Apr 03, 2013

ATTENTION: Second Screen Viewing

Imagine, you’re watching TV and fiddling with your smartphone, and you’re prompted by the show to use your smartphone to interact with the show for a segment of the episode, most likely via social media or a mobile app. After that, you’re taken to a website that gives you a sort of insider look at whatever you’re watching.

Do you hear it? That’s the sound of harmony. Two marketing mediums working together to fully immerse its user, and maintain his or her attention. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s Second Screen Viewing.

Second Screen Viewing was first reported, by Nielsen as “Internet and TV Multitasking” in 2009. But, Nielsen’s recent State of Social Media: The Social Media Report 2012 should have marketing agencies’ attention, specifically with the idea of distraction as a form of entertainment.  According to the report, “Forty-one percent of tablet owners and 38 percent of smartphone owners use their device while in front of the TV screen.” Not shockingly, social media is the top form of engagement, but users are also using their devices to look up information and shop.

The second screen allows advertisers to give viewers a shared experience. Viewers can instantly dig for more information about a product, or engage in a call-to-action. It also allows advertisers to extend their messages.

A prime example came in March 2012 when NBC aired Red Bull Supernatural, a backcountry freestyle snowboarding competition. While the competition was being aired, the viewer was prompted to use their Shazam app, which enabled them to watch from the snowboarder’s perspective as he/she carved down the mountain on their TV screen. Users were also linked, through Shamzam, to social media torrents such as Twitter and Facebook. The end result was great ratings, and even more remarkable viewer engagement.

So, what’s at stake – Money? Legitimacy? Relevance? Ratings?

All of the above.

Most importantly - ATTENTION. Assuming that your viewer has less than a 30-second attention span helps establish the TV screen as a complimentary media message portal, not solitary.

Ultimately, your viewer wants to be distracted. So, give them a distraction that immerses your consumers in your brand’s message… on multiple fronts.

Give your viewer a more meaningful, and engaging TV and mobile device experience, and your ROI will thank you.


[Contributed by Nolan Shea, Traffic Coordinator]

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