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Targeting Affluent Viewers

Apr 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Conventional wisdom says that the best way to reach the most affluent adults is likely through key upscale magazines and some newspapers.
But David Marans, research director for media agency MindShare U.S., has another idea: TV.
The problem, in general, is that the rich are light TV viewers. Still, Mr. Marans said, there are TV shows that can be targeted to reach the affluent.
To find out which ones, MindShare asked Nielsen Media Research for a custom report on adults who live in households reporting an income of at least $150,000 a year-a universe of some 10 million people.
“We were looking for that elite group of prime-time network programs that have a disproportionately high number of affluent viewers,” Mr. Marans said.
MindShare asked Nielsen to examine two four-week periods earlier this season, and only series that had at least four telecasts were included. More than 100 shows qualified, but only 20 indexed above 100 for adults in affluent homes.
The show that indexed the highest in $150,000-plus-income households was Fox’s 24.
No. 2 is the show most pundits would probably guess would be No. 1 in this category: The West Wing on NBC. No. 3 was Frasier. In fact, all eight of NBC’s regularly scheduled Wednesday night and Thursday night shows indexed above 100.
ABC was represented in the top 10 by both NYPD Blue and Monday Night Football.
Though CBS had no shows that indexed in the top 10, its hit CSI had the largest number of households with $150,000-plus income.
The biggest surprise on the list? “Fox’s Joe Millionaire,” Mr. Marans said. “It indexed No. 7, revealing its true upscale nature.”
In last place on the list of 105 shows, he said, was “a show on UPN. Alas, evidently the rich don’t want to enter The Twilight Zone.”