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Second Screen Research Reveals Mobile and TV in Tandem are a Powerful Advertising Combination

March 1st, 2016   ||    by Charlene Weisler

Advertisers wishing to better understand second screen consumer behavior in this world of fluid cross platform content consumption are going beyond the usual metrics of views and impressions. Now, with the application of brain science into media research, many companies are embarking on some ground-breaking neural research for better media decisions.

What they are discovering is that not only are consumers more receptive to ad messages in a certain platform sequence—mobile first and then TV being the most impactful—the format of the ad will also impact neurological response. Ads designed more for the digital environment—shorter and with branding introduced earlier in the message—are more effective to viewers on a digital platform than an ad designed for TV and repurposed for digital.

These are the topline results of a recent study by Facebook in partnership with neuromarketing agency Neuro-Insight, US Inc. which measured the impact of ad exposures on both Facebook and TV. How did an ad first viewed on Facebook compare with the same ad first viewed on TV? Which platform in which ad sequence had the greatest impact on viewers? What were the unspoken, subconscious indicators that best served the advertisers?

Neuroscience as a Media Research Tool

Using neuroscience in second screen media research measurement is still fairly novel. Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight explained, “There is a lot more that goes into decision-making than what we can verbalize in a survey or a focus group. But how do we measure it? It makes for an incredibly sexy sales pitch for someone to go in and tell a brand that I can measure your consumer’s emotion – something you have never been able to do before. We at Neuro-Insight take a lot of pride in our proprietary patented brain mapping technology called SST, which allows us to look at metrics like Long-term Memory which we’ve linked to predicting a change in consumer behavior.”

Facebook and Neuro-Insight Measure Second Screen Synergies

In the Facebook study, Neuro-Insight used a sample of 100 respondents age 21–54. They then examined the responses from two randomly selected groups. On Day One, one group watched a TV show with ads while the other group browsed their own Facebook News Feed, which included test ads, on their mobile phone. On Day Two, both groups watched the same ads from a range of consumer goods categories in a TV show.

According to the study results published in December 2015, Neuro-Insight concentrated on three major neural metrics:

  1. Engagement: an indicator of how involved people are
  2. Emotional Intensity: a measure of the strength of emotion being experienced
  3. Memory Encoding: the rate at which the brain is storing the current experience about the brand into long-term memory, where it can be recalled more than a few minutes later. This metric is recorded for the left brain as Memory Encoding detail and for the right brain as Memory Encoding global.

The approach is ground-breaking in that it allows for a fuller analysis of cross platform synergies and platform drivers. “In the earlier part of this decade we did a lot of work for our clients who were trying to prove that their platform/channel/delivery method was better than the other,” explained Yadav, “And in every one of those times we did find something great about that method but we also found that there was nothing that we tested that we could’ve said was the best at doing everything.”

Mobile Advertising Helps TV Advertising

The Facebook study conclusion, according to Neuro-Insight, was that the greatest positive neurological impact of an ad exposure on a viewer is an ad viewed on mobile first and then again on TV. This sequence excites the brain where the mobile exposure serves as a teaser, even a reminder, to the TV exposure for the viewer. In this case it was the Facebook exposure on the first day that created a receptive, priming environment for the viewer to then memory encode the message on TV the following day and be more receptive to purchasing.

“People are seeing the same brand ad on different screens at multiple times a day, which is complicating things for marketers,” Yadav noted. In commissioning this study, Daniel Slotwiner, Director, Advertising Research at Facebook wanted to help advertisers tell a cohesive story across screens. “Our research saw that marketers can optimize their brand impact by coordinating and adapting their campaign assets across screen,” he explained. “Insights like these can be helpful to marketers who are deciding how to approach their cross-channel campaigns.”

To learn more about second-screen viewing, contact Videa.

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