Bravo Deconstructs the Multi-Screener with Robust Behavioral Study on Today’s TV Viewing Habits
New Research from Bravo Reveals Effective Ways Marketers Can Leverage the Surge in Multi-Screen Usage to Convert Challenge into Opportunity
NEW YORK (October 22, 2012)
The relationship between technology and television is constantly evolving, but viewers’ rapidly increasing usage of computer and mobile devices while watching television has presented a new set of scenarios for consumers and advertisers alike. Today, Bravo Media in partnership with strategic insights company Latitude Research released findings from “Deconstructing the Multi-Screener,” a large-scale two-part research study which takes a deep dive into the role that second screen usage plays in television viewing. The study included a qualitative element of real-time viewer labs that observed unique behaviors that consumers exhibit when using multiple screens simultaneously, while also measuring the impact on advertising effectiveness, and a quantitative survey exploring how today’s digitally-savvy viewers migrate across screens and how that varies based on the type of content being viewed. For more information, visit http://www.affluencers.com/research/.
The qualitative phase uncovered insights from three groups of viewers, based on their usage of DVRs and companion screens while watching TV. Comparing the viewing behaviors of these groups can help marketers unravel an increasingly modern way of consuming television, and thus identify the approaches needed to stay relevant and drive reach and impact with multi-tasking audiences.
“We worked to decode the multi-screener to understand who these people are, what makes them tick and their characteristics when watching TV – so instead of purely measuring eyeballs, we also needed to capture new media metrics like attention shifts and device checks and pullbacks,” said Dave Kaplan, VP of research at Bravo Media. “We executed all of our research through the lens of today’s marketers, with a focus on how they can optimize messaging in an environment where the majority of TV viewers are now making use of more than one platform at the same time.”
Susan Malfa, SVP Cable Advertising Sales for Bravo, Oxygen, Style, Sprout and Women At NBCU added, “This research identified several key insights that will help brand advertisers stay ahead of the curve and more effectively resonate with today’s multi-screen viewer. We’re in the process of sharing these results with our clients and collaborating on innovative ways we can partner on these opportunities.”
More Screens Bust TV Ad Skipping: A total of 73 percent of all qualitative study participants agreed that having other devices with them while watching TV shows made them less likely to fast forward through ads. In fact, in the viewing labs, when consumers had both a smartphone and a tablet/laptop (“tri-screeners”), they were observed to fast-forward at the start of just 40% of ad breaks, compared to smartphone-only viewers (“dual-screeners”) who skipped ads 51% of the time. This data indicates that multi-screening can provide a renewed opportunity to engage consumers to receive a brand message on television.
Importance of Audio Cues is Amplified: It seems that certain verbal elements within ad executions increase the likelihood that a distracted multi-screener will then engage with a TV spot. Participating viewers were 21-36% more likely to point to audio rather than visual components of TV ad executions when asked to identify those creatives that “grabbed” their attention during the viewing session. In fact, viewers were observed to “pullback” to what was on the TV screen 42% more often when a custom vignette – which incorporated relevant show talent and/or footage alongside brand messaging – was airing, as opposed to a traditional TV ad.
Rise of Productive Distractions: The increase in multi-screening during programming indicates that an advertiser has more opportunities than ever before to reach this audience and make an impression. Tri-screeners were observed to have over 13 attention shifts away from the TV – mostly to other screens – while the actual show was airing, and dual-screeners had over 7 attention shifts away from TV. Multi-screeners were found to be viewing mostly ad-friendly content on their companion screens, with participants spending the greatest share of their time on websites and apps – often related to the program currently airing.
“TV viewers today are device-happy to say the least” added Kaplan. “But rather than thinking of these as empty distractions, our research suggests these very well may be productive opportunities to reach viewers while the actual program is airing. There is typically no competing brand messaging on TV, and instead these viewers are seeking out their digital screens – and about 1/5th of the time, it was related to the show they were watching.”
360-Degree Advertising Counteracts DVR Effects: Previous case study research by Bravo has demonstrated that advertising on a T V network’s website can actually build reach, by compensating for audiences on TV that were simply missed due to commercial skipping. This current research also showed that a multi-screen presence can counteract diminished ad effectiveness due to DVR usage. According to the quantitative study, 45% of multi-screeners say they are more likely to remember brands if they see their ads on more than one screen versus just TV alone. The qualitative phase supported the same finding: Ad Awareness lift for brands embedded within the viewing session improved among viewers who had cross-screen ad exposure, helping to almost entirely overcome any effectiveness shortfall resulting from DVR-enabled ad avoidance.
Where Devices Meet Desires: Quantitative research also revealed that consumers have varied needs with regard to second-screen content, depending on the genre of the TV program they are watching, and both programmers and advertisers can therefore not rely on a “one size fits all” approach to engage multi-screeners. For example, when watching Sitcoms, viewers were found to seek “laughter” and “relaxation” not just from the primary TV screen but from their second screen as well, while Reality food competition viewers expressed an interest in “learning” from the content on both the TV and second screen. Conversely, when watching Dramas, viewers tended to seek “thought-provoking” material from the TV program itself, but relied on their second screen to offer something more lighthearted in nature. The study also found viewers were 21 percent more likely to seek show-related content on other devices while watching Reality programs, versus Scripted fare.
How the Research Was Conducted
A two-phased study was conducted in partnership with Latitude Research in July-August 2012. For the qualitative phase, 112 participants in the Boston and Los Angeles areas were divided into three groups based on their natural viewing tendencies: Dual-Screeners (Live), viewers who watched a TV program without time-shifting capabilities while accompanied by their smartphone; Dual-Screeners (DVR), viewers who watched a TV program with time-shifting capabilities while accompanied by their smartphone; and Tri-Screeners (DVR), viewers who watched a TV program with time-shifting capabilities while accompanied by their smartphone and tablet or laptop. Each participant viewed 45 minutes of the most recent episode of a Bravo program (“The Real Housewives of New York City” or “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”) which included 17 advertisers during commercial breaks. A subset of participants was also directed to visit related Bravo web/mobile sites and apps which contained some of the same advertisers as those appearing on TV. The study used passive observational techniques to monitor participants in viewing labs that simulated a natural living room environment. A total of 4,500 minutes of collected viewing footage was then reviewed and coded across 30+ behaviors/attributes. Participants also completed a short survey pre- and post- viewing session in order to gauge changes in brand metrics for advertisers appearing within the viewing session.
For the quantitative phase, over 1,000 multi-screening consumers ages 18-54 completed an online survey about attitudes, motivations and usage related to TV and other devices. Rather than serving as a general assessment of multi-screening, the survey was specially designed to understand these behaviors in the context of specific programming genres viewed (e.g., scripted vs. reality) and device types used.
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Original release can be found at: NBCUniversal