Watching television news primes consumers for decision making and action

Industry-wide studies unveiled today by NBCUniversal probes mindset of consumers as they engage with TV news

(PR NewsChannel) / May 5, 2014 / NEW YORK
Consumers watching television news content have a greater ability to process advertisements than they do while watching other programming. Findings of two studies demonstrate that television news provides an environment that better stimulates the ability of viewers to engage with advertisements.

The impact of news programming was analyzed in first-of-its-kind studies, using behavioral and quantitative measurements. Scientific studies from Latitude, an international research consultancy firm, and MediaScience, a research lab that examines audience and consumer behavior, were commissioned by NBCUniversal to answer the questions “What is the mindset of the consumer while watching news, and what are the resulting implications for advertisers?”

The Latitude research revealed that people’s mindsets are significantly different while consuming news than while viewing other content: they are more action-oriented, social, emotional, inquisitive, informed and alert. News is a catalyst for decision-making. Specifically, viewers said after watching news content they are:

  • 52% more likely to make a decision than when watching other programming
  • 25% more likely to add an item to a shopping list
  • 30% more likely to buy a product

In a companion study for NBCUniversal, MediaScience conducted a lab-based quantitative study testing people’s attention, memory and executive function (people’s capacity to analyze, evaluate and make decisions). The results revealed that the news viewer was better able to evaluate choices and make decisions.

After viewing news content, consumers were 20% faster at processing information and nearly 10% more accurate with that information than when viewing other content.

“News stimulates the analytical and evaluative skills of its viewers, taking them into commercial breaks better able to make decisions,” said Dr. Duane Varan, award-winning researcher and founder of MediaScience. “The findings pioneer a new approach to media research better isolating program environment effects.”

After being briefed on the research results, Brad Adgate, Senior Vice President, Research for Horizon Media said, “That the news environment fosters decision making is really important because good advertising is all about getting the consumer to make decisions. The study illustrates just how well the news environment achieves that end.”

Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group said, “Because of the vast reach and powerful resonance of the brands in our news portfolio, we are uniquely positioned to deliver active and engaged viewers to advertisers at a scale that is unparalleled.”

“News content is more relevant today than ever. These studies really give us insight into a valuable audience to consider how our advertisers engage with our different day parts,” said Linda Yaccarino, President Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal. “While we have always believed in the power of our NBCUniversal News Group’s content to reach consumers, this data conclusively shows that TV news primes viewers to more effectively receive and act on an advertiser’s message during the news.”

Study by Latitude

Latitude surveyed 1,600 individuals for a qualitative analysis that measured the reasons why people consume different content.
Study by MediaScience

The research team, led by award-winning researcher Dr. Duane Varan, CEO of The MediaScience Lab in Austin, Texas, evaluated 200 consumers. Their analysis focused on three key areas that are critical to understanding how people process the content they see:

  1. Attention: The act or power of focusing on a specific element in the environment, such as an advertisement.
  2. Memory: The power or process of remembering what has been learned.
  3. Executive function: The ability to effectively manage cognitive processes improving analysis, evaluation, problem-solving and decision-making skills.

MediaScience’s findings show that news content delivers consumers in an optimal state (mindset and superior decision-making skills) to process an advertiser’s brand message.

About NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
Editor’s Note: Please download embeddable infographic here: News is Different (
Additional multi-media materials, including infographics, to illustrate these findings are available upon request.

Media contact:
Amanda Collins

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SOURCE: NBCUniversal

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