Three Reasons Mobile is the Perfect Complement for TV Ads

By Ricky Gutierrez  | 

In today’s multi-screen world, it’s taken for granted that consumers are watching their favorite content on more than one device. One recent eMarketer analysis of US consumer media habits found that more than 70% of US adults will use another device while watching TV. For many consumers, this other device is a smartphone. The same eMarketer report noted that more than 187 million will “second-screen” with a smartphone by 2019. At first glance this additional screen might seem like a problem: a situation a TV advertiser would want to avoid. But as a growing body of evidence suggests, it isn’t something brands should avoid. Here are three reasons why mobile is increasingly the perfect complement for TV.

Mobile Can Help Boost TV Ad Engagement
The first bit of good news about mobile’s impact on TV advertising is that it seems to help boost viewers’ attention, not sap it. According to a study conducted by Mediacom and ViewersLogic, those who use mobile phones while watching TV are 10% less likely to change channels than those who are not using their devices while watching. Why might this be the case? One need only think of the impact of mobile-focused services like social media, which helps many TV viewers add to the TV experience by commenting and discussing their favorite creative ads and programming.

Mobile Can Help Turn TV Campaigns into Sales
It’s promising to hear that mobile and TV can work together to boost consumer engagement. But it’s even better news to hear that mobile is demonstrating an increasing ability to help turn TV creative into consumer action. AMC Networks is one example of a TV publisher that’s helping advertisers determine how their campaigns translate into sales. The company has developed a technology that uses the audio from TV commercials to trigger special actions on consumers’ smartphones, ranging from the delivery of a coupon to a website link or a movie trailer. Having this direct digital linkage for TV campaigns is likely to help inspire mobile-obsessed viewers to take that next step after their exposure to ad creative.

Mobile Extends TV (And TV Ads) Everywhere
Perhaps the best argument in favor of mobile’s complementary role in TV advertising is the format’s increasing ubiquity. Just last year, analytics firm Flurry noted that consumers spend more than five hours per day on their mobile devices. Advertisers should think of this growing time spent with mobile not as a threat, but as an opportunity. That’s because the growing overlap of new TV-like viewing formats like over-the-top (OTT) video make the distinction between what is “TV” and “mobile” less and less relevant. Instead, advertisers should aim to create campaigns that are compatible across a variety formats, whether that’s TV, mobile, desktop, OTT, or connected TV devices.

Multi-screen consumption habits driven by mobile devices are increasingly the norm in today’s TV and video environment. But for advertisers, the supposed “distraction” created by these new screens isn’t so much a threat as it is an opportunity. That’s because mobile is helping support TV advertising in surprising new ways, whether it’s boosting engagement, helping turn ad creative into action, or extending the reach of TV campaigns for new audiences and viewing formats. As each of these examples illustrate, mobile is no longer simply the “second-screen.” It’s proving to be an excellent partner for forward-thinking TV advertisers.

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