If you are one of the vast majority of people who use a laptop, tablet or mobile phone while watching TV, then the likelihood is that you haven’t just started doing it recently. In fact, you probably can’t remember the last time you watched through an entire ad break, because when they come on you automatically switch your attention to another screen…
In the last year or so, brands and TV service providers have started switching on to this established trend, and we are beginning to see the rise of multi-screen advertising, including ‘play along apps’ such as those created by the X Factor and Channel 4’s Million Pound Drop. If you’re a fan of either show, it’s worth taking a look at the associated app. Both of these examples certainly enrich the live TV aspect of their respective shows, but they also provide new and exciting opportunities for third party advertisers to take control of the app during TV commercial breaks and engage an audience in highly targeted and interesting ways.
For instance. TalkTalk, a prominent sponsor of the X Factor has developed a game that features characters and themes from its TV adverts and can be played during the show, with a new level released every week. Engagement and click through rates from these apps are disproportionately high in comparison to regular online and in-app advertising. A similar ‘build a snowman’ app developed by ASDA saw an engagement rate of 55%, a 14% share rate on Facebook and a click through rate to the ASDA website of 22%. Most brands can only dream of statistics like this from regular online advertising.
The key factors are great timing, knowing the audience, and coming up with interesting and original concepts to engage that audience.
The only question is: why has it taken so long for this type of advertising to really take off? Granted, improvements in technology and increased penetration of mobile technology mean it is easier to achieve now than ever before, but is there another contributing factor to blame?
Research shows that we might be partly responsible for the slow initial progress of these new forms of advertising. And when I say ‘we’, I mean marketing and advertising professionals.
Apparently we tend to digest our TV in an atypical way compared to the majority, relying much more on catch-up TV and boxed sets than most. Therefore it has taken us longer to see the potential of the multi-screen phenomenon from an advertising point of view, as it isn’t always as relevant to us.
So sorry about that…
We’re definitely on board now though, so look forward to lots more highly multi-screen advertising in the future!