Recent research from Wowza Media Systems revealed that significant numbers of people are consuming video on multiple devices. It found that 68 percent of respondents use four to six devices on a daily basis, with more than 75 percent using personal devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets every day. As viewers increasingly reach for their mobile devices during commercial breaks, the advertising industry needs to consider the second screens as a critical medium to reach consumers and improve the brand impact
According to Gartner Inc., global mobile advertising expenditure is due to reach $18 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow to as much as $41.9 billion by 2017. By 2018, the second screen is estimated to be an $8.9 billion industry. These stats combine to indicate that the ability to target the consumer’s mobile screens will become an important yardstick of the success of an advertising campaign.
The strength of television advertising is that it delivers large audiences to advertisers. Generating intent has always been a key part of TV advertising and much of the reason why TV has seen advertisers dedicate the bulk of their budget to the medium. Its inherent inability to target viewers combined with the difficulty to move a potential customer from the phase of interest in a product to purchasing a product during the thirty seconds spot have however led brands and advertisers to look for alternative options.
The emergence of online has meant that advertisers can go beyond generating intent, and rather trigger immediate transactions. Through a combination of complex algorithms, A/B testing and real-time bidding, marketers can accurately target consumers that can purchase goods and services when they see an advertisement. This of course has led advertisers to allocate or transfer more budgets to Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and online advertising. However, reaching mass scale and generating income is much more difficult in the online world. The advent of synchronised advertising, which provides a bridge between the broadcast and online worlds, has led to a truce in the advertising war as brands can create ad campaigns combining the best of TV’s reach and online’s strength in targeting, interaction and measurement.
Synchronised advertising uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), a technology that enables to trigger complementary ads or content in real-time, based on what is airing on TV, regardless of broadcasters. It allows advertisers to carefully allocate budget to each screen to maximise ROI. By leveraging the second screen, advertisers can push each ad on multiple screens in real-time and increase the reach and power of each commercial.
ACR is a cornerstone of this trend. Combined with content triggering, it allows applications running on second screen devices to push a digital ad in real time onto the complementary screen. ACR enables brands and agencies to create cross-screen advertising campaigns to benefit from both the scale of television and consumer desire for interactivity with the second screen. By delivering ads to a consumer’s preferred screen, brands can reinforce their message while facilitating purchases through a one tap buy capability on the mobile device. ACR also benefits the consumer as it creates an amplified social TV experience that places the end user at the centre of the TV experience. Additionally, synchronised advertising leverages the reach of broadcast and granular measurement of programmatic advertising.
The evolution of the second screen is fuelling consumer demand for cross-media offerings, and with adoption on the rise, the phenomenon will only augment. It means that the broadcast and online worlds are no longer competing against each other for advertising revenue but are instead starting to interlace in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Social Media and Simulscreen Advertising
A joint pilot campaign by Civolution, Brand Networks (Optimal Social) and recently Resolution Media Partners demonstrated that synchronising content between TV and Facebook led to a 60 percent lift in consumer click through rates, and a 250 percent lift on Twitter. Broadcasters and content providers, including the BBC, Channel 4, M6 and more, also use ACR extensively to develop new interactive formats that reunites digital natives with their TV screen. A study conducted by TNS Infranet in October 2013 reinforces these findings with research showing that cross-media advertising increased brand awareness by more than 40 percent with strong uplifts in KPIs such as brand attitudes and word of mouth.
Value-added signals provide exciting new options for social advertising online and across the likes of Twitter and Facebook, opening the doors for brands and agencies to be more creative and use the diverted viewer’s attention at their advantage. According to Ad Week, users under 30 will switch platforms up to 27 times in an hour. Social media ranks highly on the list of activities taking place on the second screen, and advertisers utilising simulscreen advertising can monetise that audience. This switch from one screen to the next gives brands 27 opportunities to connect with the consumer on a complementary screen.
Additionally, it provides a route to deeper engagement and increased brand awareness, while insights gained through apps and social media enable brands to receive real-time consumer data, which can help them develop bespoke advertising campaigns and social media outreach. Simulscreen advertising is especially relevant for large-scale events such as the World Cup, during which the viewer’s attention jumps from the TV screen to their mobile device to keep track of all the action.
With TV synchronised solutions such as those developed by Civolution, brands and advertisers can finally tap into the lucrative creative potential of cross-media multiscreen advertising, leading to more engaging advertising that benefits all. As mobile proliferation continues and people take to the second screen for their video consumption habits, advertisers will increasingly pour energy and resources into simulscreen campaigns as TV becomes more and more social and interactive.