Tag TV everywhere

Are You Ready for Some Football? (The Second Screen Edition)

Historically, the Super Bowl has been one of the most viewed telecasts of the year.

According to The Nielsen Company, five of the six most watched prime-time telecasts of all time in the U.S. were Super Bowls.

In fact, the last four Super Bowls played (2008 to 2011) are on this list. And, there is no reason to believe that this year will be any different.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that advertisers are willing to spend huge amounts of money to air their 30-second spots during the game. (According to CNNMoney, the average cost to air a 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl is whopping $3.5 million a pop.)

Extending the Story Online

As I mentioned in a blog post in October of last year, brands need to understand the importance of utilizing the tools that are available to consumers on their smartphones, tablet computers and laptops to extend the story online and keep the conversation and connection going, long after the television commercial is over. (Gary Vaynerchuk likens this to the game of Ping-Pong.)

This year, it looks like many brands are going to take advantage of this opportunity during the Super Bowl.

For some brands, this could be as simple as requesting that viewers visit their website, Facebook page or their page on any other social networking site out there.

Other brands have taken it one step further by partnering with companies that own certain smartphone apps to help facilitate the interaction.

Hopefully, this will enhance the experience that viewers have during the Super Bowl.

Required Game Day Gear

In order to participate in the experience that the advertisers intend to provide, viewers are going to have to be aware of what they need to do and have the right tools at their fingertips.

For brands that ask viewers to visit their website, Facebook page or their page on any other social networking site out there, a laptop or desktop computer is the only thing that will be required. In fact, a pencil and a piece of paper or a strong memory could suffice if viewers want to wait until after the game is over to go online. (Here is where SEO and paid search could play a big role in helping the brand continue the conversation online.)

However, several brands will be taking advantage of the fact that many people will have access to a smartphone or tablet computer during the game and have partnered with companies that own certain apps to help drive viewers directly to a specific landing page or possibly provide them with an in-app experience.

Shazam and IntoNow are two of the apps that viewers might want to download to their smartphones or tablet computers before the Super Bowl begins. Other apps that could possibly come in handy during the Super Bowl include Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and GetGlue.

There are also apps available that will allow people to watch the game on their smartphone and others that are dedicated to letting people watch and rate the commercials before, during and after the game.

Final Thoughts

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched telecasts in the U.S. each year.

For many people, especially those who are fans of teams that aren’t participating in the game, the commercials might be more important than the game itself.

This year, several brands will take advantage of the fact that many people will have their smartphone, tablet computer or laptop in front of them during the game. These brands will be asking viewers to continue the conversation online or within smartphone or tablet computer apps.

In this post, I’ve linked to a few articles and blog posts that provide people with additional information that might be helpful to them before, during and after the game.

I also plan to tweet links to some additional articles and blog posts this weekend. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter at: @sunbeltbadger.

Also, if you hear of something that is worth mentioning, please send me a tweet or let me know in the comments section below.

Photo credit: rmlack22 on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Social Media and Television Part Two: A Game of Ping-Pong

Photo credit: xploitme on Flickr.Lately, there has been an increased focus on social media marketing as social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, virtual gaming worlds, etc., have become more popular with consumers.

However, traditional media (e.g., television, print, radio, etc.) is not going away any time soon.

As I mentioned in a post, titled “Social Media and Television: A Symbiotic Relationship,” the rise of social media is not necessarily hurting television ratings.

In fact, when combined, social media can actually make the audience’s television viewing experience more enjoyable and social.

This is something that many brands and their advertising agencies have taken note of.

The ones that haven’t should seriously consider integrating social media into their traditional advertising campaigns.

The Thank You Economy

In his book, “The Thank You Economy,” (affiliate link) Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of VaynerMedia and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, gives several very interesting and useful case studies that showcase some successful and not-so-successful social media marketing campaigns.

He points out that when brands run television ads, they should use social media to keep the conversation and connection going.

Vaynerchuk uses Reebok as an example of a brand that successfully executed this strategy when he talks about its marketing campaign for Speedwick training T-shirts.

Reebok started by running a television ad that featured Sidney Crosby and Maxime Talbot from the 2009 Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The ad features Crosby and Talbot paying a visit to Crosby’s childhood home in Nova Scotia.

During the commercial, they head down to the basement and admire a dent-riddled clothes dryer that caught every puck that Crosby didn’t get into his practice net when he was growing up.

The commercial continues with the two shooting pucks into the clothes dryer—the first to get nine pucks in the clothes dryer wins.

Tablot was leading 3-1 when Reebok abruptly flashed the words, “See who wins at facebook.com/reebokhockey” on the television screen. (Click here to watch the commercial on YouTube.)

In order to see who won, viewers had to become a fan of Reebok on Facebook.

And, that is exactly what many viewers did.

According to Vaynerchuk, in a short amount of time, Reebok saw the number of fans of their Facebook page (or the number of people who like the page, as it is now called) increase by the tens of thousands.

In addition to all of the free word-of-mouth advertising that the campaign generated, it also gave Reebok the ability and permission to remarket to these people in the future.

That’s pretty cool.

Ping-Pong

Vaynerchuk explains how brands should combine social media and traditional advertising by having his readers think about the game of Ping-Pong.

“When traditional and social media work well together, as they did for Reebok, it’s like a friendly Ping-Pong match,” writes Vaynerchuk. “Instead of spiking their traditional media and ending the match, Reebok hit the ball back over to social media. Ping. Then they gave social media a chance to return the shot. Pong. Anyone can do it. Develop creative work that allows the platforms to rally, to work together to extend your story, continue the conversation, and connect with your audience.”

In March of 2011, fastcompany.com published an excerpt of Vaynerchuk’s book in a blog post, titled “Old Spice Man Marketing, Redux: What Went Right–and What Did Not.”

You might want to read it, as it has some very interesting insights.

Don’t Forget About SEO

If your business does decide to integrate social media into its traditional marketing campaigns (or even if it decides not to), don’t forget about SEO.

For an explanation about why SEO is so important to the success of your marketing campaigns, check out a recent guest post that I wrote for the strategyessentials.com blog, titled “When Developing Your Next Marketing Campaign, Don’t Forget About SEO.”

The post has some very interesting insights from Vanessa Fox, former Google employee and founder of Nine By Blue, including an example of a brand that understood the importance of taking the story that it started during a Super Bowl advertisement and extending it online.

However, the brand dropped the ball because it forgot about SEO.

Conclusion

When combined, social media can help make the audience’s television viewing experience more enjoyable and social.

Brands that take advantage of the opportunity to extend their story online can definitely benefit from their efforts.

Not only will it help fuel online conversations about the brand, but when properly executed, it can give the brand the ability to remarket to its target audience with very little effort.

And, if the brand makes sure that consumers benefit from future interactions in some way, the ROI of its marketing efforts might be immeasurable.

Photo credit: xploitme on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Social Media and Television: A Symbiotic Relationship

Photo credit: Kolin Toney on Flickr.If you search Google to find out the total number of hours that the average American spends watching television, you will find that the estimates vary by the source of the data.

However, no matter what source you turn to for this estimate, it is very clear that Americans still spend a lot of time watching television.

And, unless you live under a rock, you know that more and more people are using social media.

In fact, according to a recent Nielsen study, titled “State of the Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011,” nearly 80% of active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.

The Nielsen study also found that of all the different types of activities that can be performed on the Internet, Americans spend the most time on social networks and blog sites. In fact, social networks and blogs account for 23% of the time spent online, more than double the amount of time spent on the number two category.

Where Do We Find the Time?

As mentioned, Americans still spend a lot of time watching television.

And, according to Forrester Research, the amount of time that we spend online has increased in recent years.

So, does this mean that we are spending less time doing other things?

The answer to that question in some cases is: Yes.

According to an article that was published on June 23, 2011, on online.wsj.com, titled “Leisure Trumps Learning in Time-Use Survey,” the number of hours that Americans spend working has decreased in recent years.

According to the article, “On average, Americans aged 15 or older spent about three hours and 58 minutes working on weekdays, according to the 2010 American Time Use Survey released Wednesday by the Labor Department. That was a six-minute decrease from 2009, and down 26 minutes from 2007, before the recession hit.”

The article also points out that in the same time frame, the number of hours that Americans spent watching television and sleeping has increased.

Multitasking

A blog post published last year on blogs.forrester.com, titled “US Consumers Now Report Spending Equal Time With TV And The Internet,” has further insights into where people are finding the time to watch television and surf the Web.

When discussing where people are finding the time, the article states that, “Well, some is being drawn from the decreased use of print media, but increasingly people are finding new ways to incorporate the Internet into their daily lives at times where, before, media wasn’t part of the picture. And of course, there’s the issue of multitasking, something younger consumers are especially becoming adept at.”

The fact that more people are consuming content from multiple media channels simultaneously is noteworthy.

What People Are Using Their PC For While Watching TV

Another post on blogs.forrester.com, titled “The Data Digest: What Are People Using Their PC For While Watching TV?,” lists some of the online activities that people participate in when they watch TV and use a PC at the same time.

The blog post points out that when both the television and the PC are on at the same time, the attention that the television gets is diminished greatly. In fact, the author of the post posits the question: “Has the TV just become background noise?”

While the top four activities that people are doing with their computers while watching television have nothing to do with what they are watching, the news isn’t all bad for the television networks.

First, at least from the article, we don’t know how much time is devoted to the computer. Therefore, people might be browsing the Web during commercials. (Okay, this might not be good news for brands and their advertising agencies, but that’s another blog post.)

Second, 19% of people are looking up stuff that they see in the shows, 14% are using social networking sites to talk about the show that they are watching, 12% look up stuff they see in advertisements and 9% shop online for things that they see in the shows and commercials. (In my opinion, these are all big wins for brands and advertising agencies. But again, that’s another post.)

And third, 44% say that they email, chat and visit social networking sites on topics that are not related to the TV show that they are watching. This is a very interesting figure.

Social Media and Television

If you have been on social networking sites for any amount of time, you know that if some event is happening that catches someone’s attention, they are going to talk about it.

So, if a television program is good, it is going to generate some chatter on social networking sites and drive people to watch the program.

Therefore, the 44% of the people watching television and using a PC at the same time who email, chat and use social networking sites to talk about things other that the television show that they are watching can be drawn back to the television with just one email, tweet, post or comment on a social networking site.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Watch this YouTube video, titled “Next Wave with Gary Vaynerchuk: Twitter, Tumblr and TV.”

In the video, Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of VaynerMedia and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, talks about how social media is helping increase television ratings by bringing the virtual water cooler to your PC, laptop, tablet or other mobile device.

I think he makes a very good argument.

Conclusion

People are still watching a lot of television and more and more people are using social networking sites.

Furthermore, people are spending a lot of time doing both activities, often at the same time.

Given the fact that social media can influence what people watch on television and television can fuel the conversations on social media sites, in my opinion, these two mediums are helping each other make the viewers’ television experience more enjoyable and social.

In the end, that’s a win for everyone.

Photo credit: Kolin Toney on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Don’t Focus on Cord-Cutting – Focus on Changing the Delivery Channel

Photo credit: bruce-asher on Flickr.Every so often, someone writes an article that focuses on cable television cord-cutting.

These articles tend to focus on the negative financial effects that it will have on the cable companies.

However, I don’t think we should focus on cable television cord-cutting at all.

Rather, when it comes to video content, I think that the focus should be on providing great video content via all of the delivery channels that are currently available.

Let’s face it, technology advances and people move on to the next thing.

The next thing is the real story.

TV Everywhere

An article posted on adweek.com, titled “In 2 Years Nearly All TV Content Will Be Online,” that was posted on June 7, 2011, reports that, “Executives from Disney, Turner, and Comcast were in unanimous agreement that we are only two years away from 75 percent of TV content being available online and on mobile devices. At the Elevate Video Advertising Summit in New York this afternoon, Matt Strauss from Comcast Interactive Media, Jeremy Legg from Turner, and David Preshlack of Disney and ESPN predicted that TV “everywhere” was imminent, and that in the same time frame the networks will be almost completely agnostic about where and when their video content is being viewed.”

Change Benefits Everyone

If these executives are correct, the biggest winners could be the people who consume the content.

The increased flexibility to watch what you want, when you want to watch it, definitely sounds appealing to me.

In future blog posts, I plan to focus on how the changes to the way video content is consumed can benefit the cable companies, advertisers, the people who create the content and the viewers. These blog posts will be tagged: “TV everywhere.”

Current Trends

A recent article on huffingtonpost.com, titled “Cable and Satellite TV Lose Record Number of Subscribers,” by Peter Svensson reports that Americans are canceling or forgoing cable and satellite television subscriptions in record numbers.

According to Svensson, “The U.S. subscription-TV industry first showed a small net loss of subscribers a year ago. This year, that trickle has turned into a stream. The chief cause appears to be persistently high unemployment and a housing market that has many people living with their parents, reducing the need for a separate cable bill.”

“But it’s also possible that people are canceling cable, or never signing up in the first place, because they’re watching cheap Internet video,” reports Svensson. “Such a threat has been hanging over the industry. If that’s the case, viewers can expect more restrictions on online video, as TV companies and Hollywood studios try to make sure that they get paid for what they produce.”

Although Glen Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, Inc., downplays the effect that Internet video currently has on the number of cable television subscribers, in the long run, it will probably have a much larger effect.

Adapt or Be Rendered Obsolete

According to the post on huffingtonpost.com, anecdotal evidence suggests that educated people who are not interested in watching sports are finding it easier to live without cable.

The article also points out that cable and satellite television providers are taking steps to discourage people from canceling their cable or satellite television subscriptions.

However, we have all heard the adage: “Change is inevitable.”

If cable companies adapt to the changes, instead of trying to cling to the past, they can position themselves to make even greater profits by being ready to meet the needs of consumers as they start to consume television content via other delivery channels. (Note: Most, if not all, of the largest cable companies already offer Internet access to their customers.)

Any good businessperson knows that one of the best ways to be successful is to meet the needs of your customers.

If your customers want the flexibility to watch content on their terms, then that is the need that cable companies are going to need to meet.

Conclusion

Technology is rapidly changing the world that we live in, including the way that we consume video content.

Frequently, articles are written that focus on cable television cord-cutting. However, the things that we should be focusing on are the changes in the ways that video content is consumed, now and in the future. (Note: I am not going to go so far as to say that the subscription model needs to be abandoned, yet.)

If cable companies, content producers or advertisers try to live in the past, and not adapt to the changes that are happening around them, they might be able to make some money in the short term.

However, in the long run, change will happen and someone will offer the content that their customers crave, when and where they want it.

If cable companies are forward thinking, and are ready to meet the needs of their customers, they should be able to find alternative ways to monetize what they do.

And, if they don’t, someone else will.

Photo credit: bruce-asher on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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