement, finance, restaurants, retail and travel.

In the biometric section of the study, conducted by Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, non-conscious biometric engagement was measured to see how viewers emotionally responded to ads and programming in the lifestyle genre. Overall findings from the attitudinal research were confirmed by biometric response.

Emotional engagement (percent of time spent highly engaged) was 94 percent greater for ads appearing in Scripps lifestyle shows overall. When compared with the other genres tested, ads in lifestyle programming outperformed ads in other genres by the following margins:

  • +52 percent vs. drama-style genres, such as reality and general entertainment
  • +161 percent vs. event-related genres, such as sports and news

Chris Ryan, Senior Vice President of Ad Sales Research and Strategy for Scripps Networks Interactive, parent company of HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, added: "We’ve always understood the importance ads play in the viewer experience, because we know how much the viewing environment matters. If you only buy audience, you run the chance that your ads may air in a place where people don’t engage with the messaging. How people engage when they’re watching ads on our networks is the key to success – both ours and our advertisers’.”

The attitudinal portion of the study, a custom survey designed by Nielsen, was conducted through an online quantitative survey of nationally representative, TV viewing, cable-plus households. A total of 4,400 respondents were assigned to one of 11 different viewing conditions, each including a full one-hour episode with four ad breaks consisting of four ads per commercial break. A total of 16 target ads from multiple advertising categories including auto, retail, consumer packaged goods, restaurant and travel were included in each genre for analyses.

Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience evaluated a similar set of 16 ads with 200 participants in a neuroscience lab assigned to view one of five different programming genres including select lifestyle, entertainment, reality, sports, and news content. Each genre was represented by a full one-hour episode with four ad breaks. The study sample included all genre and program non-avoiders.

About Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive (Nasdaq: SNI) is one of the leading developers of engaging lifestyle content in the home, food and travel categories for television, the Internet and emerging platforms. The company's lifestyle media portfolio comprises popular television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country, which collectively engage more than 190 million U.S. consumers each month. International operations include TVN, Poland’s premier multi-platform media company; UKTV, an independent commercial joint venture with BBC Worldwide; Asian Food Channel, the first pan-regional TV food network in Asia; and lifestyle channel Fine Living. The company’s global networks and websites reach millions of consumers across North and South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information, please visit

Source: Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive
Kristin Alm, 865-560-4316