Boomers Cite TV Ads As Number One Information Source…Advertisers Missing The Boat

–New Study Reveals 78 Million Americans Feel Ignored

NEW YORK–December 13, 2006–Although nearly three-fifths (58%) of America’s 78 million Baby Boomers–-the first generation to grow up with television—feel that TV is their primary source for information on products and services, almost half (45%) say they feel overlooked by marketers who advertise on TV.  The study, conducted by GfK Brand & Communications, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, for the cable network TV Land also suggests that marketers looking to tap into Boomers’ $2.3 trillion in annual household expenditures would be wise to communicate more directly with the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

Caught up with the traditional fixation on reaching 18-34 year olds, television advertisers need to rethink their game plan.  A majority of respondents (77%) agree TV ads provide useful information about new products and services and 47% agree TV spots often influence the brands they purchase.  However, fewer boomers say television commercials generate good brand feeling compared to their younger counterparts.

“Boomers are one of the most difficult population segments to target,” says Allan Dib, Vice President of GfK Brand & Communications.  “Unlike previous generations, these individuals have more marketing savvy and disposable income but are less likely to show strong loyalty to particular brands.  This group should no longer be considered a ‘bonus buy.’  Marketers and advertisers must work harder to capture boomer attention.”

So What Are They Looking For?
An overwhelming majority, (91%) say humor in television advertising offers strong appeal to them.  Additionally, just over half (51%) want to see people their age in TV advertisements and three in four participants reveal they pay more attention to commercials that portray situations they can relate to.  Ads are also more believable to 73% of boomers if they contain people they can identify with.

“Marketers need to pay close attention to what Boomers are saying,” explains Tanya Giles, Senior Vice President, Research and Planning for TV Land.  “Baby Boomers not only control the vast amount of discretionary spending, but they represent the largest generation this country has ever known.  As Boomers advance through their power years, they are reaching the pinnacle of personal and financial success.  Savvy marketers would do very well to court these consumers.”

Survey Methodology
The TV Land Boomer study was conducted in two parts.  The qualitative portion was carried out in March 2006 using two mixed gender focus groups of 42-49 years olds and two mixed gender groups of 50-59 year olds. The quantitative study was conducted online August 4-14, 2006 among non-boomers (21-41 years old) and boomers (42-60 years old).  All participants subscribed to cable service and watched three or more hours of television a week.

About GfK Brand & Communications
A division of GfK Custom Research North America, GfK Brand & Communications is a team of experts that take a uniquely holistic view of brand and communications research, recognizing how a company's own marketing activities and brand touch points interact with those of its competitors to drive business results. For more than 40 years, the division has created groundbreaking approaches and inventive extensions to proven research methods to help clients develop innovative solutions for a full range of brand communications challenges.

About GfK Custom Research North America
Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is a company of the GfK Group.  With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, the GfK Group is among the top-five market research organizations in the world.  Its activities cover five business divisions: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media and Healthcare.   In addition to 13 subsidiaries in Germany, the GfK Group has more than 130 subsidiaries and affiliates in over 70 countries.

About TV Land
Now seen in over 88 million U.S. homes, TV Land is a division of MTV Networks.  TV Land’s program mix features popular dramas, sitcoms, westerns, Retromercials and a TV-referential interstitial environment, all programmed with a specific audience in mind – the first generation of Americans to grow up watching television and features all-time Classic hits like All in the Family, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, and Bonanza.

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, mtvU, VHI, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, MTV INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 12 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About Viacom
Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company, with prominent and respected brands in focused demographics.  Offering programming and content for television, motion pictures and digital platforms, Viacom’s world-class brands include MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land, Logo and more than 120 networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, DreamWorks and Famous Music.  More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at

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