There have been a number of studies showing the effectiveness of Sync Ads – digital ads synchronized to live TV spots – on second screen devices like tablets, laptops and smartphones. We’ve run campaigns for a number of brands, like Ford Lincoln Mercury, Go Daddy and Molson with some of the major TV networks and sports leagues, and some independent, dedicated TV companion apps demonstrating significant improvements in engagement and brand recall. However, there’s still a tremendous audience of ‘second screeners’ on their favorite device, multi-tasking while watching TV but not necessarily on a dedicated companion app, perhaps on their favorite website or app.
We’ve been hard at work developing ways to reach that huge multi-tasking, second screen audience with digital ads sync’d to what viewers at watching. Recently, we ran a live A/B test of digital Sync Ads across the web with our platform, and saw very strong results.
We ran digital creative (of a major consumer brand advertising during the NBA playoffs) and targeted it towards those online and likely to be watching the game. For purposes of this A/B test, we ran Sync Ads online at the same time as the brand’s TV spots were airing and at other times, ran the same ads when they were not in sync. Results for the Sync Ads showed a CTR 97% higher than the non sync’d ads.
This is the first of a number of campaigns we’re planning but early results on targeted web inventory reiterate what we’ve seen with Sync Ads on dedicated apps (and what intuitively makes sense): Delivering digital ads to TV viewers on their devices, in sync with what they’re watching, works.
As agencies develop digital creative more tailored for the second screen, e.g., following up on a TV spot’s message with a more direct call to action, offer or some online engagement, results should prove even more powerful.
There’s more and more buzz around the concept of the ‘second screen’ as it relates to TV viewing. Stats show a huge number of people are using mobile and tablet devices while watching the tube. Sometimes they’re emailing and web surfing, but other times they’re using their connectivity to interact around their show.
This increasing trend is going to have impact around a number of TV viewing constituencies. A recent blog post from Steve Van Belleghem highlights some of the issues. One interesting point he raises concerning TV advertisers’ fear of inattention (at best) and avoidance (at worst) to a show’s TV spots is how the ‘second screen’ can minimize that.
…consumers tend to switch less between TV stations during commercial breaks because they check their social media at that time. The higher the adoption of social media, the lower switching between commercial breaks.
As viewers become more engaged with TV show companion apps and websites, ad viewership can possibly be maintained. And as Steve adds that such apps can also increase engagement around the show’s content, they can also be used to improve the overall advertising experience and more importantly, its effectiveness.
Clearly, there’s a huge opportunity for TV advertisers to be part of this ‘second screen’ movement. Engaging viewers intelligently and when appropriate can yield substantive brand benefits. We’ll talk more about how they may do this in coming posts.