What the Future of Connected Television Means for Brands

by Jessica Ramesh iCrossing

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iCrossing explain the opportunities for brands presented by smart TVs and dual-screening

We are now living in a time where dual-screening, watching TV whilst using your smartphone or tablet, is the norm. I‘ve been doing this for some time and quite often watch television with both my tablet and smartphone (not sure what they call that, tri-screening perhaps?). If you want to see the power of dual screening, tune into a popular TV programme like ‘Take Me Out’ or ‘Come Dine with Me’ and follow the conversations around the programme’s official hashtag. You will be amazed.
Why do people do this?

Having my phone on me whilst watching television allows me to instantly comment on live sports events, announce who I think will be fired in the latest episode of ‘The Apprentice’, or fill my brain with pub quiz trivia using my IMDb app. Did you know that Christopher Nolan, director of the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy is also producer of the new Superman movie ‘Man Of Steel’?

Our attention has become fragmented and we can no longer can sit in front of the television and do just that (unless you are watching an episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ where 100 per cent attention is required). We are now all very good at multi-tasking and can quite easily watch TV, chat on whatsapp with our friends and shop on our tablets for the latest pair of noise cancelling headphones.
That’s why the television has evolved

Like the mobile phone, TV has had to evolve to gain the attention of the viewer to offer more than just the ability to watch a programme and change channels. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that mobile phones simply made calls and sent text messages. We can do far more now.

Similarly, the new era of Smart TV gives you the chance to do much more than just watch a programme. Most now come equipped with pre-installed apps, like Lovefilm, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a whole lot more. Market research shows that by 2016 consumer use of connected TV’s will be over 890 million.

You can now share things on Facebook, Tweet about a programme or YouTube a full movie trailer to a teaser you just saw on the telly directly by launching the apps on your television.

How can brands get involved?

There is a fantastic opportunity here for brands to use the platform being offered by smart TV’s to create apps which can offer a richer experience to viewers and allows more engagement with their audiences beyond the traditional 30 second ad.

It’s new to the market, but is already happening. Brands like RightMove have a great TV app (which I used recently) that allows the whole family to get involved in house hunting. Being able to see floor plans and pictures of accommodations in large clear images on a TV screen is much better viewing than on a laptop. Marks & Spencer also have a pilot app available which focuses on editorial videos for fashion, technology and food.
Measuring What You Do on Television

Measuring a brand’s TV campaigns has never been an easy task. While millions of pounds are spent on primetime advertising to gain the attention of their audiences, brands are still unable to decipher the true value of that ad in terms of views, engagement and sales. With the potential of smart TV’s and the right implementation, all that can change and brands can start measuring exactly how much impact a TV campaign has on viewers.

Imagine airing a TV ad for a new product and within minutes being able to see how many people were influenced by the ad and, possibly, how many went on to purchase the new product as a direct result. While Shazam recently denied claims that they’re developing their app to allow people to view and purchase clothing worn by celebrities and newsreaders on TV, clearly the technology is now sophisticated enough to do this to be able to do this.

Affiliates will also begin to delve into this space in the next few years as their budgets grow; they are already running television ads after all. The demand for consumption through TV means that brands will partner with affiliates to fulfil their presence in this space. With the demand for content consumption through TVs so high, it is going to be the new relationships with brands and affiliates within this space that is going to be an interesting watch over the next few months.