"Mr. Robot" (Credit: Michael Parmelee/USA Network)

The Return of ‘Mr. Robot’: A Viewer and Advertiser Deep Dive

Plus, which brands keep spending on the show year over year

Given that the season two finale of Mr. Robot left viewers — literally — in the dark with loads of questions, it’s no surprise that fans have been eagerly anticipating the third season, which kicked off Wednesday night on USA Network.

B&C worked with Canvs, the emotion measurement company, to see what viewers had to say about the premiere on social media. Also below: Brand and advertising data for Mr. Robot courtesy of iSpot.tv, and a look at what else the show’s viewers were watching this week, via Inscape.tv.

Nearly one third of the 5,425 Emotional Reactions (ERs) about the season opener expressed excitement, which is notable because oftentimes love is the top emotion around a TV show. This time, love clocked in at around 20.3%, followed by fear (8.8%) and crazy (8.6%).

According to TV ad analytics firm iSpot.tv, which has attention and conversion data from more than seven million smart TVs, a total of 16 brands ran 23 different spots that aired 26 times during the premiere. Continuing the trend of previous seasons, auto makers and movie studios were two of the top spending industries last night.

When it came to individual brands, Lyft and Acura topped the list, but it’s worth noting that the No. 4 spender last night, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was the top spending individual brand across all episodes last season.


Acura and Hewlett Packard Enterprise also enjoyed solid viewer attention during the premiere, with their commercials having 49-63% fewer interruptions compared to the average ad, according to the iSpot Attention Index (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV).

According to Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level information from seven million smart TV screens and devices, people who watched Mr. Robot had previously been watching the movie John Wick on USA Network. One subset of viewers were switching between Mr. Robot and the MLB baseball game on Fox Sports 1, while another set were checking out Kingsman: The Secret Service movie on FX in addition to watching Mr. Robot.