For the first time since third-quarter 2014, Kantar Media’s short-form DRTV media billings show an increase, rising by more than $4.3 million (0.6 percent) over 3Q 2015 figures to reach $660,469,800. After seven consecutive quarters of decreases — attributable at first to Kantar’s methodology change in its measurement of Hispanic network TV, then perhaps to the researcher’s tight categorization of what counts as a direct response ad — any increase counts as excellent news for the space.
A majority of short-form’s measured sectors grew in third-quarter — helping offset Hispanic network TV’s continued declines — with the network and spot outlets producing notable gains. Expanded spending by My Pillow led to a major increase in the “Household, Furniture, and Appliances” category, while the “Drug and Toiletry” category bounced back from recent struggles.
For a second consecutive quarter, the network TV ($10 million, 60.5 percent), spot TV ($11.5 million, 22.9 percent), and syndication ($6.2 million, 14.4 percent) outlets posted notable gains that more than offset Hispanic network TV’s decrease ($20.3 million, 38.2 percent). The difference in third-quarter 2016 compared to the second quarter: a resuscitated cable TV marketplace.
After losing nearly $200 million in spending during the first six months of the year, cable’s $3.1 million dip (0.6 percent) is miniscule. The nearly even results compared to 3Q 2015 tipped the quarter’s overall balance into the black.
And it was spending from a single category that pushed cable’s relative third-quarter success: “Household, Furniture, and Appliances.” Of the category’s overall $79 million increase vs. 3Q 2015 results (a 110-percent jump), its spending leapt by $63.2 million in cable alone. Keying the category’s increase was My Pillow’s spend of more than $67 million, quadrupling its spending in 3Q 2015. The “Drug and Toiletry” category shook off recent struggles to rise by $20.4 million (7.5 percent) thanks mainly to increased spending by Nutrisystem (up 39.9 percent) and Proactiv Solution (up 121.1 percent).
The “General” category continued to struggle, losing $43.6 million (57.1 percent), while “Automotive and Travel” (down $20.7 million/54.4 percent), “Apparel” (off $12.3 million/57.3 percent), and “Publishers and Book Clubs” (down $11.9 million/70 percent) also were among the nine categories to finish 3Q 2016 in the red.
Spending in Top 40 Rises; Total Campaigns Dip
The number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired dropped by 21.2 percent to 993 — in line with 2Q 2016 results. The decrease in total campaigns, combined with expanded spending, led to a rise in per-campaign spending. This jump was much stronger when looking at total spend: per-campaign spending hit $665,125, a 27.7-percent increase, while spending per campaign outside the top 40 — $260,316 — rose just 8.9 percent.
Fifteen of the campaigns that appeared on 3Q 2015’s top 40 returned in 3Q 2016, with last year’s No. 5 — My Pillow — topping the charts. Eight members of this year’s top 10 were part of the top 40 a year ago, with No. 5 SeroVital-HGH and No. 10 Gotham Steel the exceptions. ■
Kantar Media is the leading provider of strategic media and marketing information.Utilizing highly innovative tracking technologies, the company collects expenditure, occurrence and creative intelligence on millions of brands across 20 media. These figures are based on Kantar Media’s multimedia ad expenditure database across the following measured media: Network TV, Spot TV, Cable TV, Syndication and Hispanic Network TV. Figures do not contain public service announcement (PSA) data. For information about Kantar Media, call (212) 991-6000 or visit www.kantarmediana.com.