Mobile: Transforming the living room experience

While TV used to be the main entertainment & media activity in the living room, 70% of people now claim to ordinarily use a second screen while watching TV. This percentage rises to 87% when looking at 16-34 year olds only. This means that access to multi-screens in front of TVs is now the norm.

The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) conducted a quantitative and qualitative study last year to understand how different devices compete for people’s attention against TVs in the living room.  Whilst we might think that the TV screen is the dominant screen in the living room and connected devices are used as second screens, the study shows that actually, there is no hierarchy of screens in the living room, they are all equal.

Brands can take advantage of this shift in consumer habits to amplify their marketing activity on mobile through TV syncing. Advertisers can sync their mobile activity with any TV activity, whether it is their own TV ads, competitors’ TV ads or a live TV show even.

The IAB study also found that people are not multi-tasking & multi-screening while sitting on their couch, but are switch-screening: jumping between screens and activities. This means that people’s attention is fragmented, and their attention is also shifting between displays.

Therefore, through TV syncing, brands have the opportunity to re-capture the distracted user’s attention by engaging with them a second time through their mobile device. People who are presented with targeted activity on their second screen a few seconds after the advertiser’s TV ad, will be able to actually engage with the brand and be one click away from the advertiser’s app or mobile website and therefore one step closer in the purchase funnel. TV syncing also allows brands to unify and reinforce their messaging across all channels, giving consumers a seamless experience. Furthermore, TV syncing helps brands with one of the biggest limitations of TV advertising: Measuring reach and ad effectiveness. Through mobile tracking, advertisers can measure the direct impact of a TV ad on the metric that ultimately matters the most, return on investment.

Some companies offer ad-syncing as their core product. They do that through a technology that monitors and detects TV activity in real-time. For instance, once a brand’s TV ad is recognised, a signal is sent and the mobile campaign is activated. This usually happens within seconds. The type of mobile activity can vary: brands can choose to trigger a standard display banner, a social, video or search ad. Although this strategy might seem effective, it is quite limited. As this technology is built around using TV air time as a trigger and no other variables are used to target users, nothing can guarantee that those people targeted with the mobile ads have actually seen the TV advert, they just assume that there might be a chance that the user was in front of the TV and has seen the TV ad. If that’s not the case, then the mobile activity would just be standard activity and not TV synced.

Here at Somo, when considering to sync our mobile activity with TV, we try to increase the probability that users have actually viewed the advertiser’s TV ad as much as possible. A few ways to TV sync mobile effectively are through TV Guide and Shazam.

90% of TV Guide’s app users are in front of the TV when on the app. One of their new products is Instant Ad Sync. Their Instant Ad Sync server monitors channels in real time and tracks when a TV advert appears. When they’ve matched a TV advert with a campaign on their server, the server pushes a second screen advert to mobile devices. This happens within 3 seconds. Therefore, brands are almost guaranteed that whoever will be served with an ad-synced mobile ad is sitting in front of their TV. The results on such previous campaigns they’ve ran show a 500% uplift in ad engagement and a 200% increase in ad recall.

Another very effective strategy brands can use to amplify their TV activity is Shazam’s Audio Connect product. Brands can put a call to action on their TV ad such as “Shazam now to discover more” or “Shazam now to shop now”. This way, viewers are prompted to open the app and Shazam the TV ad when it is airing. Once they do, they will be redirected on their second screen to a custom landing page. Brands can work with Shazam to build this custom landing page beforehand, or even drive users straight to a brand’s mobile website. A custom landing page can include elements like the TV ad behind the scenes, promote different ranges or products, or even a “download the app” call to action that drives users straight to the App Stores. Brands can get as creative as they want as they can build the landing page from scratch.  This strategy is very powerful as it shows clear intent on behalf of people to engage with a brand, which means that whoever is driven to the brand’s landing page is already more inclined to complete a purchase.

We chose to incorporate such a Shazam TV synced campaign in the integrated mobile advertising strategy of one of our clients, Shop Direct, the UK’s second largest pureplay retailer, which operates retail brands, and For Very’s Spring/Summer campaign that launched in the beginning of March, we aimed to target Miss Very, while she was relaxing in front of her TV at a time when she is more likely to be in the right mindset to shop. The IAB study found that 25% of people shopped online while watching TV. The brand message that we wanted to send across was that Very is a one stop shop for the fashion, tech and homeware Miss Very desires, effortlessly accessible through an easy and inspiring mobile experience. This easy and enjoyable experience frees up Miss Very’s time to “Do More” of the things she loves: Chill more, Explore more, Style more, Rock more. Shazam the Very TV ad here to check out the landing page we built for our TV sync activity.





Sara El Bahri

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