Lead Forensics

Living Room the Place to be When it Comes to Ad Recall

19 March 2024


The TV landscape is ever-evolving; yet one thing remains the same: when it comes to our ability to recall advertisements, what’s seen in the living room stays in the living room.

That’s according to a new study by Tapestry and Map the Territory. Presented at Thinkbox’s latest event, In Sight: new trends in TV, the Context Effects report revealed that ads seen in the living room garnered a 176% higher recall rate than those viewed in the kitchen, and a 10% higher rate than the bedroom. Compared to all other rooms in the house, recall is 22% more likely.

Four pillars elevating the living room

Four factors were put forward to explain the living room’s enduring power: mood, other people, the TV screen, and the content viewed.

The living room is credited with bringing all four together; and when this happens, satisfaction with the occasion increases. This is what heightens a viewer’s ability to remember and recall ads.

Breaking things down further, the study found that 73% of professional content is watched on a TV set – and the more professional the content, the higher the chances that ads will be remembered. This means viewers are 34% more likely to recall advertisements seen on TV screens than they are on computers. Switch computers out for smartphones/tablets, and this increases to 60%. Aside from this, professional content also makes ads 44% more trustworthy.

And finally, watching TV with others – as is customary in the living room – increases recall by 23%.

So, what does this all mean for brands and media planners?

The headline is this: context really does matter; where you are, who you’re with, what you’re watching, and how you’re feeling all determine the impact of an ad. Not all video impressions are equal.

Shared viewing is particularly advantageous for emerging categories. Products and services yet to enter the mainstream are often the source of befuddlement for many, but with savvier house members on hand to explain, what was confusing a moment ago may suddenly become hard to ignore.

Likewise, categories that depend on shared decision-making – be it a new car, holiday or utility provider – benefit from multiple viewers being in one room.

And for brands looking to cultivate trust, look no further than the TV set; household acceptance is the first rung towards securing wider cultural acceptance.

All of this serves to reinforce television’s power. Amidst ongoing change it continues to play a key role in growing brands; indeed, no other media channel brings people together like the TV set, and no other channel supplies such trustworthy environments.

Let's get social