Remembering how to do TV+Digital convergence campaigns right, media planners and advertiser have the ability to make the transition easier, both for themselves and for their audiences, while maintaining harmony in the advertising ecosystem writes Alap Ghosh, Consulting CSO, SilverPush
Despite the domination of television on the media budgets of Indian advertisers, the meteoric rise of digital media and digital devices has caused an interesting change in the way people watch television. According to analytics giant Millward Brown, 61% of Indians own a screen in addition to their TV. This could be a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. As a natural progression, people tend to multitask, use another screen while watching TV. Two distinct behaviors then emerge. Users will either mesh devices (tweet about what they are watching on TV, or search for character bios while watching a program) or users will stack devices (check their email, read the news, post on their Facebook feed, nothing related to what they are watching).
Now, while this behavior is welcome for digital media owners and buyers, it also signifies a shift in attention from TV, an important factor for broadcasters and TV media buyers. Broadcasters are responding with their own digital offerings in the form of video-on-demand websites and mobile apps. TV media buyers, on the other hand, have found comfort in TV+Digital convergence campaigns.
Convergence campaigns are where digital ads are run in sync with TV ads, solving the problem where audiences are lost during break time. Several convergence offerings have come about from different providers– some obvious, some innovative, some old school, some even controversial. While all of them seem appealing, there are always a few factors that add or remove from the appeal, the effect and the benefit promised.
1. Timing is everything
The promise of TV convergence is that when eyeballs leave the TV during an ad and go to another screen, an advertiser will be present on the other screen as well. Which makes it vital to understand when will the viewer’s attention shift. The “moment” in moment marketing comes from capturing the exact time when target audiences are ready and open to engage with advertisements. In TV convergence, that moment is during a break, a low traction advertisement, in the middle of less engaging content or at a critical moment of the program’s script [a character dying, a fight breaking out on a reality show, a goal being scored in a football match]. Being present then, at that very moment, is absolutely important. Media buyers must make sure that campaigns start when the moment occurs and stop as soon as the effect of the moment is over, so exposures are never wasted, always used efficiently.
2. How your TV viewer is behaving on digital
TV convergence pitches often imply that when a viewer is looking at their devices while watching TV, they’re watching “TV-like” content. In reality, viewers could be playing a game, reading an article, post on Facebook or Instagram, tweet about what’s coming on TV. Sticking to video ads during TV convergence campaigns takes away the entire audience that is possibly doing something totally different. TV planners must engage their digital agencies for creative assets beyond the TVC to take advantage of every format available.
3. Reach at the moment, reach everywhere
TV convergence should help advertisers reach their audience no matter what screen the audience is on. Advertisers need to be present wherever the user is likely to be - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, news sites, gaming apps, instant messengers and many more. Planners must select an all-platform, multi-device, multi-format TV convergence solution to maximize their reach. To exclude a platform is to ignore valuable reach.
4. Must track, must measure
While TV convergence is about reach across devices, it is important to know it is still digital and should give advertisers all the benefits of a digital campaign, including tracking and attribution. Measure the impact on engagement, both on the convergence campaign and the trailing effect on regular digital campaigns, on social traffic, on search queries and on lower funnel KPIs. However, TV convergence is not a performance medium. Just like modern advertisers would rarely use TV to boost your daily sales, TV convergence should help reclaim audiences lost to other screens and help reach audiences, even when no TV ads are running.
5. Me, my friends and my rivals
TV convergence is a party for everyone. At its base, TV convergence campaigns should work during breaks and on an advertiser’s own ads. To increase reach and appeal to newer audiences in a different context, advertisers should find complementing brands and target their ads. A pharmaceutical brand should talk to the same audience that a health insurance brand talks to. A noodle brand should talk to the audiences of fast food brands. It makes sense to look for the new audiences on the ads of allies. And finally, it should target ads of competitors.
When an advertiser’s competition is talking to audiences on TV, it is logical and imperative that they be present as well. However, guerilla advertising is a double-edged sword. Competitors could also target an advertiser’s airtime. And because of this, it is also frowned upon. The formula for this, then, is simple. The convergence platform should respect advertisers airtime and offer the first right to advertise on their own airtime. These usually become an open budget, always on convergence campaigns. If an advertiser does not have the budgets to buy all exposures belonging to them, then an ally should be given second preference. Only if neither the advertiser nor an ally is advertising at that moment, should the opportunity go to a competitor.
With the increasing availability of affordable laptops, tablets and smartphones and high speed, cheap data at home, offices and on the move, the shift of audience attention from TV to another screen is imminent. With that shift will come the movement of budgets, from TV to digital media. Remembering how to do TV+Digital convergence campaigns right, media planners and advertiser have the ability to make the transition easier, both for themselves and for their audiences, while maintaining harmony in the advertising ecosystem.