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UK ITV Broadcaster using second screen to drive interactive engagement

It sounds like ITV have been busy trying to figure out how second screen (catch-up and branded apps) integrates with traditional TV business models by using innovative tech and focusing on the viewer story

In contrast many broadcasters seem to be struggling to mesh second screen and traditional TV business models. Its not helped by the fact that both the business models and technology are radically different, and the mindset is poles apart. For instance if you start many second screen/catch up Apps you will find they are just cutting and pasting 30 sec video ads. Thats fine for the publisher, but the user experience is appalling. If I wanted to be bombarded with TV ads on my iPad I would just watch them on TV!

Now I tend to avoid watching second screen video if I know there will be pre-roll ads, and I suspect quite a few other people may experience similar levels of frustration. The problem here is that advertisers havnt yet figured out a way to effectively engage with viewers in this second screen medium. Mobile and tablet is a media rich, time poor experience. Advertisers need to be aware that effective engagement is possible, but you have to think outside the box and try to utilise the capability of the technology and focus on the user experience. You cant just cut and paste the same TV ads and expect a good response. No wonder click through rates are only 1-2% and yields are set to decline.

Its good to see ITV is actively thinking about clever ways of integrating second screen capabilities with their traditional programs though, and lo and behold, actually making content designed around a multi screen experience. Bravo!

Discovery Channel USA is also doing something similar with their Survival Live show scheduled for later this year where users can contribute items for contestants/survivalists to use in almost real time. Sort of like Hunger Games meets Bear Grylls (without the wanton slaughter but including the squeamish “food” bits).

Some key points to take away from the ITV case study:

• For entertainment shows its mainly about sharing and enhancing the experience through gamification, and making the experience one of contribution (ie voting and comments).
• Having a call to action is critical to drive engagement.
• Try and make the experience as immersive and interactive as possible.

I don’t mean to steal ITV’s thunder, in fact I applaud their initiative and forethought, but these are the mantras we live by at TappnGo.

TappnGo’s core is call to action engagement. If you can couple this with a strong gamification flavour to make it interesting for viewers then its almost now not advertising, but a conversation with the viewer. People want to be asked their opinions and in most cases will give it to you (whether you like it or not sometimes). The better the conversation, the better the recall, CTR and other nice ad metrics.

In the end if you are going to try and stick some advertising in front of someone then at least make it somewhat interesting. Pre-roll video ads fails in this respect miserably, and they don’t provide much in the way of asking if you meant to click through to an advertisers website after accidently touching the video but its slowly changing. Hopefully ITV will be emulated by broadcasters and make watching TV that much more interesting…

Sam Wilson

Urban Marketing CEO