Have you ever paid attention to what adverts come on in the breaks between segments in your favourite television programmes? They say a lot about what type of person they think watches the show.
Putting this to the test I’ve been conducting some unofficial research today. I’m not including the product placement or the “sponsored by” bits.
Jeremy Kyle slots are filled by bingo, loans with exorbitant rates, catalogues for overweight women and lawyers who will fight for your compensation. This sounds like an audience made up of C1,C2, D and E people who are sat at home hoping for some extra money to buy generously sized clothing.
Tea-time slots between cookery shows and cartoons are filled by Wardrobes that equate with happiness, L’Oreal nail polish, healthy breakfast cereals which will give children lots of energy, the Territorial Army, Mobile pay and go deals. Here men make their first appearance in most adverts. The adverts are not aimed at the lone parent but at the parent who is part of a couple who wants an organised happy life, where her kids bond with their father so that she can get some “me time”. Men are both strong protectors and energetic, adventurous child carers. It is presumed that the audience is media savvy as various ways of interacting with websites and phone aps are shown. A,B,C1.
Before the 6.30 soap opera on channel 4 there were no actual adverts apart from the sponsor of the show ( a camera) but there were lots of station identifier moments and slots showcasing upcoming programmes in order to drum up future audiences who might find the programmes interesting enough to tune in for – these included an advert for the upcoming Paralympics and a film to be shown at a later date and a comedy show to be shown later that night.
At 7.15 in the middle of a soap aimed at teenagers and 20 somethings we had the longest ad break so far. After programme and station identifiers we had another advert for an upcoming programme and then this was replaced by an advert which opened and ended the ad break. It was colourful and there was an underlying poppy song to emphasise the fun of a nippy city car being driven by actors the approximate age of the target audience. It was aspirational – see you too could have a car like this and have this much fun too!!! Most of the rest of the ads were for money saving websites for holidays and insurance, a film for teenagers, new snack products and most had a comedic element to keep people tuned in for as long as possible. The ad which would have cost the most would have been the one opening and closing the ad break and no doubt it would be on some other channels at the same time so it literally couldn’t be missed by the channel hoppers.