February 4, 2013

Super Bowl shows marketers not yet taking full advantage of second screen

Posted by: in North America

10 Ways Marketers Are Using the Second Screen,” a report we published last May, examined how brands have been trying to connect the first screen (TV) with the second (smartphones, tablets, PCs) to create more seamless messages as viewers ping-pong between media platforms. As we noted in the report, with social media buzz helping to boost interest in big events like the Super Bowl—last night’s game garnered record ratings, and also a record number of social media comments—these live telecasts represent unique opportunities to tap into the second screen. More than a third of viewers were planning to complement the game with second-screen tools (e.g., sports news apps), per a survey by Super Bowl advertiser Century 21 Real Estate.

Media buyers estimated CBS would collect $10 million–$12 million in advertising on its second-screen app—which let viewers choose different camera angles, among other things—up from the estimated $2 million that NBC scored last year for such ads, Adweek reported. The simplest way for Super Bowl advertisers to tap into the second screen is with a hashtag, extending a message beyond 30 seconds and one channel. Altimeter analyst Jeremiah Owyang says that 38 percent of this year’s Super Bowl commercials included a hashtag, vs. just 7 percent last year.

As with last year, one of the more ambitious second-screen efforts came from Coca-Cola, which created the Polar Bowl in 2012 (two animated bear viewers reacted to the event in real time online). This year’s “Coke Chase” was less successful, Mashable reports, in part because of website glitches during the game. Starting well before the Super Bowl, viewers could vote online how the ad would end—i.e., which of three competing groups would win a race to find a bottle of Coke—and interact with characters in the ad. Overall, it seems that marketers missed some opportunities this year: “There were scant calls to action that targeted the millions of mobile device owners sitting in living rooms everywhere,” notes MediaPost’s Steve Smith.

Image credit: Century 21

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