Will the first dual-screen Olympics be a boost or a blow to media & brands?
Today's blog post is written by our social media intern, Lewis Cameron.
We’re into August, and the Olympics are upon us. London 2012 has been labelled the first two-screen Olympics; an acknowledgement of the dual-screening which has swept over viewers everywhere.
Dual-screening refers to watching TV whilst using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Itis not a new concept; it’s been around since 1999 when the idea of controlling TVs via PCs was prominent. However, then came interactive TV and in particular Sky’s red button became the fashionable way to interact with television. Now though, dual-screening is the main link between TV and interactive platforms such as Twitter. In November 2010, a Thinkbox report suggested that “60% of people claim to concurrently watch TV and go online at least 2 -3 times a week” with 37% “claiming to do so every day”. Just under half of these viewers visit social networks and more than a third discuss TV shows on social networks.
So why is this relevant now? 2012 is a year of high volume TV viewing. 20.3 million people watched England’s defeat to Italy in the Euros.The Olympic opening ceremony viewing figures peaked at 27 million. With such large audiences, there’s a great opportunity for brands to make an impact with dual-screening.
How could brands benefit from dual-screening?
There’s an opportunity for brands to build on the trend of turning watching TV, a passive experience, into an engaging experience through dual screening.
A great example of using dual-screening to amplify your reach is the 3-minute advert for Prometheus aired during Channel 4’s Homeland. The ad caused an eruption online where the hashtag #areyouseeingthis? caused a surge of over 4,000 tweets reaching 15 million twitter users.
More and more brands are using the dual-screening experience as a tool to engage their audience beyond the traditional marketing campaign.
Heineken’s ‘Legendary Football’ campaign during the Champions League final of 2011 invited viewers to answer questions posed in real-time during the match. While HMV organised a mass screening of the film at 8pm and a live Twitter discussion with the hashtag #Drivetime.
Brands can and do take part in an experience with their audience in a meaningful way.
Surely there’s a downside?
Conversely there is the possibility that both screens are completely unrelated (watching TV while playing a PC game) which is known as ‘coincident’ usage. A Nielsen study showed that of tablet and smartphone users dual-screening, 60% checked their email and just under a half searched for un-related content. This demonstrates the split in attention of the viewer, where they are less likely to absorb information.
Is there a possibility for brands to utilise the ‘two-screen Olympics’?
The rules for advertising during the Olympic period are strict. Rule 40 and the ‘No Marketing Rights Protocol’ outline the restrictions in place. Most notably brands cannot associate with the games if they are not official sponsors. That being said, the Olympics still represent an excellent opportunity for brands to expand their relationship with consumers. A perfect example of the possibilities for brands is the #findgreatness campaign by Nike (who are not official sponsors), which focuses on celebrating their audience rather than celebrating professional athletes. Brands are becoming more obligated to have a friendly face and connect with their customers and the opportunity to do this during the games is vast.
So can dual-screening be a boost for brands?
Despite the possibility that viewers’ attentions will be split, dual-screeners are more likely to remain engaged for longer, according to the Thinkbox study ‘Screen Life: The View From The Sofa’. 81% of those with a second screen stayed in the room for adverts compared to 72% without. t
Dual-screening provides a real opportunity to engage an already-captive audience, and at an event such as the Olympics this audience is already larger and more attentive. If brands can deliver a message which is relevant and powerful they can engage their audience and amplify their reach to the friends of their audience on social media.
Entertainment brands such as 20th Century Fox and Prometheus have already benefited from dual-screening. Channel 4 have also raised the awareness of their shows exponentially through the use of #TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) and #madeinchelsea (Made In Chelsea), with both hashtags trending no.1 worldwide on Twitter.
Now other consumer brands need to discover how they can take part in this conversation, perhaps more importantly they need to discover how they can take part in this conversation in a relevant way.
Zeebox platform helps enhance the dual-screening experience
#areyouseeingthis tweets (image from The Wall) http://wallblog.co.uk/2012/05/03/
Star Player, Heineken's take on dual-screening.