The Emotional Attachment™ of ‘Breaking Bad’

AMC’s “Breaking Bad” finished its fifth season and its run on Sunday night by breaking all of its previous audience records, with 10.3 million tuning in, according to TheWrap. Some marketers even paid a reported $400K for a 30-second spot during those 75 minutes.


That’s quite a jump considering that the first season of the show in 2008 attracted an average of one million viewers per episode, and the going rate per spot was about $130K.

But NewMediaMetrics could have told advertisers that this show was gaining year-over-year momentum in Emotional Attachment™ — the content-alignment company’s proprietary measure of audience “draw”– since its third season.

According to NewMediaMetrics, viewers’ emotional attachment to “Breaking Bad” increased 60 percent from 2012 to 2013. Its rank among more than 360 cable and broadcast TV shows was 122 in 2011, and by 2013 it had risen to 31.

Beyond the high quality of the show’s writing, cinematography, cast and direction, the increase in EA and popularity is likely also attributable to the following factors:

  • Social-media buzz
  • Streaming services such as Netflix that enabled the curious to binge view and catch up with what original devotees of the show were raving about
  • Increased market penetration of tablets that make content accessible anywhere at any time

NewMediaMetrics has been saying for years that brand marketers need to think less about demographics, networks and day parts. Instead, they should concentrate more on how a very powerful and compelling piece of content pulled an ever-growing audience to it and became a bona fide pop-culture phenomenon that made AMC “the one who knocks” when it comes to scripted dramas.

Posted on October 1, 2013, in Advertising, DiGennaro Communications, The Hit Board and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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