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What Does the Second Screen Mean for Media Planners?

November 2nd, 2015   ||    by Callie Wheeler

The futurescapes of sci-fi films from the last half-century are in many ways already a reality today, and the ubiquitous screens utilized in these movies are now part of our everyday lives. This is so true that there is a term for the phenomenon: the second screen. The second screen is the supplement to a primary experience. It is the laptop worked on while watching TV, or the smartphone referenced while using the computer.

A Constant Companion

Think about the media planner as a consumer. What does a normal day’s worth of interactions with screens look like? You reach for your phone first thing to turn off an alarm, to check Facebook, or to read a few work e-mails. You continue to reference your phone as you walk by animated billboards, sit down at your computer at the office, or watch a YouTube video during a break.

The second screen is a constant companion, used to look up information to help you understand a memo, provide a welcome distraction from too many e-mails, or pull up a website as a reminder to look into something later. This is true away from the office, too. The tablet in your hand as you watch TV at home allows you to figure out what your favorite TV character is wearing in a particular scene; the smartphone tells you what song is playing during a movie trailer; and the laptop pulls up an article about the stock market in light of a national news story on television.

Advertisers’ Gold Mine

Eighty-four percent of tablet and smartphone owners use their devices as a second screen while they watch television, according to Nielsen. What does the second screen mean for media planners?

These second screens are a gold mine for advertisers. They provide greater opportunity to deliver impactful messaging to consumers. Imagine what you can learn from consumers’ behavior as they leave a trail of breadcrumbs: Internet searches, social media posts, or articles read and shared. Now imagine what you can do with that information.

You watch a television show every week and have noticed that the lead character’s coat matches everything she wears. Where did she get it? You search for the coat and find out it’s vintage, but a blogger has dedicated an entire post to finding similar pieces. You click on links in that post and find out prices for similar coats, read reviews, and search for coupon codes or upcoming sales.

In a perfect world, here’s what should happen next: The next commercial break should feature an ad from at least one of the brands you researched. Even better would be a commercial that includes a discount code for purchases made in the following 24 hours.

Seamless Cross-Screen Interaction

This is what programmatic TV makes possible. Data-driven advertising allows brands to utilize the entirety of a consumer’s behavior, including second-screen behavior, to deliver relevant messaging. Programmatic TV delivers relevant content to the right user, and it ultimately will allow brands seamless interaction with their audiences, regardless of how many screens they’re using.

If you’re ready to use data to deliver more insightful messaging, reach out to Videa today.

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