Is Animation Auto's Secret Weapon? 
09 October 2019 • tvsquared
Marlessa Stivala,
Content Marketing Manager

Regardless of the platform, programming remains TV’s greatest asset, which is why savvy advertisers continually test which genres and specific programs are driving the highest levels of response. In many cases, the results can be surprising. A brand may discover it’s been underutilizing programming that performs very well (or that it may be doing the exact opposite).

This was certainly the case when we analyzed close to 200 U.S.-based automotive brands for our recent report, “Taking Back the Wheel: TV Ad Performance Insights for Auto.” We noticed an unexpected trend … just how well the Animation genre performed.

In fact, Animation turned out to be the highest performing genre overall, with a response rate of 28% above average – even while having the third lowest spot count for any genre.

The low number of spots didn’t surprise me. Animation tends to be one of the most commonly “hit listed” (aka actively avoided) genres for some advertisers, including those in the auto category.

Traditionally, auto advertisers gravitate toward adult-focused, live-action entertainment, such as Dramas or Sports. Among the brands we examined, the majority of ad placements aired during Sports, which delivered average results that proved it’s more or less “you get what you pay for.”

With all this in mind, should more auto brands consider advertising during animated programs? If you look at the data, the answer is yes. The main caveat would be, of course, considering the reasons why a particular brand wasn’t utilizing this genre in the first place.

If an advertiser has been avoiding Animation out of an assumption that it won’t perform well (or simply out of habit), then it’s definitely worth exploring. On the other hand, if it currently has Animation hit listed, it’s not a clear cut answer.

Reasons for hit listing a program, genre or even a network vary from advertiser to advertiser. Of course, one potential solution is to remember that (like any programming genre) not all Animation is the same. An advertiser doesn’t necessarily need to embrace the whole genre, but some specific animated shows may be worthwhile.

Ultimately, just as auto brands need to continually test and optimize their campaigns, so too must they revisit and rethink their hit list and, in the case of Animation, decide whether or not the reasons to avoid it outweigh missing out on the high performance that comparable brands are seeing.

To read TVSquared’s report in its entirety, click here.