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Report: TV Watching with a Second screen is bad for Brands

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Brand, advertisers and content marketers beware of  that second screen!

In this new digital era, it is very common for audiences to be on a second device or screen while watching a television or cable show.

A new report by the firm Accenture found that 87 percent of consumers use a second screen while watching TV.

Many shows now include a hashtag in the bottom corner of the screen while being broadcast, in awareness that there will be people “twatching” – tweeting while watching or updating their Facebook profile statuses with their own commentary or humorous inputs as the scenes play before viewers eyes on the TV screen.

In fact, many television productions market out a hashtag campaign specifically for an upcoming episode or plot line that regular and loyal readers of a particular TV show will likely understand, recognize and use when sending out tweets.

For example, some of the hashtags fans attached to tweets on certain episodes of the popular ABC  drama Scandal  include, #FitzLives, #FreeHuck and #WhoShotFitz.

“Two screen” use has become pervasive, but Ohio State University researchers warn it may spell bad news for advertisers because many viewers are unable to recall brand messaging.

The first-of-its-kind study shows that viewers have trouble recalling brands they see (or hear) on TV if they’re using tablets or smartphones while watching TV.

“Viewers don’t even remember that your brand was there on TV because they were busy posting on Facebook or Twitter or reading email,” said Jonathan Jensen, who led the study as a doctoral student in sport management in the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University. “This should provide a measure of pause to brand marketers who are spending a lot of money to get their products integrated into live sporting events and other TV shows.”

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The report concludes that the recall difficulty spells trouble for  “brand integration,” or the promotion of products during the actual broadcast, achieved via sponsorship of events.

Brand integration was a tool marketers thought would circumvent the problem caused by DVRs and the fact people don’t watch commercials anymore. They believed a logo featured on nets or on basketball courts, or announced by the sportscasters during a game “would be a foolproof way to reach consumers,” Jensen said, adding “but now with so many people using second screens, even brand integration is not foolproof.”

The study involved two related experiments on close to 100 young people between the ages of 18-24 asked to recall the brand showed while watching two real college football games broadcast on ESPN that promoted three brands – Allstate, Capital One and Russell Athletic. From the press release on the study:

“The participants were exposed to the college football broadcast in one of three ways. Some had a traditional viewing experience, in which they experienced both the audio and the visual of the broadcast. The visual-only group had no audio, such as a fan might experience watching on a computer at the office or on a public television in a loud bar. The audio-only group didn’t see the visual, approximating a distracted viewing experience, such as listening to the broadcast while reading or writing on another device.

When asked after the six-minute broadcast whether they could recognize and recall any of the brands present in the clip, those who had the full audiovisual experience did best. The audio-only and visual-only groups did significantly worse, remembering fewer than two brands.

Consistent with a cognitive theory called “dual coding,” these results confirmed that people process and remember information better if they receive it both through audio and visual channels, Jensen said. This is a key when people may be using two different screens at one time.

“If consumers aren’t taking in information using both the audio and visual subsystems at the same time, they’re not going to process and retain the information as effectively,” he said.

This is a key when people may be using two different screens at one time.

“If consumers aren’t taking in information using both the audio and visual subsystems at the same time, they’re not going to process and retain the information as effectively,” he said.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing.

Interesting stuff!

h/t Eureka Alert (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/osu-tas052215.php)

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