Audience, Will You Accept This Ad?
Every Monday night, my roommates and friends gather in my living room to watch The Bachelor. We yell at Corinne, scoff at Nick’s lack of personality, and laugh at how awkward and scripted Chris Harrison is. In addition to show commentary, I usually have an internal chat about the commercials that air during The Bachelor. I’m always curious about how much these commercials cost, who is willing to pay for this (possibly?) coveted time slot, and if there are any recurring themes in the commercials that air during the show. I decided to quench this thirst for Bachelor knowledge and made it my mission to analyze every single commercial that aired during this week’s episode of The Bachelor.
First up: How much do companies pay to have a 30 second commercial during The Bachelor?
Over the past few years, The Bachelor’s relationship with viewers has changed thanks to social media. The price of a commercial has also fluctuated season to season. This quote from a recent AdAge article sums it up nicely:
"The show now feels like a better proposition than, say, five years ago because of social," said Neil Vendetti, exec VP-national video activation, Zenith. "You rarely see that with a show. If you draw a bell curve showing the value the show has to advertisers, it would have started nowhere, jumped up quickly because of the early ratings, go down about midway through and then, once social kicked in, jump up higher than ever."
The Bachelor holds one of the more expensive advertising time slots on ABC’s Monday nights. The Bachelor costs around $130,000, compared to Modern Family ($200,000) or ABC’s expensive Thursday night shows like Grey’s Anatomy ($220,000). In 2015, it cost around $114,000 to advertise during The Bachelor, and in 2010, around $165,000.
So - who is choosing to spend $130,000 on Monday nights? Are companies strategically advertising during The Bachelor, or is this coveted spot not so coveted?
Here is my heroic attempt at analyzing (in 30 seconds or less) every commercial that aired during tonight’s episode, featuring in-show observations and non-marketing major commentary:
(Ex. Company: Commentary)
Goodness Knows: “Try a little goodness.” Emphasizing purity during The Bachelor is questionable.
Toyota: Four-wheel drive! Get out there and embrace the wilderness, ladies.
HR Block: I don’t really do taxes yet, but I love John Hamm.
Neutrogena: Hydro boost face lotion...hydration matters to Bachelor viewers (?)
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran: Wholesome father/daughter commercial during a program that is not father-friendly.
Clairol Nice and Easy: Girls dye their hair. Girls watch The Bachelor. Girls that watch The Bachelor dye their hair?
WeightWatchers: These commercials are everywhere, and Oprah can afford to advertise anywhere, anytime.
ABC: A nice reminder that ABC’s Thursday nights are insane (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, HTGAWM)
Observation: Corinne has to be drunk during this entire show. She ate the rose.
Sprint: This guy is everywhere. #traitor
A Dog’s Purpose: Don’t see this movie.
McDonald’s McCafe: Trying to drag people away from Starbucks, eh?
Revlon: Lengthening mascara. Girls love makeup, girls love The Bachelor.
Hunt’s Tomatoes: Okay I could totally connect other ones but not this one. (Post-show translation: this was the first commercial that I couldn’t come up a reason for why it aired during The Bachelor. I’m assuming the target audience for The Bachelor is women; women love phones, dogs, coffee, and makeup. As a woman, I am only slightly interested in canned tomatoes. After this commercial, I started questioning how intentional the ads during The Bachelor were.)
Buick: These commercials are also everywhere.
Laughing Cow: “How does the cow have horns but a female voice?” -Ecology major
Good Morning America: Just cause its ABC.
Shark Tank: Just cause its ABC.
Publix: Five grain bread. Everyone loves bread.
HomeGoods: Showing off family values during a very not family show.
Observation: Y’all are not actually this excited about Milwaukee. Also, a beach in Milwaukee?
Disclaimer: I don’t know where Milwaukee is.
La La Land: Lots of buzz. I want to see it.
Campbell’s Well Yes: New soup!
Hepatitis C Drug Harvoni: “what is Hep C?” -Journalism major.
“You can get it from food” -Ecology major
“If it’s a sex disease then that makes sense (that the ad is airing during The Bachelor)” -Journalism major
Tropicana Trop 50: Ladies love fewer calories.
ATT: Stream anywhere! Watch your favorite shows on a bus!
Garnier: Micellar water. I've used it. Great stuff.
Pizza Hut: (I asked everyone why they thought Pizza Hut had a commercial during The Bachelor) “Cause it makes me want a pizza!” -All of them
Greys Anatomy: Because its ABC. “Cause girls love Grey’s!” –Journalism major (answered without being asked. She just kept going with the explanations.)
Observation: “They don’t have much personality. She's beautiful but she doesn’t really say much” –Journalism major.
The cookie scene was horrible.
Another disclaimer: I already looked up who won, so I'm watching this with a ton of bias.
37 minutes into the two hours of The Bachelor and I am already shocked at how many commercials there are. That’s like millions of dollars per commercial break. I am also questioning if I have the stamina to document every single commercial.
(Post-Show Commentary: I was correct. In 37 minutes, “like millions” were spent on commercials during The Bachelor. Approximately $3,510,000, assuming each commercial was 30 seconds long and cost $130,000 each.)
The Space Between Us: Movie looks stupid. “This looks so cute!” –Nursing major
“I was gonna say this looks so stupid” –Ecology major
Honda Accord: Dad and small child. I’m not buying that. I’m not a dad.
Lara Bar: I love those things. Target market right here.
United Healthcare: I'm not in the market for healthcare, I’m still hanging on to my parents.
ABC: Trump’s first interview. Just a nice reminder of impending doom and that life is real.
ABC: Thursday nights again. Scandal!
Zaxby’s: Boneless wings meal. I’m vegetarian but that used to be my jam.
Xfinity: TV app. Watch TV ~on the go~
Scana Energy: Never heard of it. The commercial had funny bears in it. Also not in the market for natural gas.
Observation: Astrid? Christina? Who are these people? Chris Ling? Lang? Who? Nick’s bucket list needs some improving.
Metro PCS: More family targeting. Everyone gets a free phone. Woo!
WeightWatchers: Same exact commercial as earlier.
Xarelto: Featuring Jerry West. Definitely not aimed at young women.
Amazon Original Series: Sneaky Pete. Looks interesting.
Olay: Eye cream- gotta look fresh, ladies.
Whole Foods: Ladies love Whole Foods.
ABC: Thursday nights. How To Get Away With Murder!
I officially gave up after getting distracted at the beginning of Round Six. Overall, I couldn’t find a trend in the commercials that aired during The Bachelor. There were some commercials that were very obviously targeted toward young women, but there were also commercials aimed at older adults, men, and parents. My friends agreed, saying they thought the commercials were targeted toward young women, "except for the Hepatitis C ads." I still believe that the audience for the Bachelor is young to middle-aged women, but maybe the show isn’t popular enough to be worth some companies’ time and money.