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A Closer Look at a Fond Farewell: Viewership and Ad Insights for ‘Modern Family’

On April 8, America said goodbye to the beloved, Emmy-winning Modern Family, which captivated hearts during its 11-season run on ABC. Below, a look at viewership trends and advertising insights for the show via Inscape and iSpot.

Leading up to the finale, USA Network, which has aired Modern Family in syndication for years, ran a marathon on April 4 offering a look at 28 “fan- and critic-favorite episodes.” USA used Twitter to allow fans to vote for their favorites, which aired between 6-11 p.m. on April 4. 

According to minute-by-minute data surrounding the marathon via Inscape.tv, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 14 million smart TVs, viewership steadily increased over the course of the afternoon, peaking right before 8 p.m. before starting to decline as the evening wore on.    

Via Inscape

For the finale, ABC aired a two-hour special, with the first hour offering a retrospective of the series followed by the actual final episode. Viewership spiked at the beginning of the retrospective, but tapered off a little until jumping back up once the finale began. 

Via Inscape

As fans bid farewell to the Dunphy-Tucker clan, advertisers may be wondering where to put their dollars next — and insights from Inscape reveal what else Modern Family viewers have been watching. The top five are all ABC shows: The Goldbergs, American Housewife, Fresh off the Boat (which concluded this February), The Conners and Jimmy Kimmel Live! 

We also looked at advertising trends for the final season of Modern Family, using data from iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. Note: the data below reflects new airings on ABC only.

In total, there were over 1.4 billion TV ad impressions during the eleventh season, with brands spending an estimated $39.1 million on spots. Not counting network promos, the most-seen spot on Modern Family this season was Target’s “Deals and Surprises” with 10.8 billion TV ad impressions, followed by Samsung Galaxy’s “Changes” (10.5 billion impressions). AT&T’s “Get the Most of Your iPhone 11 Pro,” featuring Gordon Ramsay, was in third place with 10.4 billion impressions; this spot had an iSpot Attention Index* of 149, meaning it had 49% fewer interruptions than average. 

When it came to individual brand spend, Facebook, Target and REXULTI top the list, each with over $1.2 million in estimated outlay on “Modern Family.” Looking at spend by industry, wireless marketers were on top  overall this season ($3.7 million).   

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across America, many brands have been putting out COVID-19-aware commercials. Multiple examples aired during the Modern Family finale; here are a few that had particularly high impression-counts (4 million+ impressions):  

*iSpot Attention Index – Represents the attention of a specific creative or program placement vs. the average in its respective industry. The average is represented by a score of 100, and the total index range is from 0 through 200. For example, an attention index of 125 means that there are 25% fewer interrupted ad plays compared to the average.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash