Largest TV Audiences For Product Placement Targeting Adults 18-49


Table Of Contents


TV Shows For Your Brand To Consider

Network primetime TV has become a very hard place for brand marketers to find a solid product placement home in.  Unless you are a brand with mega advertising dollars, it can be almost impossible to get on screen branding exposure without ad sales removing your logo.

And even when you do get on that show - there is no longer a guarantee that anyone is even tuning in, due to the fragmented viewership that has pulled so many away to Netflix, Amazon or other streaming on demand options. In this blog, to help your brand figure out where to concentrate time and money, Hollywood Branded has prepared a list of the largest TV audiences for Product Placement targeting Adults 18-49.  

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The Rise of the TV Ad Dollar - And The Shrinkage Of The Viewer

Each fall TV season, the networks are faced with an interesting challenge - how to get their advertisers to hang in there, while the newly launched TV shows take some time to find their audiences.  For some, out of the gate they are winners.  For others, not so much and it can be a very slow slide to success. 

Advertisers who target primetime TV are typically looking for consumer viewers in the 18-to-49 demo.  That's the sweet spot.  Some age that up that niche more to 25-to-54.  And this year, that 18-to-49 demo is down 15 percent compared to last year.  But that doesn't mean the network is charging any less.  In fact, as the viewership declines overall, there occurs the ability for TV ad departments to position themselves as offering even more premium space to secure those declining eyeballs - at a higher price.

But there are some shows that are doing so well, that it's a no brainer for ad buying or partnering additionally for a TV show product placement integration. So let's take a look at what those are below.  While the total viewership is listed first - the TV shows listed below are in order by those reaching that coveted Adults 18-49 demo.

And for brands interested in working with these network TV shows and leveraging them for product placement, I suggest you read my post How Much Does Product Placement Cost.

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CBS's "Young Sheldon"

As a brand, if you want product placement in this comedy series, you need to have been around in the 1980's.  We wrote a blog on why brands would want to participate in retro product placement opportunities that you can read: How Brands use Retro Product Placement To Stand Out   

In its debut episode, Young Sheldon was viewed by 17.2 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 3.8 A18-49 and 5.5 25-54.

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CBS's "The Big Bang Theory"

Formerly  the number 1 comedy... it seems only right that Sheldon's younger self has taken over that acclaim this season.  This is the TV show that every international brand under the sun wants to work on - because it is just that popular around the world too.  But it's not a show you can easily pay your way to be on.  They are very select on brand partnerships and they truly have to be organic and benefit the TV show's plot line.

The show averages 14.5 million viewers million total viewers with a Nielsen of 3.3 A18-49 and 4.7 25-54.

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NBC's "This Is Us"

This family drama that hops skips and jumps from present day to the past, averages 11.4 million viewers for same day viewing.  This isn't even taking in consideration those who delay watching for up to a week later.  That's 4.12 million adults 18-to-49, and the absolutely highest performing broadcast network TV drama on the air.

Per Ad Age, "the average upfront unit cost for a 30-second commercial in the show was just shy of $400,000 a pop, a rate hike of 45 percent compared to the $272,000 a half-minute of air-time fetched during the inaugural season."

Brands that have hopped on board include T.J. Maxx and Chevrolet as advertisers - keep your eyes out for product placement too... this is a tear jerker of a TV show so keep your tissue handy!

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ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"

Now in season 14 (wow that's a long time) this is a TV show that has consistently remained popular.  Over the years some fans have fled - primarily because of the loss of Dr. McDreamy, and other favorite characters.  But this is a TV show that holds the test of time, and was one that launched Shonda Rhimes into becoming a household name.  The medical drama series focuses on a group of doctors at a hospital in Seattle, including several who began their careers at the facility as interns.

The show has 8.07 million total viewers with million total viewers with a Nielsen of 2.2 A18-49.

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ABC's "The Good Doctor"

If you think about the popularity of Doogie Houser - the kid doctor who despite his age became a favored household name, then you'll understand the popularity of The Good Doctor.

Freddie Highore stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young autistic surgeon who has savant syndrome, who relocates from a quiet country life to join the surgical unit at the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. Having survived a troubled childhood, Shaun is alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, but he finds his niche using his extraordinary medical skill and intuition to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.

The series averages a 10.6 million with a Nielsen of 2.1 A18-49.  The :30 second ad spot for this show runs $125,678 ($46.42 CPM) for anyone who bought in the upfront ad buying time.  Those wanting to buy now are going to pay more in the scatter market.

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NBC's Will & Grace

Yes. It's back after an eight season run - and cancellation.  And seemingly better than it ever was before - according to the ardent fans who flocked back to their favorite show of friends - you know, that other friend show.

Best friends Will, a meticulous corporate lawyer, and Grace, a neurotic interior decorator, share a New York apartment after Grace leaves her fiancé at the altar. Will and Grace, along with their pals Karen, an outspoken socialite, and Jack, a free-spirited actor, face the highs and lows of life in Manhattan together. From sex, dating and divorce to cutting cultural commentary, nothing's off limits - and all is fair game.

We already saw that Starbucks took major advantage of the product placement opportunities with both main title characters enjoying a cup.  Which mean that 7.64 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 2.1 A18-49 saw the placements.

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Fox's Empire

Empire was TV's #1 most watched original program in its first season with an average :30 second ad spot costing $500,000.  Fox's hit show Empire has had brands like Pepsi jumping on board for integrated product placement partnerships.  In the series, hip-hop artist and CEO of Empire Entertainment, Lucious Lyon, has always ruled unchallenged, but a medical diagnosis predicts he will be incapacitated in three years, which prompts the sharks to circle. Without further damaging his family, he must decide which of his three sons will take over. His favorite, young Hakeem, is a gifted musician but values fame over hard work. Middle son, Jamal, is talented and shy but gay -- embarrassing to Lyon. The oldest, Andre, is business-minded but lacks charisma. The reappearance of Cookie, his ex-wife, complicates things; she says he owes her for taking the fall for the drug-running that financed his early career.

In fact Pepis reportedly paid $20 million for the three episode arc that featured the brand as part of  episode.  In the show, the lead character Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) was hired by the brand as part of the plot line to appear in a commercial featuring his original song.  That pretend spot became a commercial spot for the brand airing on real-life TV.  Empire was TV's #1 most watched original program in its first season with an average :30 second ad spot costing $500,000.

Each week 6.13 million total viewers tune in, with a Nielsen of 2.0 A18-49.




ABC's Modern Family

Now in it's ninth season, Modern Family is a modern look at what a family looks like in today's blended families.  Since the second season, brands have flocked to the show for brand partnerships - ranging from Apple to Oreo.  While pushing the boundaries on 'convention' the series is still so wholesomely good, that it gives brands the warm and fuzzies to partner with the show. 

Told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, the series offers an honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents Phil and Claire yearn for an honest, open relationship with their three kids. But a daughter who is trying to grow up too fast, another who is too smart for her own good, and a rambunctious young son make it challenging. Claire's dad, Jay, and his Latina wife, Gloria, are raising two sons together, but people sometimes believe Jay to be Gloria's father. Jay's gay son, Mitchell, and his partner, Cameron, have adopted a little Asian girl, completing one big - straight, gay, multicultural, traditional - happy family.

Each week a total of 6.47 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 1.9 A18-49 tune in.



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ABC's The Goldbergs

Another period TV show which highlights all things we may want to forget most from our youth - including clothes... again set in the 1980's.  In this series, geeky Adam uses a video camera to document his family's crazy life. His mother, Beverly, is overprotective and lacks boundaries, while his dad has a hot temper and finds it difficult to parent without screaming. Rounding out the clan are Adam's terrifying sister, Erica; his older brother, Barry, who has middle-child syndrome; and the family's beloved grandfather, Al "Pops" Solomon. Pops is responsible for wild antics, including offering drinks to Barry and teaching Adam about the ways of love -- which create more chaos in an already high-strung family.  You can listen to my podcast Retro Product Placement In Movies where I discuss working with shows like The Goldbergs and even check out an infographic our team made. 

There show gets 5.82 million total viewers each week with a Nielsen of 1.6 A18-49.



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Fox's The Simpsons

On air since 1989, this long-running animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield in an unnamed U.S. state. The head of the Simpson family, Homer, is not a typical family man. A nuclear-plant employee, he does his best to lead his family but often finds that they are leading him. The family includes loving, blue-haired matriarch Marge, trouble making son Bart, overachieving daughter Lisa and baby Maggie. Other Springfield residents include the family's religious neighbor, Ned Flanders, family physician Dr. Hibbert, Moe the bartender and police chief Clancy Wiggum.  

There are 3.81 million total viewers each week with a Nielsen of 1.6 A18-49.  But that doesn't even take in account the multiple times this syndicated series replays around the world.

The series has given nods to dozens if not hundreds of brands over the year through organic product placement, and been utilized as a licensing and co-branded promotional vehicle by dozens of others.Simpsons Verizon.jpg




Naval Criminal Investigative Service Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs leads a group of colorful personalities in investigating crimes -- ranging from murder and espionage to terrorism - that have evidence connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The team includes witty ex-homicide detective Anthony DiNozzo, quirky forensics specialist Abby Sciuto, and the brilliant - if insecure - Timothy McGee. Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard brings his vast experience in forensics into play to help solve cases.

This show gets a LOT of viewers - but in true CBS style, tends to skew a little older.  There are 13.3 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 1.5 or 2.3 A18-49


CBS's Kevin Can Wait

This series is still building it's fan base - and by eliminating the mom lead by killing her off (literally, that's what they did)... and bringing back King of Queen's co-star Leah Remini, they pushed the series to higher popularity.

When Kevin retires from the police force, he thinks life will be all about hanging out with his wife and kids and going on the occasional adventure with fellow retirees. A different narrative starts to take shape when he discovers his wife has been protecting him from certain family info while he was out keeping the streets safe. When his wife dies suddenly, Kevin must postpone a life of leisure and work on keeping his family in shape. In addition to taking on the role of single dad, Kevin goes back to work, joining the private security firm launched by his former partner.

The series is currently getting 7.23 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 1.5 / 2.3 A18-49.

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ABC's American Housewife

Welcome to a rich man's world through middle class eyes.  This plot line actually sets up an opportunity for brands who are more in the luxury space to be able to show that they can trend down a bit and be aspirational in feel to the general audience.

The wealthy town of Westport, Conn., is full of cookie-cutter mommies and their seemingly perfect offspring, but the members of the Otto family can't be counted among them. Confident housewife Katie Otto shares a home with her husband, Jeff, and their three children Taylor, Harrison and Anna-Kat, and while she loves them all dearly, she recognizes they probably aren't going to land themselves in a magazine spread anytime soon. The matriarch knows her family is beautifully flawed, and she's far from sorry.

There are 5.19 million total viewers with a Nielsen of 1.5 A18-49.


FOX's Star

This is a spin-off that was driven by the rocket fire success of Empire. While not a true 'spin off' the music genre and feel of Empire was used to create this storyline that is so female driven.  Star's life in the foster system didn't dull her dreams, but it did give her the strength to pursue them. Committed to following the path to fame in the cut-throat music industry, the singer tracks down her sister, Simone, and her best friend from Instagram, Alexandra, and the trio make their way to Atlanta. Once there, they find support in the form of mother-figure Carlotta and a down-and-out talent agent named Jahil who takes an interest in Star. As the young women chase down their dream, they find that ambition has a price and sometimes that price is too high.

Each week 4.67 million total viewers with a Nielsen of  1.5 A18-49.


Ready To Put Your Brand Into The Action?

Product Placement allows you to have your brand be central to the action of a storyline, where viewers can't fast forward past your logo or brand messaging.   

Check out these five blogs our team has written to provide you with more insight on Product Placement.

And make sure you watch this video, How Product Placement Works, to see a step by step process of what happens when you are ready to work wtih a TV show or film.

How Product Placement Works Video