Second Screen and the Contextualization of Television: The New Frontier for Marketing & Advertising

Posted by Taylor Haney on Fri, May 24, 2013

Our next mobile guest blog is by Tom Wilde, CEO of Ramp. Tom writes a great post that discusses the second screen and the impact it is having on television and in turn marketing and advertising. If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact me at taylor [at] mitx [dot] org.

twilde4 115x115Tom Wilde is a widely recognized leader in the field of Internet search and online advertising, and prior to becoming RAMP’s CEO has held numerous leadership roles in the field including SVP/GM of the Consumer Division at domain portfolio company NameMedia, senior vice president and general manager of MIVA Inc.’s North American division, responsible for both MIVA’s U.S. online advertising network as well as the company’s consumer business, and senior operating roles managing Terra Lycos’ global search & publishing divisions. Tom has also served on the IAB Search Engine Committee and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Twitter Handle: @RAMPinc

At the events RAMP has been attending this year, there has been a constant buzz around the term “second screen”. Second screen refers to the use of another device while watching television. It seems when we are watching TV, we also want to use our smartphones, laptops or tablets to use social media to react to what we’re watching, surf the web for related – and unrelated – topics, check email, and make purchases. As television viewers’ attention is pulled away from the first screen to the second screen in this age of multitasking, it follows that advertisers and marketers would want to use the second screen as a promotional tool. Second screen provides marketers a gateway to transform their advertising from interruption-driven to a contextually-relevant, engaging return on investment. Here is how second screen is providing value to advertisers:

The plethora of data. The internet provides data in many forms and pulling statistics such as how many people tweeted during the Grammy’s is easy to find. This enables advertisers to find, track and test how audiences respond to a single message. Companies such as Bluefin Labs (now Twitter TV) allow customers to get real-time, valuable insight into social chatter. In being able to utilize real time data, marketers have the ability to segment advertisements into personalized messages that they wouldn’t have been able to on just television alone.

Sync Apps are providing an avenue for brand awareness. Sync Apps are pretty much self-explanatory, they work when the application is linked up to a certain television show to provide a relevant in-sync experience. Brands can benefit by partnering up or sponsoring said first second screensapps. Recently, AT&T teamed up with Conan O’Brien in February to launch the new Team Coco app. The app syncs to episodes that are live, on DVR or being streamed and provides an interactive experience based around a specific episode. The result for AT&T? A 33% increase in brand favorability among app users.

The ability to provide on the spot commerce experiences. In a study by Neilson, TV + Second Screen increased purchase intent by 72%. Apps such as Get This provide TV viewers the experience of purchasing items from TV shows synched up to television shows the viewer is currently watching. For example, one of the shows featured on Get This is ABC’s Scandal. When a viewer syncs his or her phone to the program Get This will feature items such as clothing and they have the option to purchase. Get This works via an affiliate program that allows the user to purchase original items, stylist picks or affordable items. Another great example is Target who sponsored the 2013 Grammy Awards Live App. Not only did the app have behind-the-scene footage, social media news feeds, interviews and much more, but it also featured the retail chain’s music store. Users could live purchase music from Grammy nominated artists.

Last but not least, customer engagement. Probably one of the best value propositions on this list. What better way to find out what the public thinks about your brand than hearing what they are saying and what better to hear what they are saying than checking out social media. Advertisers can find out in real time what is working and what is not.

Through the use of gamification, providing incentives, syncing, data and other techniques, the second screen has changed the television experience. Second screen is a developing media and savvy marketers and advertisers will figure out opportunities and how to jump on said opportunities. One of RAMP’s major publishing customers has recently deployed our contextual video solution, which displays relevant advertising and related content adjacent to a video while it’s playing. They have seen a doubling of their video engagement and a 10% click through rate on the related content items that are synced to the video. With 63% of GenXers and 74% of Millennials watching TV while utilizing a device, Second Screen is the new frontier for marketers and advertisers to explore.