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Reality TV Insights Survey – Product Placement In Reality TV Shows Works

Regular readers will know that this blog has commenced research into viewers Reality TV watching habits. Reality Ravings in conjunction with consumer psychologist Julie Houston of Nitty Gritty conducted the Reality TV Insights Survey which is Australia’s first study in this area and there have been some interesting findings.

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey, it was much appreciated. We are still analysing the survey, however we didn’t want to keep you waiting with some of the key findings.

The research has revealed TV viewers’ buying habits are influenced by product placement on reality TV shows.

It showed TV viewers may not like it but it does effect our purchasing dynamics.

The Reality TV Insights Survey  had over 400 viewers participating. It found 94% purchase behaviours have been influenced by what they have seen on a reality show. Sixty per cent of viewers have bought a product after seeing it on a show. Others have made a dish, visited a restaurant, travelled to a destination or bought a book.

Whilst the study showed the majority of viewers may not like product placement, as a form of advertising it is extremely effective.

Product placement as a form of advertising will become increasingly important with the study showing 68 % of viewers fast forwarding through the advertisement and eight per cent watching shows online. I can only see this figure increasing in the future.

The study also showed viewers are watching more reality TV then they did two years ago, and most of these are Australian shows.  Companies will continue to look at reality shows to advertise their brands.

It appears product placement is a win-win situation for both the shows, and the advertisers. Television networks need the sponsorship to ensure the production values of the show are high to attract viewers and therefore make a profit.

It would appear advertisers are definitely getting a bang for their buck aligning with reality shows and there is probably much greater potential than is in play now if advertisers can think outside the box.

Reality shows are regularly the highest rated shows on TV, and  reality is the second most watched genre on TV after sport.

Julie Houston from Nitty Gritty also highlighted that with the number of new technologies emerging in the TV sphere, it is becoming more important for advertising messages to be embedded in the shows themselves and for these to be creative and not heavy handed.

Companies will be increasing the use product placement as away of attracting people to their brand plus using the extended opportunity that a reality TV program provides to relay the key features of the brand. For many products this mounts to large chunks of brand exposure.

The research also noted that some viewers make quite significant lifestyle changes on the back of what they have experienced within a Reality TV show.  Julie Houston suggested in the future Government, and Not For Profit organisations should consider this medium for getting key messages across on public policy or lifestyle campaigns.

Ironically the biggest product placement to occur this week on TV, the auction of the houses on The Block did not have the outcome they were hoping for.

Today’s release of the findings has had significant media coverage, however further details from Australia’s first dedicated Reality TV insights research will be released later this month. Contact Reality Ravings on for further details on this study.


  • 54% of viewers watch more reality TV then they did two years ago;
  • Most viewers fill at least 40% of their TV diet with Reality TV shows
  •  Of the Reality TV shows watched – over 80% of viewers mainly watch Australian made productions
  •  65% of viewers fast forward through the commercial breaks;
  • 66% of viewers think there is too much product placement

94% of viewers purchase behaviours have been influenced by watching a reality TV show after which

  • 60% of viewers have bought a product;
  • 68% have tried a dish;
  • 40% have bought a book;
  • 20% have travelled to a destination; and
  • 11% have started a new hobby.


1 brain dead dave { 08.22.11 at 2:53 pm }

When it comes to product placement, I’m happy to tell these appalling companies where to stick their products.

Saw a survey/research conducted by the University of Qld the other day that every hour spent on the couch watching TV is twenty minutes off one’s lifespan. For what it’s worth.

2 Izobel2 { 08.22.11 at 3:51 pm }

Oops BDD you’d better stop watching Dinner Date then!

3 Anonymous { 08.22.11 at 3:58 pm }

I’ll confess to buying campbell’s real chicken stock to make a risotto with. Hardly economical though compared to cubes.

4 Reality Raver { 08.22.11 at 4:05 pm }

BDD – Well if that study is correct I should be dead.

Anonymous – I think I have Campbells stock as well, and a few other products.

5 Reality Raver { 08.22.11 at 4:05 pm }

And interestingly enough I think I am not swayed by it, but when I did some soul searching I realised I must be. I am still trying to find Marion’s thai pastes.

6 Izobel2 { 08.22.11 at 4:16 pm }

And I bet you use one of those sous vide water bath numbers all the time too RR! – and very funny about the “I should be dead comment”!

7 librarygirl { 08.22.11 at 5:57 pm }

RR – email me your address and I’m buy you some from my local IGA if you can’t get them near you. Constantly seeing them there…

8 Jasmin { 08.22.11 at 7:04 pm }

RR – I’ve seen Marion’s products in Coles, and also our local Harris Farm equivalent.

9 Wurstsemmel { 08.22.11 at 7:51 pm }

I can’t say the Block made me rush out and buy a lime green Mankini.

10 seepi { 08.22.11 at 9:38 pm }

Woollies has Marion’s pastes – they are in a sort of box though – not just a jar, but other stuff too in a kit. I keep picking them up, deciding too heavy to cart home and putting them back.

Campbell’s real stock – I read somewhere that one of those liquid stock brands is no better than cubes and water, and now I won’t buy any of them in case I am buying the dud one – is Campbell’s really better than cubes?

Try US biggest loser for sad product placement – or actually little ads within the show, delivered by the hosts of the show. It is sad that this is what we will probably see here eventually.

11 Moo { 08.22.11 at 9:59 pm }

BDD: lol, I think my 99-year-old grandmother would be long dead if that were true.

12 Leighbee { 08.23.11 at 5:38 pm }

I don’t mind the product placement if it’s not in your face obvious. I’m looking at you Masterchef, and your friends westpac and commonwealth – “Do you take Commonwealth cash passport?” I’m sure the poor shop keeper was thinking “WTF??” but got a nice little pay slip to say “Yes of course!”.

Totally clunky product placement. I’m a big believer in more subtle product placement – I’m more likely to buy something if I don’t feel it’s being shoved down my throat.

13 Julia Gillard To Appear On Junior Masterchef As A Guest Judge | reality ravings { 09.03.11 at 9:43 am }

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