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A recent study by Fast Web Media has yielded some interesting insights into multi-screening trends in the UK.

The report looks at 50 different UK brands and analyses their most recent 2013 TV adverts to see who is encouraging multi-screening. One ad per brand was watched and inclusions of URLs and/or any reference to social networks was recorded.

What is multi-screening? You can be said to be multi-screening when you are using more than one device (screen) at the same time.

For example, if you're watching a live sports event on TV and you're checking Twitter at the same time (like I was last weekend) then you are multi-screening.

How many brands encourage multi-screening?

According to the study, 68% of the brands assessed encouraged multi-screening by including a URL or social network mention within the TV advert. 48% of brands referenced their website URL, 20% included a Twitter logo or hashtag, 16% sought Likes on Facebook, and 6% prompted a follow up on YouTube.

A comparison of how many followers a brand has versus how many times the hashtag was tweeted gives an idea as to how successful the hashtag campaign has been:

The figures complement Twitter's January 2013 Twitter and advertising report which stated, "simply adding hashtags on air - or in ads - helps organise and steer the conversation."

The Twitter report goes on to say, "in advertising, we're seeing that deeper integration of Twitter not only drives discovery and engagement but also drives increases in brand recall scores and other marketing goals."

The relationship between Twitter and TV

Why is Twitter the common denominator when it comes to TV ads and conversations? It's to do with it's simplicity and openness. Facebook is a closed network, you have to friend each other to read each other's posts. On Twitter your tweets are seen by others and vice versa. It's a conversation driven social network and it's the hashtags which drive the conversations.

The Fast Web Media study tells us that there are over 10 million active UK users and 60% of them tweet while watching TV whilst 40% are actually tweeting about TV. That's 4 million conversations that brands could be tapping into and earning exposure.

Why encourage multi-screening?

People are more likely to stay in the room when adverts come on if they are multi-screening. Thinkbox reported in 2012 that 72% of TV viewers stay in the room for ads when not multi-screening vs 81% when multi-screening; that's a 9% increase in people viewing ads when they're multi-screening.

The end result; ads are more likely to reach a wider audience.

How to carry out multi-screening successfully

The report concludes with some helpful recommendations on how brands can encourage multi-screening to leverage the power of Twitter and its abilities at driving conversation. 

  1. Incorporate some form of multi-screening in television campaigns to encourage engagement amongst users.
  2. Use thoughtful placement; it's easy to miss the call-to-action if it is thrown in at the end.
  3. Integrate hashtags with a strong and clear call-to-action.
  4. Avoid a generic hashtag, for a successful campaign and brand recognition try: a) using your brand name (#Kilbeggan), b) using a brand slogan (#GivesYouWings), c) leveraging existing conversation that is relevant to the brand.

You can view the full infographic here

Simon Hawtin

Published 17 April, 2013 by Simon Hawtin

Simon Hawtin is Marketing Executive at RateSetter and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

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Thomas McMahon

Huh, I wouldn't have thought that it would make a big difference but I can see why. This quote makes a lot of sense: "simply adding hashtags on air - or in ads - helps organise and steer the conversation." Although I think the hashtag would have to be pretty basic if you were promoting it over the air.

over 3 years ago

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