ESPN has a new shift in focus of advertisers’ target demographic that occurred during the 2018 college football playoffs. The television network ESPN has conducted marketing research and was surprised to discover that a much higher percentage than expected of their viewers during the college football playoffs were female. This sporting event has long been considered to be viewed by a predominantly male audience and thus the commercials that aired during it were geared more towards the male market. These might include action movies or other male products. However, the new viewing statistics produced by ESPN have debunked this theory. In fact, almost 41% of at home viewers of the playoffs were females. In response to these new statistical findings, many advertisers have changed the target market that they are trying to reach during the playoffs. Warner Bros. Pictures aired a commercial for the family friendly movie “Paddington 2” in an attempt to reach a family audience during the game.
This just provides a real world example of one of the major concepts of marketing. The advertisers changed the commercials that they showed to be more directed at women and families rather than just focused on males. The change in the desired audience of the commercials that were shown during the college football playoffs illustrates a shift in the advertisers’ target market. Target markets, or the intended audience of a company’s advertising efforts, was something that was covered extensively in first chapter of the textbook. The advertisers changed their intended audience once they learned the statistics of who was actually viewing the playoffs.
These statistics are surprising. Although many people knew women viewed the college football playoffs, many were unaware that the number of male to female viewers was so close to 50/50. With these viewership statistics in mind, it is unsurprising that advertisers would shift their focus from being solely based on a male audience, to including commercials targeting female and family viewers. Based on ESPN’s research results, it is very understandable that these companies would change their marketing strategy.