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TV Best Buys - Part 2

Furniture World Magazine


If they are actively looking for mid to high-end furniture.

This month we will concentrate on the top television programs to use if you are a middle to high price point dealer and need to reach your target audience effectively and efficiently.

These are programs that have strong appeal to those people who should, would or could purchase home furnishings from you. That is, if you only give them a chance to know who you are, what you carry, where you are located and when you would like these potential customers to come and visit your store.

A survey of the specific buying public indicated that the following programs will generate the largest audience of people intending to buy mid to high-end product during the next 45 days.

In the Dining Room category (priced over $1000), the programs to advertise on follow: #1 is "ER" (NBC), followed by another hospital show, "Chicago Hope" (CBS). #3 is "Dateline" on Wednesday (NBC) followed by "Fraiser" (NBC); "NYPD Blue" (ABC); "20/20" (ABC); "Friends" (NBC); "60 Minutes" (CBS); "Seinfeld" (NBC) and #10 "X-Files" (FOX).

The Lance Benefield best bets for Dining Room advertising in the over $1000 category are: "NYPD Blue" (ABC) and "60 Minutes" (CBS).

In the category of Bedroom furniture (priced over $1000), the top programs that the specific buying public indicates they are watching are: #1 "Dateline- Wednesday" (NBC); again, in the second position and only by a few points is "Chicago Hope" (CBS). "Live with Regis & Kathie Lee" (SYN) and "20/20" (ABC) are tied for third. "Dateline-Tuesday" (NBC) is fifth followed by one of the surprises in this period's survey, the first cable network to break into the top ten in any category, the "Discovery Channel" (CBL). This is most significant because it means that retailers have the unique opportunity to tap into the power of television at a more affordable price. And, they get to learn the power of cable as it continues its power position with television.

Recently, broadcast networks suffered their worst evening. In evaluating the overnight surveys each day, we see trends in television viewing habits. On one particular spring evening in May, after the sweeps were completed, broadcast networks accounted for only 52% of the viewing on that particular evening. The rest went to cable and other alternatives (dish reception, et al). As viewing habits shift, in this case very violently, retailers must come to grips with the advantage these media opportunities bring. When broadcast networks are running first run programming, they are a continuing force. When they are in the rerun mode, people quickly understand and switch.

Getting back to bedroom furniture, in the seventh position is the "Drew Carey Show" (ABC) tied with "Seinfeld" (NBC). In ninth position, another cable entity made its debut, "Nick at Nite" (CBL). This rerun heaven of old television shows is a favorite. This period, it made the top ten in the Bedroom category. Its popularity has spun off a new cable venture called "TV Land", along with all of the retro television commercials from a bygone era. In the tenth position is the syndicated favorite "Bob Villa" (SYN) which is another lower cost opportunity to reach your important bedroom audience locally without paying heavy prime time prices.

Best advertising bets for Bedroom in the over $1000 category are "Discovery Channel" on cable followed by "Chicago Hope" (CBS).

In the most popular upholstery category price over $500, "John Laroquette" (NBC) topped the charts, followed by "Cybil" (CBS) and "Above & Beyond" (FOX). In fourth, the "ABC Sunday Movie" (ABC) was followed by one of the biggest moves we have ever seen.... "CNN" (CBL). This must be the watershed moment for cable in the A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E.S survey. To have a cable network (these are prime time ratings) finish this high is testimony to the power this portion of the medium has attained. "Home Again with Bob Villa" (SYN) finished sixth, just ahead of another syndicated program, "Siskel & Ebert" (SYN). In eighth place was another cable newcomer, "The Comedy Channel" during prime time (CBL). One of the most important programs on this channel is the popular "Politically Incorrect". In ninth place, in a surprise move is "CMT Country Music Channel" (CBL) on cable. Finally in 10th position is "ER" (NBC).

In this same category, but skewed to sectionals only (middle to upper end), the number one program is: "Single Guy" (NBC); followed by the late and great series on CBS, "Picket Fences". #3 is "ABC Monday Night Football" (ABC), followed by "48 Hours" (CBS); "Dateline-Tuesday" (NBC); "John Larroquette" (NBC); "Dateline-Friday" (NBC) tied with "NewsRadio" (NBC). In ninth position is "NY Undercover" (FOX) and in tenth, a tie between "60 Minutes" (CBS) and "Caroline In The City" (NBC).

One final note: These programs are the ones that purchasers of new product have indicated they watch when in the market to buy furniture during a specific period. The Lance Benefield A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E.S survey was taken during the period from February through April, 1996. As a precaution, as time changes, so do the attitudes of the buying public.

Advertising Recliners& Sofa- Sleepers... The Best Programs To Buy

Lance G. Hanish is the President of Lance Benefield & Co., Inc. Worldwide, a leading marketing communications firm serving home furnishings retailers. Questions on any aspect of television media management or production can be direct to Mr. Hanish care of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at lhanish@furninfo.com.