TV Dominates Multiscreen World

Much of the focus of Thursday’s ANA TV & Everything Video Forum was on multiple screens and new cross-platform techniques to utilize them effectively. However, numerous speakers at the forum stressed that the new devices did not spell the end of network television. "TV is not broken," proclaimed Justin Evan, senior vice president, emerging media at ad network Collective.

Rather, TV remains the tentpole of the multiscreen environment, accounting for most of the viewing and ad dollars placed against video content, said ANA group executive vice president Bill Duggan. Other screens are essential but supplemental. Though ANA Forums of the past have suggested otherwise, Duggan stressed that “TV is alive, well and thriving.” 

It's also evolving, just like the rest of the media environment. One executive suggested it’s time to stop thinking of TV as a “traditional” medium.

“We should look at TV as new media,” said Mike Proulx, senior vice president, director of digital strategy at ad shop Hill Holliday, a unit of the Interpublic Group. “It’s a very different experience today,” he said, noting the 10,000 tweets per second generated by the Super Bowl on Twitter. 

While TV is thriving, planning for the medium needs an overhaul, said Proulx, co-author of the new book Social TV. “We need a new planning model,” that focuses on multiscreen integration “to create a rich experience for television across devices.”

Case in point -- a multiscreen approach by retailer The Gap that tied into TV’s new fall season, Entertainment Weekly and Social TV app GetGlue. EW readers who checked into featured TV shows in the magazine’s Fall Preview issue via the GetGlue app could receive stickers redeemable for 40% off Gap clothing. Users could also share the offer with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.

According to Proulx, 70,000 people redeemed the offer. In the overall scheme of things, “that’s not a big number,” he said. “But it’s emerging behavior.”   

Another TV-as-new-media example was Coke’s multiscreen Polar Bear ad strategy leading up to the Super Bowl, said Proulx. TV ads drove viewers online, where they could watch the bears reacting to events in the game in real-time. “TV spots drive awareness” of messages appearing on other screens, he said. With effective spots, viewers will migrate to the other platforms for fear of “missing out” on an opportunity.

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