App-adaisical No More: Which Screen Is The 'First' One Again?

From my point of view as a consumer, apps have been lackadaisical when it comes to advertising. Sure, advertising for apps has existed, but were you a little caught off guard when Clash of Clans ads started playing on your TV?

I was. And while I’m not suggesting TV ads are the best way to support app promotion, it’s certainly looking like it will be a focus in the near future.

The whole thing is blurring the lines between supposed first and second screens.

The “second screen” has come to mean your smartphone or tablet -- or is it your computer? The "first screen" is the television; the first screen that entered homes and the supposed number one screen in the hearts of consumers (and advertising dollars).

What Motility Ads is doing made me really wonder which screen should be called the "first." The company is offering technology that allows marketers to place “short code” and keywords in TV ads that consumers can use to easily download apps. Think American Idol voting (text ‘THIS’ to ‘12345’) for app downloads.

Per the Motility Ads release, Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, a unit of media research and strategic consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, believes TV is “still the undisputed champion when it comes to brand advertising.” While I don’t disagree, when a TV ad is intended to drive consumers to their mobile devices at that very moment, it makes you wonder which screen is more important to the advertiser.

As I’m writing this, I realize the answer is: “We don’t care which screen, as long as you are interacting with my brand/product/service/etc.”

So while television may reign as the branding champ, real-time marketers are infiltrating the space. The good news is that there’s enough room for long-term branding and real-time marketing to coexist. When it comes to the TV screen, it’s looking like the real-time marketing battles -- which we will be drowning in on Super Bowl Sunday -- will be about winning consumers now and moving them from the TV screen to their mobile or desktop screens.

So, really...which screen is the first one again?

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