Connected TV Provides Opportunities For Location-Based Marketing

24 Apr

While connected TVs aren’t in every living room yet, the rise of ‘second screen’ applications and platforms means that watching TV is certainly a lot more interactive than it used to be. In fact, a recent Nielson study showed that 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. use their devices while watching TV at least once a month.

Companies have been cropping up to take advantage of connected TV trends at an increasing rate – from broadcaster analytics tools, to second screen platforms, to interactive apps that allow viewers to interact with what they see on the screen in real-time. Perhaps seen a different way, this is also location-based marketing, if the living room is the location and a TV and smartphone are the mediums.

Social platforms can extend and enhance TV shows, much in the same way that reader’s comments do for news articles. The background noise can enhance the experience for viewers, and broadcasters can use it to more accurately measure the effectiveness of their shows. What’s changing is the ability for brands to use the knowledge of a viewer’s location, time of day, and other demographic data, to create a mobile response to what is seen on TV, triggering a call to action that drives traffic to websites or physical retail locations.

One example of this was from this past Super Bowl, where one-third of all the ads were connected to the mobile app Shazam.  When the Shazam-enabled TV commercials aired during the broadcast, the app responded by displaying a mobile ad and a location-based offer with directions to the closest retailer for redemption.  Brands that participated in the Super Bowl campaign included Toyota, H&M and Pepsi and Bud Light. Shazam has also worked with the GRAMMY Awards, and just recently announced a relationship with American Idol.

Austin-based 44 Doors has been using QR codes in television, even though their effectiveness and adoption has been questioned. In December 2011 a Christmas movie with Billy Ray Cyrus, which was produced by the Hallmark Channel, gave viewers a multimedia link with QR codes. Anyone who scanned the code could download free music and videos. The BBC was one of first broadcasting companies experimenting with using QR codes on their shows; they began adding them to cooking shows giving viewers a chance to find recipes.

“In this context, the television screen is simply a location-based touch point that a viewer can interact with. QR codes allow for seamless access to content without the burden of typing a URL while leveraging the ubiquity of mobile web use on smartphones,” said Tim Hayden, Chief Marketing Officer at 44Doors, in an interview.

“While watching television, viewers may see an advertisement or, as in this case, in-program content that they want to access in the moment or view later. Enabling viewers to access content at the very minute they want or need it may help drive program viewership volume, loyalty or instantaneous purchase activity, while providing a network or advertiser valuable insights around location, timing and specific demographic behaviors.”

There’s no question that there will continue to be integration between TVs and second screens, and consumer adoption of second screen platforms and connected TV apps like yap.TV will likely only increase. Broadcasters can look at this trend as a new frontier for location-based marketing, one that goes beyond the commercial and often has much more measurable results.

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