Cross-Screen Ads on TVs, Mobile Devices Increase Ad Potency

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People who grow up with mobile technology might not be able to pay attention to anybody else or anything for a sustained amount of time, but there's certainly one thing they're noticing when they're juggling between electronic devices: ads.

A new Nielsen study reveals some boggling insights into how we technology-loving people absorb advertisements we see on both mobile devices and televisions. Participants were asked to watch a 30-minute TV show while toying around with a smartphone or tablet simultaneously. During commercial breaks, people saw a 15-second television ad for the upcoming Mark Wahlberg vehicle, Contraband. The teaser was followed up with a 15-second spot served up on the smartphone or tablet being used by AdColony's Instant-Play HD Video Ad technology.

Curiously, ads people saw only on television didn't have a terribly strong impression on consumers, but when that ad achieved "cross-screen viewership," meaning that it was seen on both televisions and some sort of mobile device (smartphone or tablet), the impression the ad left on the consumer was much more effective:

  • Purchase intent for Contraband spiked by 72% for cross-screen viewers from 18% to 31%.
  • Brand recall for the movie was 69 percent higher for cross-screen viewers compared to TV only viewers. Ad recall on TV only was 55%; Cross-screen viewership increased recall to 93%.
  • Cross-screen viewers also were 160% more likely to recommend the movie to a friend or family member.
  • Cross-screen was 5.5x more effective at driving search. Only 4% of TV only viewers intended to search for Contraband after seeing the ad; that rose 22% for cross-screen viewers.
  • "To date, mobile has been the wild, wild west for advertisers," said Will Kassoy, CEO of AdColony. "This research was designed to assess the incremental impact of complementing TV with mobile video advertising, and measured key brand metrics including recall, purchase intent, brand favorability and desire to search. With upwards of 80% of consumers multi-tasking while they are watching TV, a cross-screen video advertising strategy is paramount."

    "We expected this study to be high-impact and it was," said Frank Stagliano, General Manager of Nielsen Entertainment Television. "There's a growing trend towards simultaneous usage of media across platforms, and reaching consumers during those times can dramatically improve the effectiveness of an ad campaign. That's because cross platform campaigns give an immediate call to action that's not always available when advertising on TV alone."

    So while you might not be able to exactly focus all of your attention onto any one of the screens you see before you, it's good to know that, at least subliminally, you're absorbing the content of cross-screen advertisements.

    [Via Forbes.]