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You may have heard these terms mentioned, here is an explanation of what they mean.

Audience Categories

There are 12 demographic audiences that are commonly bought: Adults, 16-34 Adults, ABC1 Adults, Men, 16-34 Men, ABC1 Men, Women, 16-34 Women, ABC1 Women, Housewives, Housewives & Children, ABC1 Housewives and Children.

TVRs – Television Ratings

Television ratings are the currency of television and are a measurement which defines the popularity of a programme. One TVR is equivalent to 1% of your chosen TV audience category. If the campaign indicates 100 TVRs, it means that the number of viewings of that commercial will be equivalent to 100% of the number of the target audience. In commercial breaks, every minute is attributed with a TVR value, thus indicating the relative value of the break. The higher the TVR, the greater the value of that commercial break. Peak spots have higher ratings than daytime spots. Similarly, the more popular a programme, the higher the TVR given to that programme. As a rule, a peak spot would have an average of 12 TVRs and an off peak spot would have 2 TVRs. When you buy ratings, you are guaranteed a size audience. The campaign will continue until the viewings figures you have been promised are met. So, you get what you have paid for!

Length of Commercial

Airtime is sold in multiples of 10 seconds, and the most popular time lengths are 30, 20 and 10 seconds.


The number of times the commercial is seen equates to the number of impacts. Each time an individual within an audience category views a programme – this is called an impact. One impact equals one member of the target audience viewing one commercial. Added together, total impacts give the gross total impact of an ad campaign, but this could be broken down in a number of ways: for example, 10 impacts could be 10 people viewing once or one person viewing 10 times. In mathematical terms, the estimated impacts = the number of TVRs x universe.


All viewers within a specific broadcast area, within a given audience category are known as the UNIVERSE. In other words, the universe refers to the total population of a particular category.


Daytime spots are from 09:40 – 17.14 Peak spots are from 17.15 – 22.59 Late night spots are from 23.00 – close

Estimated 1+ Coverage

Percentage of the audience who will see the commercial more than once

Estimated Frequency

The number of times a viewer will see the commercial during the campaign.

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