TV Programs Entertain and Connect Quarantined Americans

BY Rachel Cagle
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When the world is in the midst of a global crisis, people want to stay informed. They want to learn about updates, from what developments are happening in their local community to what their country is doing to combat the crisis. And with COVID-​19 confining Americans to their homes, they’re also looking for a way to pass the time while social distancing. According to a Nielsen study, “In 2020, we see this trend reflected in a deluge of social media activity about TV programs as consumers lean into the power of technology not just to view or listen, but to also fill a need to stay connected to friends, family and the world at large.”

TV programs are providing the COVID-​19 updates and the entertainment Americans need to not go stir-​crazy while combining their viewing with social media to provide connections with the family and friends they must be socially distant from at this time. TV program-​inspired Twitter-​based conversations about COVID-​19 have not fallen below 60,000 per day since the quarantine began in March.

Additionally, Americans have gotten into the habit of actively posting on social media about the TV programs they're watching. Between March 1 and April 15 in 2019 and 2020, here’s how much of an increase in social interactions different types of programming received:

  • Children and Family Movies: 588% increase
  • Spanish-​Language Talk and News: 71%
  • Streaming Services: 52%
  • Premier Talk and News: 17%
  • Entertainment Series and Movies: 2%

While Americans are posting about the types of programming they’re watching, they can also be inspired to post about the commercials they see during their viewings, as well. According to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, even Distracted TV Watchers (those who use their computer iPad or tablet while watching TV) were motivated by TV commercials they saw last year, with 57.5% taking action. 41.6% of these consumers also believe that TV is the medium with the most creative advertising. Make sure your client’s ads give these viewers more reason to take action.