After cable stalwart Mad Men won its third straight Emmy for Best Drama last month, broadcast stations were airing reruns and reality shows. Meanwhile, cable networks, like American Movie Classics (AMC), which airs the 1960’s Madison Avenue advertising agency drama, were starting their fall schedules right as political campaigns were in full swing. While cable shows have been winning awards and increasing ratings for years, it is interesting to see how an older skewing show like Mad Men coincides with targeting voters efficiently.
When looking at the ratings and rates in Hartford, CT and New York City, Mad Men is actually quite efficient compared to broadcast shows. In Hartford, a spot during an episode of Mad Men only costs $700 and gets a 4.6 rating for an adults 35 or older demo. Meanwhile, comparably rated broadcast prime time shows, like Dateline, How I Met Your Mother, and Law and Order are double or triple the cost. In New York City, a spot on Mad Men is $7,000, but earns the same ratings as CSI, Survivor, and Amazing Race, which go for $17,000-$20,000. While the audience size for cable is smaller than broadcast, the Hartford and New York City markets have two of the top six cable penetrations in the country at 82%, making a comparison of ratings possible. The chart below shows the Cost Per (ratings) Point efficiency of Mad Men in these markets.
Mad Men’s older skewing viewership also coincides with the targeted older voter audience. According to Arbitron research, 58% of voters in statewide elections in Hartford are 50 or older, while only being 46% of the eligible population, and 56% to 46% in New York City. This data correlates with AMC viewership as well in these markets. In Hartford, when comparing voters to a base of adults 21 or older, AMC is the fourth highest percentage increase among the top 15 networks. In NYC, it jumps up to third highest out of 20. Meanwhile, according to Nielsen research, in New York City, 46% of viewers who watch Mad Men are 50 or above and in Hartford it is 62%.
Buying spots in Mad Men over the expensive broadcast alternative will help target this key older voting demographic while making the most of advertising dollars.