I recently traveled to Asia to present our latest multi-screen research project, “Meet the Screens,” developed in partnership with IPSOS OTX and BBDO Worldwide. What I like about this study is that it goes beyond looking at campaign ROI across screens and focuses on the human angle of the multi-screen story. Rather than focus on only reach and engagement metrics, we concentrated on how consumers around the world relate to their screens and on the implications these relationships have for the dissemination of creative content.
So, let’s start at the beginning. One of the most common questions I get asked is whether it is okay to repurpose your 30-second television spot for digital or mobile advertising. My initial response used to be that it is better to have consumers exposed to your campaign on 3 screens versus one. But, I always wondered whether this view elevated the importance of platforms at the expense of content.
“Meet the Screen” springs from our hunch that consumers seem to relate to each screen in very different ways. If true, then it stands to reason that effective content should be informed by these differences.
To flesh out the relationships between consumers and their screens, we decided to take a slightly funky – but very productive approach (as it turned out!) – and used Jungian archetypes as a framework for defining this consumer-to-screen relationship. Without going into too much detail, psychiatrist Carl Jung developed Archetypes based on his belief that people have innate and universal representations that help them understand the world and their relationships with themselves and others. We see archetypes in many popular movies and books, including Star Wars (Yoda is a Wizard), Lord of the Rings (Frodo is an Everyman) and Harry Potter (Harry is a Hero).
So what came back? “Meet the Screens” proves out our hypothesis that consumers consistently relate to each screen in a unique way, and motional relationship consumers have with each screen drives the way content should flow across the TV, PC and mobile phone.
Among the key take-aways:
· The TV is an old, reliable and entertaining friend … an Everyman and Jester that sits comfortably in the home and entertains and relaxes us. Despite consistent perceptions in the West, Russia and China are slightly less trusting of the TV, since viewers are more suspect of what were state-owned mediums.
· The PC is an older sibling, a Sage … someone to learn from, show off to, and compete with. It’s far more trusted than TV, especially in Eastern countries because they can control and choose the content on their PCs. Younger consumers like the versatility and greater engagement driven from PCs.
· The mobile device is a Lover … the most personal device and something users feel physically and emotionally close to. They want it with them at all times. This is a relationship that is just beginning, and remarkably, it’s the most consistent across all age groups and geographies.
These archetypes can make it easier for marketers to understand how best to create and adjust campaigns for relevancy on each device, leading to more effective advertising. Archetypes can also be utilized as simple stress test for multi-screen campaigns:
· TV – Would this message resonate in association with “the everyman?” Is it accessible, funny, relaxing?
· PC – Does this message correspond to the personality of “the sage” or “older sibling?” Does it challenge the consumer, teach her something, allow her to show off or give her something to aspire to? Does it engage her in a two-way experience?
· Mobile – Does this message resonate for “the lover?” Is it personal, intimate, surprising and does it make the consumer feel like he’s wanted and belongs to something (or someone)?
The results for the mobile phone were particularly arresting in that consumer expectations for the device are sky-high, and yet there’s a very narrow window of opportunity for marketers to distribute commercial content effectively. Imagine that you are having an intimate dinner with your partner or significant other at a romantic restaurant and a man with a violin approaches your table. He could either play a song you and your partner love, making it a memorable, wonderful experience, or he could play a song you dislike, creating an awkward moment and ruining your evening. When marketers construct their mobile strategies, it’s critical that they step up to the table prepared to hit the right note.
So, the answer to my original question: to really drive advertising that resonates with consumers across multiple devices, the content should consider the unique relationship that consumers have with each screen.
I had an incredible time presenting this research in Asia—and received great feedback from customers. I’d love to hear from the blogging community, too. How do you relate to your screens? And how are you leveraging insights to carry brand messages across channels?
Natasha Hritzuk - Global Director of Insights and Analytics at Microsoft Advertising