Linked messages coming to a screen near you in 2015

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 16 December 2014

Research firm Millward Brown predicts 2015 will be the year of the linked message, with ads on TV being backed up by an increasing number of reminder and reinforcement messages on digital devices.

This prediction comes from the firms annual global Digital & Media Predictions, with Millward Brown saying that 'listening technology' to identify what is being played on TV will be increasingly used by advertisers so that another message can be immediately serviced on a second device.

Duncan Southgate, global brand director of digital at Millward Brown, said: “Second-screen synching isn’t just about media efficiency and hitting consumers with multiple messages, it’s also a new storytelling opportunity that allows brands to add extra value for people who just watched their TV spot. We expect it to grow rapidly in 2015.”

This year's global AdReaction survey from the firm showed that 35% of all screen time involves simultaneous usage of TV and a digital device.

However, consumers are far more likely to be using their digital screen for activity unrelated to TV.

Millward Brown found that just 11% of multiscreen users proactively use a digital device to follow up on a TV ad, meaning marketers will be keen to use this new technology to make the cross-screen connection on behalf of consumers, and thereby reinforce the power of their broadcast messages.

In addition to improving the effectiveness of messaging, second-screen synching also allows brands to initiate a more in-depth dialogue with consumers. For example, an automotive advert on TV could be followed up just seconds after the commercial ends with an offer to arrange a test drive, or a story line from the advert could be continued online with a call to action delivered direct to mobiles and tablets.

Global auto brand, Hyundai, is using this technology today.

Second-screen synching could also be used to hijack competitor ads by running targeted digital counter-claims at the same time as a competitor’s TV ad.

Southgate added: “With media channels evolving at breakneck speed, marketers are well served by exploring new innovations – like second-screen synching – and the unknown. Millward Brown’s annual Digital & Media Predictions helps marketers navigate what’s next.”

This is the first of Millward Brown’s Digital & Media Predictions for 2015. The full set of 2015 predictions will be released in January.

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