Opinions

Multiscreen and Live Events

Posted by Sid Bhatt on May 29th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Live events provide the perfect opportunity for brands and advertisers to reach their audiences with relevant and timely content. In the past year, interactive advertisers started bridging the gap between ads and real-life experience as part of what’s been dubbed the second screen revolution.

The second screen revolution follows a wave of studies proving media consumption habits are dramatically shifting. Research from IABMB has found that 28 percent of adults use three screens at the same time. Viewers today are watching videos, streaming content and reading news across multiple screens – whether that’s on mobile, tablet, desktop or TV. For example, someone may be watching Modern Family, while browsing for their latest gadget purchase on their iPad and tweeting from their phone about the show … all at the same time.

Many advertisers are already looking to second screen innovations, like apps, to create a more relevant consumer experience, and while innovation is key to making second screen work, the answer to making it effective comes down to engagement.

With events like the FIFA World Cup just around the proverbial corner, marketers need to focus their second screen strategies around engagement through curated creative, connected content and quick decisions.

Curated Creative
Curated creative is about having a strong relationship with the viewer. The creative should reflect the viewer’s interests in first-screen content. For FIFA World Cup fans, one of best parts is when they enthusiastically display their team spirit. When fans attend a live event, they chant, yelp in joy or anger, wear painted faces, display bright jerseys and use colorful language. A good second screen advertisement should use curated creative to capture fan sentiment for all by connecting those watching at home and present at the stadium.

One such approach may take into account a loyal fan base by giving them the ability to record their team’s chant from their mobile device or tablet and then post it to a microsite in order to show a collective, unified support, whether that’s in the stands or at home in the living room. Doing so would show a level of personalization that rarely occurs in second screen campaigns.

Connected Content
Connected content is about having a strong relationship with the first screen content. Advertisers do a good job of developing relevant creative for those they are targeting based on industry, product and service research. However, in the second screen revolution, a deep understanding of first screen content is a must for creating engagement. To explain, advertisers should focus on finding the moments when everyone is silent and completely engaged on the first screen – such as right after a breakaway move that’s about to lead to a shot on goal. Then, advertisers should anticipate the moments where a second screen ad would be most relevant to the viewer’s experiences – whether that’s right after a winning goal or during a timeout on the field.

Understanding that FIFA World Cup fans will be fired up to share opinions after a fight or “debatable” call is critical for engaging them on the second screen. Advertisers should allot a significant amount of time to getting to know the structure and subject they will be creating second screen advertisements for and apply these lessons to their advertising units.

Quick Decisions
Quick decisions are about having strong relationships with the brand. You can plan all you want, but live events are just that, live. Remember the 2013 Super Bowl blackout Oreo tweet? The digital marketing agency 360i and the Nabisco division of Mondelēz International had a “mission control” set up at their office, so that when the blackout happened decision makers were all present and could act quickly. For second screen advertising, even the most brilliant concepts will lose engagement if they aren’t matched to the live aspect of the first screen. The way to improve engagement on second screen will require being “live” in order to make quick decisions as events unfold. There will always be layers of approvals and red tape, but as the second screen revolution takes hold, advertisers and brands will need to get even closer and find ways to make split-second decisions accordingly.

As consumer viewing habits continue to evolve, the advertising industry must keep pace. The legacy models of the advertising world will continue to buckle under the pressure of the second screen revolution unless advertisers take note and adjust their strategies. By focusing on engagement, in order to capture second screen audiences, brands and agencies will be able to take advantage of the consumer driven, multichannel, multiscreen smartly personalized world instead of being left in the dark during the Super Bowl.

Sid Bhatt is CEO and co-founder of Aarki.

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