The Second Screen of the Future

It turns out mobile phones and tablets aren’t replacing TV but adding to it. That’s the tantalizing prospect of the second screen.
If you haven’t seen an execution of combining the two screens, you’re not alone. The adoption hasn’t been large enough to take over ad budgets or delve into additional resources, but there have been some major executions. A great example is Disney’s Second Screen specifically its Tron Legacy execution which provides all the bonus features one would normally find on a DVD or Bluray but accessible while the user is watching the actual film. Some second screen methods even sync with the audio of the content and allow additional features that can only be accessed while following along.
DIGIDAY had a chance to speak with Tim Nolan, digital creative director at JWT, about his thoughts on the future of second screen media and what can be expected out of it.
What type of experience involving two screens do you think is most attractive to the user? To the advertiser?
For the user, I see the most attractive possibilities when there are additional layers of engagement unlocked though alternate platforms. They can serve as a reward for engaging with the property further than a passive consumer. We can see the most elementary examples in action today on cable television when there is an opportunity to learn more by pressing a button on a remote. A deeper engagement is possible once we factor in the tablet and smartphone as a second screen. Whether there is a mobile experience or a dedicated application makes no difference. Initially this model will be targeted towards the the niche audience and those who are already intimately connected to the primary media, for example a television show, or even a brand through a traditional television commercial.
Who is doing it?
Award shows like the Oscars are one of the most natural places for the second screen to be leveraged.  The MTV Video Music Awards “live Internet audience” this past year expressed itself with over 2.3 million tweets for almost a hundred different artists and stars hammering out over 9,000 tweets per minute for Lady Gaga, 7,000 per minute for Cher, and almost 10,000 combined for Eminem and Rihanna. Figuring out how to truly capitalize on these numbers and traffic will be the next step, but for now we can all enjoy this integration point as our new and improved live television. I am curious to see how this platform matures in this category.
TV show Burn Notice attempted this using the web, not mobile, and only landed 18,000 users. Is that still successful? Do advertisers have to view this execution differently than a normal ad campaign?
The Burn Notice example, in my opinion barely scraped the surface of what is possible. There was an opportunity to engage the viewership on a much deeper level that was not tapped.  In their defense they did extend the experience further by providing a curated live but this did not go very much deeper than a live chat room of days past. The twist was making it all real time.
Advertisers cannot look at these platforms the same way they view a more traditional advertising campaign. They are more like foundations that need to constantly need to be built upon, and maintained. The need to be malleable and nimble environments for the consumer to call their own. They need to be a place where brand and consumer engage in an equally beneficial conversation. The second screen becomes it’s own platform, in a world where brands are trying to figure out how to already engage with its current audience. The user base will absolutely be smaller, but the level of engagement and commitment to the experience will be much higher. As interest begins to rise in this space, it will be interesting to see what platformed solutions enter to make the leap easier for brands to enter the space.

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