The Second Screen Takeover

Recently, while watching the Dallas Stars hockey game on TV, I found myself reaching for my phone to check Twitter to see what others were saying about the game.  From there, I went to the Dallas Stars app to check some stats — all while sitting in front of the TV.  What this says about me, other than I’m a hockey nerd living in Texas, is that I’m part of the growing trend of people who multitask on other devices while watching TV.
Nielsen studies show 76% of tablet users and 67% of smartphone users look up information while watching TV.  You might guess that they’re just killing time, but the same study estimates that 49% of tablet owners look up information about the programs they are watching – actors, plotlines, teams, athletes, etc., which suggests real engagement. I’ve actually seen some studies that suggest the mobile device usage is even higher, up to 85%.  In short, the water cooler has changed: we are all interacting and discussing our favorite TV shows, the game, etc. as we did prior to social media, but now we’re just doing it in real time.
The challenge for marketers is how we can leverage this engagement.  It’s crucial to integrate our offline and online media plans and make sure they work together.  Even with local and regional buys, we’ve seen a correlation between TV campaigns and a rise in online search activity. We should use those searches to direct consumers to learn more about what they saw in the TV spot. Other tactics could include using hashtags in spots to generate and track online conversations, utilizing online video pre-roll spots and search campaigns on YouTube where the spots are posted.
As mobile and tablet usage continues to rise, we’ll see new engagement opportunities emerge.  It will be exciting to see what’s next. Now, back to the hockey game.
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