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Family matters: Mindshare research shows why TV forms the backbone of modern family life
Mindshare's most recent research proves that TV plays an indispensable role in the lives of modern families. Alongside other media and communications technologies, including mobile phones and the Internet, TV forms the backbone of much of family life.
In the latest wave of the Family Matters research, families confirmed the functional role that TV plays; as an information source, a communications vehicle and a source of entertainment. In particular, its ability to bond families living in an increasingly fragmented world is testament to the continued appeal of the Saturday night peak time slot -with families reporting the pleasure they get from sharing their own "media moments" during programmes such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
Today's families have an average of 3.5 TVs in the home, and when respondents were asked which two media or technologies they (and
separately) their partner, eldest and youngest children couldn't live without, TV was the most popular by a margin of almost 2 to 1 - beating mobile phones into second place and the Internet into third. Of course TV can itself be viewed via the World Wide Web these days - but the message was clear - TV is the number one modern media technology to exist in the family home.
The good news too is that volume of TV consumption doesn't appear to have been one of the many things impacted by the credit crunch. In fact given that people are going out and spending less, many have predicted a rise in viewing figures. Speaking with these families, and looking at industry data, this doesn't appear to have been the case so far, but similarly viewing figures have not dipped since the start of the recession. Parents also report that the types of programmes they watch remains the same as it did six months ago.
Interestingly, cinema attendance is also so far not suffering at the hands of the recession - with total admissions for January 2009 up 7.7 per cent year-on-year - its strongest performance since January 2004.
In advertising terms, families feel that brands in certain categories - particularly mortgage providers, utility providers and supermarkets - should be doing their bit by helping consumers to reduce their own costs.
The amount of packaging used on products was also cited as a waste of money - 80 per cent of parents in our survey said too much packaging on toys annoys them.
Of all current adverts mentioned by the families, their current favourites had a comedy element - perhaps because such ads offer a little light relief from the doom and gloom set by the economic situation.