TV Ads Reach Most Affluent Consumers

Mendelsohn Affluent Survey says more than 50 million adults from high-income households saw or heard TV ads in the past six months

Television remains the advertising medium that reaches
the most affluent Americans.

According to the 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey
released last week, more than 50 million adults from
households with incomes of higher than $100,000
reported seeing or hearing advertising on TV in the past
six months. Among those, about 60% said they had
considerable—or, at the very least, some—interest in the
advertising they saw or heard.

0924 Currency Well Off Watch Chart“We look at reach and receptivity across 37 [different media]
touch points. The change we found is that more people
are seeing advertising through smartphones and tablets,”
says Steve Kraus, senior VP, chief insights officer, audience
measurement group, Ipsos Media CT, which conducts the
Mendelsohn study. “But otherwise, television has been a
consistent No. 1 on both reach and receptivity.”

To do the study, Ipsos talked to 13,794 adults and asked
questions about 98 different TV networks and 51 different
programming genres. Viewing among the affluents
was down 4% to 16.9 hours in a typical week. The study
also found that high-income viewers were watching fewer
cable channels, 15.7, down about 6% from the 2011 survey.

“One could speculate it’s the growth of things like
Netflix or Amazon Prime” that caused the drop in viewing,
Kraus says. But he downplayed the shrinkage, noting
that there was not much change in viewing of the most
popular programming genres.

The top programming genres among affluent viewers
were: local news, seen by 69% of respondents; movies
(68%); action and adventure (67%); comedy (63%); drama
(57%); national/international news (55%); and sports (53%).

The networks with the most affluent viewers were led
by the broadcasters, with ABC on top, followed by NBC,
CBS and Fox. Among cable networks, ESPN had the most
affluent viewers, followed by Discovery Channel, History,
CNN, A&E and Food Network.

The networks whose viewers had the highest median
net worth were Bloomberg TV, Fox Business Network,
Golf Channel, Tennis Channel and Ovation.

Krauss added that affluent individuals continue to
invest money in TV. “Their televisions continue to get bigger,
they get better in quality, they continue to get more
connected to the Internet and to hardware like Blu-rays,”
he says. “So there’s still a very strong enthusiasm for TV
among them.”