ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment Proprietary Research Findings

July 7, 2009



Quantify the ROI of family-oriented programming on advertising effectiveness, brand purchase intent and brand equity.


The ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment conducted an online advertising test among 2400 consumers between April 27 and May 1, 2009, to determine the impact of show content on consumers' view and response of advertisements. Ads across multiple industries representing six ANA member corporations and over $10 billion of annual U.S. TV advertising were tested in both "family friendly" and "adult themed" programming.

Evaluative Metrics for each Brand's advertisement were compared to isolate the impact of the ad placement. The metrics included: Ad and program content appropriateness, effectiveness of the ad at persuading the consumer to change purchase preferences, program placement impact on brand favorability, likeability, etc.


The results were stunning. For the first time, the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment quantified what has been intuitively believed - the context of the programming has a significant impact on viewers' perceptions of advertising. Advertising effectiveness is significantly improved (or deteriorates) based on programming context. Brand purchase intent and advertising effectiveness increased dramatically when family friendly products were placed in appropriate (family-oriented) context. Specifics are:

  • The average change in purchase intent when ads were viewed in appropriate context was +10.7 pts. This means that an additional 10.7% of the audience improved their opinion about purchasing the brand when the ad was placed in a ‘family friendly' program vs. a program with "adult-themed" content.
  • The ad effectiveness scores on each ad on average increased over 30% (actual range 29 - 48%) between placements on the family-oriented show versus placement on the adult-oriented show. In other words, if the family-oriented brand were viewed in an adult program, the advertising effectiveness decreased by 30% as compared to when it was viewed in a family-oriented show.
  • There is also an impact on brand equity. For all of the brands tested, the brand equity attribute summary scores were negative when viewed in the adult content, meaning that overall brand perception, reputation and foundation of the consumer relationship (caring and trust) was perceived negatively. Consumers felt the brand only cared about making a profit and they criticized them for not having responsible marketing practices. Conversely, airing ads for family-oriented brands in family content has a significant positive impact on brand equity attributes such as "Has advertising I enjoy" and "Cares about my family."
  • Perceived hypocrisy between ad elements and programming content increases negative reactions. When ads with kids and families depicted in them were placed in adult content, the results were more polarizing than when those spots which were primarily product or individual focused were placed in adult content.
  • Even low scoring ads will perform better when placed in "family-friendly content." One of the ads was not liked well when viewed in either type of show, but it was more appealing and likeable when viewed in the family-oriented show.
  • Retailers and household brands were the companies/brands that were most expected to be advertising in family-oriented shows. More impersonal or adult targeted products such as alcohol brands, cosmetics and apparel were expected to appear in more adult content. Consumers were crystal clear: Advertising should not only be in line with the demographics but also the subject of the particular content
  • The genres of content which were broadly seen as most inappropriate are "sexual encounters'"(39%), "graphic violence" (30%) and "drug use" (25%).

What it means for Brands: The key measures and internal diagnostics consistently point to programming content being a major driver of ad effectiveness. This means your marketing dollars will work (30%!) harder if your ads are in the appropriate context. But there is a dearth of family-oriented programming available making this goal hard to reach. ANA Alliance members tell us they cannot purchase enough family-oriented target rating points to meet their media objectives.

What you should do about it: Join the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment so we can raise our voices even louder on these issues to the programming community. Our mission is to increase family-oriented programming across multiple distribution channels. For only a small annual contribution, you can join us and help us socialize these results with the entertainment community. You will also have access to proprietary data such as the results of this research study. ANA Alliance members will receive a more in depth analysis of the research results and will be offered the ability to replicate this study for their individual brands at a significantly reduced research fee. Contact Helen Griffin at to join the ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment.


"ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment Proprietary Research Findings." Fifth Annual ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment Symposium, 06/09/09.