Study: Rise Of TV Dating Shows A Form Of Mass Therapy

The tremendous popularity of television shows like Married at First Sight and Love Island Australia is a form of mass therapy for millions of Australians who are looking for consolation, solidarity and reassurance about their own dating lives, a new study has found.

The study – Love Is the (New) Battlefield – was commissioned by Nine’s strategic client solutions division, 9Powered, and launched today at Nine’s The Big Ideas Store. It highlights how technology has transformed the dating game, with apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr making people more selective about what they are looking for in a partner, and the television dating genre used as a way of learning more about relationships and dating.

Among the 500 respondents who are single and watched dating shows, some 54 per cent say they “learn about relationships from reality TV shows about love”, while 48 per cent say “you feel reassured that there are other people who are also looking for love”. Just over one-third (37 per cent) say “you can see yourself and your relationship in reality TV shows about love”.

“Dating and relationships are really part of the cultural zeitgeist at the moment with shows like Married at First Sight drawing audiences of millions of Australians,” said Melissa Mullins, Nine’s Director of Strategy. “Marketers advertising in and around these shows need to recognise how technology has changed the dating scene and the commercial opportunity this creates.”

The study also illustrates how Australians see reality dating shows as metaphors for their real-life experiences, founded on the hardships of contemporary dating culture. Respondents noted how a program like Married at First Sight highlights “the struggles of making love work after you’ve found yourself in a relationship”, Love Island highlights the challenge people face being “overlooked because of superficial judgements”, while shows like Bachelor/Bachelorette exemplify the difficultly of “trying to cut through in an over cluttered, highly competitive dating pool”.

“What the research found is that reality dating shows often provide both entertainment and education, with viewers looking to see their own experiences echoed on screen,” said Mullins.

For marketers operating in this space, Mullins argues that there is an opportunity to both celebrate singledom and knowledge the challenges single people face in the modern search for love.

“The irony is that technology designed to bring us together, is actually tearing us apart and creating mistrust. For example, one in three online or app daters reporting they met someone who was completely different to their online profile, while one in four said they had been ‘ghosted’ – where the person they were chatting to disappears from the app.

“Marketers need to recognise and acknowledge these challenges. In doing so, there is an opportunity to have a real conversation about the online dating and harness the relationships genre and drive a connection between their brand and consumers in better ways.”

The survey of 500 respondents, conducted by research firm The Lab Insight & Strategy, also found that nine out of ten singles said they were not embarrassed by being single and were proudly to use dating apps and sites.

“The reality is that the dating game has radically changed in recent years through technology and  the growth of the reality TV dating genre,” said Mullins. “This creates a very different landscape for marketers and brands but also immense opportunities.”

For more information:
Nic Christensen
Head of Trade and Internal Communications

Women Are In The Drivers Seat When It Comes To Car Purchases

Despite an outdated stereotype around men and cars, new research has highlighted how different the automotive buying journey is for females and males, providing fresh insights for brands into how best to target their marketing efforts within this space.

The new study – Women In The Driving Seat – commissioned by Nine’s strategic client solutions division 9Powered and leading digital women’s network 9Honey was released today at Nine’s The Big Ideas Store. It found that for many female car buyers there is a longer purchase journey, with more than half of those looking to buy talking themselves out of the purchase.

“Our research showed a different motive behind male and female car buyers, with many women also reporting a more research-based purchase journey,” said Melissa Mullins, Nine’s Director of Strategy. “Brands need to actively recognise this difference and remain committed to the journey to help convert buyer intent into a purchase.”

The study, conducted by research firm The Lab Insight & Strategy, included more than 500 respondents, and found that while women on the whole were more likely to consult their partner than men (51 per cent for females versus 37 per cent for men) more than half of female respondents (54 per cent) said when it came to the final decision they made it on their own.

Mullins believes this presents an opportunity for automotive marketers to look at how they are communicating with female customers.

“Our research found that by and large, women were far less emotional and more pragmatic when it comes to buying a car,” she said. “However, it was also interesting to note more than 47 per cent of female respondents wanted greater representation of women in car advertising, arguing that advertising that focuses too much on men is a turn-off.”

The majority of female respondents said they preferred a “slow and steady” approach to buying, reporting that it took them up to 50 per cent longer than men to make a decision on which car to buy.

Some 73 per cent of women surveyed believed buying a car was a big decision they didn’t need to rush, while 63 per cent said they did all the research, negotiation and final decision on their own.

For marketers, the survey also highlighted the priorities of female customers with 75 per cent of respondents highlighting the practical features of the car as a key priority, followed closely by the current price on offer (73 per cent).

“Our respondents also highlighted the key triggers for female car buyers, which were the age and reliability of the car followed by a change in family circumstance, such as a baby, and then the need to upgrade due to either desire or cost of repairs,” said Lisa Day, Nine’s Director of Sales – Lifestyle.

“For many automotive advertisers these are key audiences and, as this study shows, we at Nine through our strategic investments in both CarAdvice and 9Honey are well positioned to help them reach consumers in this space.”

For more information:
Nic Christensen
Head of Trade and Internal Communications

The Australian Dream Has Changed

Rising property prices and tales of disappointment have led to a significant shift in how Australians – particularly millennials – now view “the Australian dream” and the goal and attainability of owning property, new research has found.

The new study – The Australian Dream Reimagined – was commissioned by Nine’s strategic client solutions division, 9Powered, and launched today at Nine’s The Big Ideas Store. It examines what the shifts in consumer perceptions around homes and property mean for marketers and brands.

The study found that, amid the ongoing housing affordability crisis, those aged 18-34 were 26 per cent more likely to expect to make a “significant compromise” on their standard of lifestyle in order to achieve the Australian dream.

It also found that 45 per cent of aspiring home buyers under the age of 40 reported that they were tired of older generations giving them financial advice on how to save and attain their purchase.

“The modern challenge for marketers is to help consumers reimagine the Australian dream. To recognise the compromises or challenges some Australians face when it come to the property market and look for the opportunities to help meet their aspirations.”

The study, conducted by research firm The Lab Insight & Strategy, included more than 500 respondents and found that two-thirds of home owners aged 35-49 were not happy with the long-term prospect of staying in their current home and would look to upgrade to something “bigger and better”.

A need for more space was a common theme across the research. Only around one-third of respondents (37 per cent) rated their current dwelling as “large and spacious”.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of respondents (58 per cent) were looking for a new home with “large” internal space and 56 per cent were seeking a home “where they can spread themselves”.

“The challenging property market gives us a sense of how people see their home space, so marketers need to recognise both the aspirations of consumers and the commercial opportunities these conditions create,” Mullins said.

Mullins cited two significant findings in the study: the fact that consumers are renting for a longer period of their life; and consumers are looking for brands to build products that move with them.

“If we think about the fact that consumers who are moving and renting as a percentage of the population is increasing, it’s the products that cater to this, like 3M removable hooks, that will do well. They are recognising and meeting the evolving consumer needs of our most transient lifestyle.”

A trend toward smart living in a variety of forms was also a key part of The Australian Dream Reimagined, with technology increasingly seen as a means of helping to make our homes a sanctuary.

“Four out of 10 new home buyers told us they wanted the latest tech in their homes,” said Mullins. “The rise of not only devices like smart fridges and lighting, but also the growing consumer take-up of digital assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, is fundamentally shifting our day-to-day existence in our homes.

“The ramifications of this for brands will be far-reaching as personalisation and ease of use become central to almost every part of the house.”

For more information:
Nic Christensen
Head of Trade and Internal Communications

Independents Take Out Nine’s Agency of Origin Tournament

The rain couldn’t dampen their spirits as the elite of Sydney’s media agencies took to North Sydney Oval for Nine’s annual NRL Agency of Origin tournament.

After a heartbreaking and somewhat controversial exit for the Indies in last year’s tournament, without making the quarter-finals, this year they broke out midway through the day, defeating Publicis and Mediacom to earn their way to the final.  

Yesterday saw a strong independent lineup with players joining the indie ranks from Pearman Media, The M Agency and Atomic 212, assisted by Nine’s Independent Agency sales team and Dan Sindoni from SCA.

With a crowd of hundreds watching on from the somewhat dry stands, the Indies regrouped and as the skies opened so did the Independents’ scoring.

Ollie Perry from Atomic 212, living up to his business title, was truly a creative strategist, repeatedly breaking the line with great speed on his way to securing the Best on Ground award. The M Agency’s John Makarainen returned after last year’s disappointing tournament and was a tower of strength and welcomed Jack Cleaver from Pearman Media and Dylan Mazza Atomic 212 into the fold. 

Kristie Gee and Joanne Gardner were standouts in attack and defence in slippery conditions.

In the final the Indies defeated PHD 7-0. 

The Independent team’s win takes the reigning crown from Carat, who have held the shield for the past three years.