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Summer TV Ratings Are No Reason to Panic

April 30th, 2019   ||    by Callie Wheeler

The hard, inescapable truth: summer TV ratings are not so hot. With the beach beckoning, neighborhood barbecues popping up, and vacations to the mountains, our televisions are left alone far more than in the winter. Beyond sponsoring cabanas or paying influencers to take a side of branding to their next barbecue, what are advertisers to do?

The Reality of Ratings

Last year, television ratings went down throughout the summer, with both primetime and daytime television viewing in decline, reported MediaPost. The slump affects both cable and broadcast, and no network is immune. But industry veterans know summer will come again every year, and the ratings are not a surprise.

Finding Wins

Planning with this mid-year decline in mind, advertisers may do a few things to ensure their investments are smart and effective.

  1. Find the golden goose: While summer TV ratings are down, not all shows are a bust. Last year America’s Got Talent drew far more viewers than other programs. According to Ad Age, the program has consistently achieved top status for years, drawing in viewers from the coveted 18 to 49 demographic and older viewers. Advertisers who want to reach a multigenerational audience in large numbers know to invest their money with programs like this one.
  2. Make a strategic bet on a new program: With each summer comes a slew of returning shows, but also a handful of premieres. Take this year’s Grand Hotel, which The Wrap called a “soapy drama” helmed by Eva Longoria. While new shows are a gamble, they are also an opportunity for advertisers to test the waters with the audiences they are expected to draw. What better time to take a chance than the summer, when your ad investments may be more flexible?
  3. Don’t forget the news: World events don’t slow down just because it’s summertime. Live, breaking news and real-time advertising are a combination you can include in your strategy year-round.
  4. Target your tribe: Just because overall ratings are down doesn’t mean your audience isn’t tuned in to its favorite programs. While perhaps smaller, audiences of loyal viewers are still worthy recipients of your advertising strategy. Take advantage of the season and get creative; maybe your targeted ads are just what those viewers need.

Summer Is Coming

With summer just a few short weeks away, you’ve no doubt already considered many of these tactics. With some planning and research, summer can be great for all of us—even advertisers!

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