Multitasking 'TV-Plus-Mobile' Video Test Campaign Shows Big Brand And Intent Lifts

IphoneWith up to 40% of smartphone and tablet owners using their devices regularly while watching TV, most marketers know intuitively that targeting video ads across the multitasking experience has tremendous promise. Now we have some preliminary metrics to prove it.

In a joint test among Nielsen, Universal Pictures, ad agency Ignited and mobile video platform AdColony, 15-second video spots for the film Contraband were experienced by multitaskers across TV and mobile platforms in a lab setting simulating normal cluttered media exposure. The campaign delivered a considerable additive boost to all brand metrics. TV plus mobile (smartphone and tablet) exposures provided a 69% lift in aided brand recall, a 617% lift in unaided brand recall, a 450% lift in the viewer’s likelihood to search for more information on the film and a 72% lift in purchase intent.



“The test results were conclusive that having multiple screens was a big benefit,” says Frank Stagliano, EVP, general manager, Nielsen Entertainment. While brand recall metrics in the study were impressive, Stagliano calls out the mobile platform’s ability to activate users.

Viewers exposed to the TV spot for the Contraband film and then exposed during breaks to video interstitial spots on smartphone and tablet devices in the same setting were 5.5 times more likely to do a search about the movie than those who just saw spots on TV. Only 4% of those who saw the ad on TV only said they were likely to search, while 22% of those exposed to TV and phone and tablet were interested in searching for more information. The TV-plus-mobile group also showed a 2.6X lift in likelihood to recommend the movie to a friend. “The unique thing here is that [mobile] gives an immediate call to action,” says Stagliano.

Testing campaigns aimed at leveraging multitasking behaviors is not a trivial task. At the CBS Television City Media Lab in Las Vegas, 400 people were recruited to participate in viewing an unreleased TV show and to play with iPhones and iPads. Viewers had the opportunity to engage the devices during breaks in the TV viewing. Some viewers only saw the Contraband spot in the test clutter of ads in TV, and some were exposed to TV spots and various video spots while browsing content on the devices during the breaks.

“We came up with the idea to create a kind of entertainment-themed activity,” says Vineet Pathak, executive director, Strategic Marketing Services, Nielsen. “The typical ad effectiveness research tries to ascertain value in isolation and this replicated real world environments and how people multitask.”  

The mobile video ad had especially strong additive effect on unaided brand recall. In post-experience surveying only 6% of those exposed to the Contraband spot on TV only recalled the brand amidst the clutter, while 43% recalled it without help after seeing the film advertised on TV as well as on the iPhone and iPad.

The CEO of Universal’s agency for the campaign, Ignited, Eric Johnson, says these kinds of results -- while not unexpected -- are important. “It gave us a lens on what we know intuitively is happening. It makes sense. But it gives us a chance to get hard facts.”

Movie promotion has a hard challenge –- to raise brand awareness of an upcoming film in a very small window of time. For years, mobile marketers like Johnson have been using dayparting to target mobile ads during prime time to support their TV buys. “We know that audience will be online and on TV. What is new here is we are starting to think about the multiplier effect,” he says. “When you see multiple media types –- the more ways you get exposed to a brand with those moments of surprise or delight -– it increases the likelihood you will pay attention.”

The recommendation lift in this early research (+160% additive from mobile) is especially promising, because Johnson feels the effect of multiplatform promotion is strengthened“ when you reach into the social space and get validation from friends.”

AdColony, which initiated the study, was hoping both to research cross-platform effects as well as get some metrics around the importance of video. “The results were beyond our expectations,” says Will Kassoy, CEO, AdColony, which places video ads between pages on partner apps like Pinger. “There has been a gap in video ad effectiveness research on mobile,” he says, experienced across TV and mobile devices the Contraband video campaign.

In a video ad network that he claims reaches 40 million uniques a month, video interstitials in AdColony’s partner apps are seeing a completion rate of 95% and typical click throughs of 3 to 5%.        

2 comments about "Multitasking 'TV-Plus-Mobile' Video Test Campaign Shows Big Brand And Intent Lifts ".
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  1. Denise Leo from SAP, April 16, 2012 at 2:08 p.m.

    Another recent (Forrester?) study shows that up to 52% of mobile usage is done when users are watching TV.

  2. David Stanton from GfK, April 19, 2012 at 8:37 a.m.

    Denise: I think you are thinking of the recent GfK Knowledge Networks study that shows 52% of tablet time is shared with TV:

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