TEGNA Insights: 3 Takeaways from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report

New data from Nielsen says there is reason for brands to be optimistic as it predicts a notable rebound from the pandemic. TEGNA’s Tom Somers, VP of Audience Intelligence & Development, is here to sort through the data and explain what it means for local broadcast advertisers.

Optimism is growing as vaccinations continue to roll out across the country. This means that consumer behaviors and attitudes are dramatically changing yet again. The newly released Nielsen Total Audience Report is helping to make sense of this shift, using data from February 2021 to reflect current consumer attitudes and behaviors. 

 “As consumers began to venture out again, brands will have an opportunity to gain share, recruit new customers, and increase loyalty, but it will not be automatic,” says Tom Somers, VP, Audience Intelligence & Development at TEGNA. “Understanding changes in consumer mindsets and behaviors is critical for brands to be successful.”  

To help you understand these mindsets and behaviors, we pulled takeaways from the report, and will tell you what it means for your brand.

1. Consumers are optimistic and ready to spend

The data shows that 55% of respondents are optimistic and eager to resume normal activities. As they do, they’ll have money to spend. Up to 45% of 18-49-year-old consumers say they’ve saved more than an average year, partially because of putting big purchases on hold. 

“We are seeing people really looking forward to resuming basic activities that were curtailed during COVID. Things like getting a haircut or visiting a beauty salon, dining out, going for coffee, attending religious services, or working out at the gym,” said Somers. “These areas are seeing the first wave in the return to spending, although it can be somewhat uneven across geographies.” 

The report also shows consumers are also likely to spend their money locally, as a majority (74%) feel it’s important to shop in-person at local businesses. This group is also likely to react to, or remember ads for local businesses compared to national retailers.  

2. They’re ready to hit the road

Somers predicts that travel and auto purchases will be big in 2021, as 40% of adults say they intend to buy or lease a vehicle and 20% say they will buy a new home in the next year – numbers that Sommers says are “quite high.  

While many consumers upgraded or purchased new homes during COVID, new homeowners especially are still driving a lot of home improvement purchases to upgrade or improve outdoor spaces,” Somers explained.  

New and used auto purchases will likely be strong as people return to the road and confidence grows that the opening up is here to stay with increased vaccinations. Associated maintenance on cars and oil changes, delayed by COVID, are also likely to pick up steam. 

3. Trust in TV ads is high 

Here’s some more good news for TV advertisers: Nielsen’s data shows that consumers have growing confidence in TV ads as 59% of respondents ages 35-49 said TV ad spots are “very or somewhat” trustworthy. These findings coincide with previous studies done by Poytner and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).  

Research from multiple sources continues to show local broadcast is THE most trusted media source with consumers. More than print and cable,” said Somers. Local broadcast is more than just a safe space for brands, it is unique, trusted, known and fully integrated part of consumers lives, from the moment they wake up and glance at their phones to watching the late news before bed, and at every key moment in between.” 

Offering up a best practice tip for ad creative, the Nielsen data also shows that consumers respond more favorably to advertising that reflects current COVID behaviors, such as mask-wearing, compared to pre-pandemic behaviors.  

Where TEGNA comes in
As one of the largest local media companies in the country, TEGNA represents 64 local news affiliates across the country who deliver 24/7, high-quality news and information.  

Adam Ostrow, TEGNA’s chief digital officer and Digiday’s TV Executive of the Year, put it best when he said, “Our content is extremely trustworthy, which is a positive for advertisers. We are creating credible, accurate, and transparent content that upholds the highest standards in terms of clean and thoroughly researched journalism.”   

As we see with the latest Nielsen data, that trust extends to brand advertisers.  


Thinking of how to safely amplify your branded messages in the TV, OTT, or digital space?  Get in touch.

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