Brands Want Your Undivided Attention: The Rise of Multi-Screen Ad Campaigns


We all do it. We sit in front of our computers at work with our iPhones on our desk, sometimes switching back in forth between emails and photos that exist on each device. At home we sit down in front of the television to watch 30 Rock or Newsroom, and still our computers are right there on our laps, so that we can work or look up items online that we see on the television screen during Primetime.

Brands and agencies are looking for a way to unify all these experiences, to unify ad campaigns across all of your devices at once, to grab you at one touchpoint with a display ad, then hit you with a similar marketing message at another. The more integrated the brand experience is across all devices, the more consistent and effective the ad campaign becomes.

Today, advertising is about reaching people across different devices and channels, like online, print, mobile, social and television. Second screen applications are popping up everywhere that allow people to interact with companies and brands as they switch from one device to another. On average, people are spending 17 minutes each day on their mobile devices (this number is expected to grow rapidly), 30 minutes on tablets, 39 minutes on desktop devices and 43 minutes in front of the TV.

Brands that are nimble enough to test and adapt to a fast-changing, multi-screen world will reap the rewards and gain valuable insights along the way while others are baffled by the rapid shifts of the multi-screener flock. Multi-screen advertising will rise in popularity throughout 2013 and some agencies are already doing this, but with mixed results. There still exists barriers to adoption, one being that consumers may not want to have brand messages following them everywhere they are spending their time.

“One of the biggest challenges with the multi-screen approach is breaking down the silos,” said Projjol Banerjea, VP of Marketing & Talent at SponsorPay. “For example, there are a number of professionals within the industry that are still comparing online video directly to standard television commercials. Each one of these screens should be looked at as a stand-alone tactic. A more holistic approach needs to be taken with multi-screen campaigns. Each screen should complement one another as each has a unique set of benefits and challenges. the emergence of mobile devices now also gives marketers an exceptional opportunity.”

One of the biggest faux pas with multiscreen campaigns is that far too many marketers take a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach, porting one campaign from one screen to another without making any changes. When transitioning between screens, considerable analysis must be given to each platform. Attributes such as screen size, creative design, engagement levels/types, bandwidth and interaction time (time spend on/with ad unit) all vary depending on the platform and must be dealt with appropriately to ensure success across all verticals. Additionally, platform-specific features and capabilities must be taken into account.

We also spoke with Matevž Klanjšek, Chief Product Officer, Founder at Celtra who added: “Integrated campaigns can be a fantastic advertising tool when executed correctly. In digital advertising, marketers often employ a parallel channel approach, which repeats and disperses the message across rival channels, delivering lower than expected results. Using the channels in a series based on funnel activity is much more effective. For example, TV, the most powerful upper-funnel channel, can be followed up with rich media mobile ads, which are strong in the mid-funnel, and then with search advertising, one of the most effective lower-funnel tools. A great example of this approach is Shazam for TV product which seamlessly connects TV commercials with mobile ads. Consumers first watch the TV ad, Shazam it with their smartphone and are instantly taken to Celtra rich media mobile ads, where they can complete a series of mid- and lower-funnel actions, such as browsing the product gallery, booking a test drive or finding the nearby store.”

As an avid media junkie, I believe there is still a need to further refine existing multi-screen approaches. I can see a world in the near future where I can be sitting down on the couch watching baseball, and having it somehow communicate to my mobile device to automatically bring up batter stats and a brief bio about the player. If you apply this broad device communication concept to advertising, it sounds like a home run to me.


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  2. After NBC refined its onine Olympic coverage, I thought the 15- and 30-second video spots were a nice compliment to the vertical banner ads alongside the video player . . . 15- and 30-second commercials betweeen events alleviated the long, silent qualifying rounds . . .


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