What is Second Screening?

Apr 2, 2024 / Uncategorised / Teranga Marketing

Smartphones and other mobile devices are so present in our daily lives that even while watching TV, we tend to use a second screen. According to data from Thinkbox, around 75% of us are “second screening” for around 40 minutes a day.

The practice is common all over the world. According to global YouGov data, the majority of people in India (60%), the UAE (57%), and Australia (57%) use their smartphones while watching TV.

With so much of our daily activities being aided or facilitated by hand-held devices, this does not come as a surprise. And it is important to look at the benefits of this practice. Mobile devices can facilitate access to shops, encourage the audience to share information with friends and family, and even help consumers make an immediate purchase.

In this article, we discuss what exactly second screening means and how you can take advantage of this extremely common habit to maximise the results of your campaigns. Keep reading to learn more!

Understanding Second Screening

As mentioned above, second screening is the practice of using a second electronic device, such as a smartphone or tablet, while watching television or engaging in another primary screen activity. This phenomenon has become increasingly common with the widespread use of mobile devices and the availability of content on multiple platforms.

People engage in second screening for various reasons. They may use a second screen to perform unrelated tasks, search for additional information related to the content being watched, or discuss what they are watching on social media. It is also possible to produce content for a second screen that complements the primary piece of content, such as interviews or behind-the-scenes footage.

Second screening can also be a way for users to access subtitles, translations, or additional content that enhances their understanding of the primary screen content.

Benefits of Second Screening for Ad Campaigns

Although there is an argument to be made about how second screens make audiences less focused on what they are watching, the use of mobile devices can offer several benefits for ad campaigns.

It’s important for advertisers to strike a balance and consider the potential challenges of second screening, such as viewer distraction and the need for coherent cross-platform messaging. However, adapting to evolving consumer behaviour and leveraging the advantages of second screening can contribute to more effective and engaging advertising strategies.

Here are some of the benefits of second screening:

Increased Exposure and Reach

Second screening allows advertisers to extend their reach by engaging audiences on multiple devices simultaneously. Advertisers can create a more comprehensive campaign strategy that includes both traditional TV advertising and complementary content on second screens, reaching viewers who may be more active on their mobile devices.

Enhanced Engagement

Advertisers can leverage second screens to enhance viewer engagement. By providing interactive content, such as polls, quizzes, or behind-the-scenes footage, advertisers can create a more immersive and memorable experience for the audience, increasing the likelihood of brand recall.

Real-Time Interaction

Second screening enables real-time interaction with audiences through social media platforms. Advertisers can encourage viewers to share their thoughts, opinions, or experiences related to the ad campaign. This real-time interaction can foster a sense of community and increase the campaign’s virality.

Data Collection and Analytics

The use of second screens allows advertisers to collect valuable data on viewer behaviour. Analysing user interactions, click-through rates, and social media engagement provides insights into audience preferences and the effectiveness of the ad campaign. This data can inform future advertising strategies and help optimise campaigns for better results.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Second screening facilitates a multi-channel marketing approach. Advertisers can synchronise messages across different screens to create a cohesive and integrated brand experience. Consistent messaging across platforms reinforces brand identity and increases the likelihood of message retention.

Adaptive Content

Advertisers can tailor content for second screens, providing additional information or context that complements the primary ad on TV. This adaptive content can range from interactive elements to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, catering to the diverse preferences of the audience.

Cross-Platform Integration

Second screening allows advertisers to integrate their campaigns seamlessly across various platforms. By using social media, mobile apps, and other digital channels in conjunction with traditional TV advertising, advertisers can create a unified and holistic brand presence.

How Can We Use the Second Screening Phenomenon to Maximise Our Assets

As we discussed, the second screening phenomenon can be beneficial to advertisers. Therefore, you should be planning your TV campaign, digital campaign and social campaign in tandem and think about how to make the most of each platform in your creative.

The strong relationship between TV and its influence on the digital journey has often been missed. An interesting statistic from Thinkbox:

  • 69% of Web site visits are generated by paid media
  • 47% of that 69% are actually generated by paid TV media

MediaCom and ViewersLogic have also found that watching TV while using your mobile phone actually improves the chances of the viewer taking action by 75% – making it much more effective! The same research also found these same people to be up to 12% more ‘brand aware’.

If we think about the customer journey of today, the call to action in a TV ad is not just the sign-off. It’s the trigger of the gun at the start of a race that we set off to drive the audience online. Once they’ve reached your website, they’re a few clicks away from a potential purchase. And this needs to be considered when planning your creative.

The issue often with TV is that it’s one of the hardest platforms to track and attribute sales back to. Consumers may end up on your website with no clear footprint that leads back to the TV ad. Your website views will spike soon after your advert has been broadcast, but it’s not as clear as the journey taken from clicking on a digital or social media ad.

It’s clear you should always consider how to amplify your campaign by maximising all of the rich assets you are creating for TV for use in the digital and social space to give consistency and reach.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of this phenomenon:

Understand the Audience Behavior

Conduct thorough research to understand the target audience’s second-screen behaviour. Identify the devices they use, the apps they engage with, and the types of content they consume simultaneously with TV watching.

Create Interactive Content

Develop TV ads that encourage interaction. Include elements like QR codes, hashtags, or calls-to-action that prompt viewers to engage with the ad on their second screens, such as sharing opinions on social media or participating in polls.

Sync Content Across Screens

Ensure consistency across TV and second-screen content. Craft a cohesive narrative or message that spans both platforms, reinforcing the brand identity and creating a unified viewer experience.

Utilise Social Media Platforms

Leverage popular social media platforms to connect with the audience in real time. Encourage viewers to use designated hashtags or share their experiences related to the ad campaign. Engaging with user-generated content can amplify the campaign’s reach.

Provide Additional Content

Develop supplementary content specifically for second screens. This could include behind-the-scenes footage, extended interviews, or interactive features that offer viewers a deeper dive into the brand or product being advertised.

Implement Cross-Platform Advertising

Plan multi-channel advertising that spans TV, social media, mobile apps, and other digital platforms. Design campaigns that seamlessly transition between screens, taking advantage of the strengths of each platform to create a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Use Second Screens for Calls-to-Action

Include clear and compelling calls-to-action in TV ads that direct viewers to take specific actions on their second screens. This could involve visiting a website, downloading an app, or participating in a social media campaign.

Optimise for Mobile Devices

Ensure that any content provided for second screens is optimised for mobile devices. Consider the smaller screen size and design content that is visually appealing and user-friendly on smartphones and tablets.

Monitor and Analyse Data

Implement robust analytics to track the performance of the TV ad campaign across different screens. Monitor metrics such as social media engagement, website traffic, and user interactions to gather insights and make data-driven adjustments.

Experiment with Emerging Technologies

Explore emerging technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), to create innovative and engaging experiences on second screens. Experimenting with new technologies can set a campaign apart and capture the audience’s attention.

By combining traditional TV advertising with a thoughtful and integrated second-screen strategy, you can maximise your reach, engage audiences in real time, and create a more immersive brand experience. Adapting to changing consumer behaviour and leveraging the advantages of second screening can contribute to the success of TV ad campaigns in the digital age.

How Have We Worked with Second Screening?

Here’s an example of a campaign we worked on where all the TV assets were re-purposed for digital execution.

We worked with Sky on their Ultimate on Demand campaign, whereby if you join Sky TV you would receive 90 channels, including Sky Atlantic, along with Ultimate on Demand. This meant you could enjoy Netflix originals, such as Stranger Things, along with Sky box sets like Game of Thrones.

A lot of work went into creating these TV spots, so it makes sense and is cost-effective to re-purpose the assets online. This is called a pocket TVC.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • When you’re moving your assets over to the digital space, you should never just reformat the TV ad. You must follow the best practices for the channel to match the consumer’s viewing habits – so on their phones, this should be between 5-15 seconds so you can capture their attention before they swipe on.
  • Always have your brand logo shown from the start as well, so even if the consumer does swipe on, then you will have achieved brand awareness.
  • You can’t guarantee the sound will be on when someone is watching on mobile, so make sure your visuals speak for themselves.
  • Remember, it’s not TV – so experiment and have fun with the platform. In our example, we had our Stranger Things vines grow out of the screen.

Final thoughts

There is no denying our world revolves around screens. Our TVs, smartphones, and computers are sources of information, entertainment, and communication. And the truth is, using one screen does not mean we’ll not be using another at the same time.

For this reason, the relationship between television and online platforms is increasingly close, and companies are taking advantage of this proximity. When done right, campaigns that combine TV ads and second-screen actions can generate excellent results. Second screening offers more options to advertisers and can give them more information about their audience and buyers.

TV can still be the beating heart of your campaign. It is a medium that is as relevant today as it has ever been, and it now has relevant companions that can help you boost your reach!

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