Shelby Healy - MSFT
Posted on 09/27/13

Advertising is in the midst of a multi-screen revolution as consumers use different devices and screens to accomplish different goals, and marketers are trying to serve up the most engaging, useful and functional experiences to them according to the screen in use.

Karen Starns, General Manager, Bing Consumer Marketing at Microsoft, was one of three presenters Tuesday during Advertising Week 2013 about the do’s and don’t’s of launching a multiscreen campaign. Focusing on the “Bing it on” campaign in which man-in-the-street demonstrations and interviews compare search results from Bing and Google, Starns talked about all the moving parts that need to be addressed long before such a piece of communication reaches the masses in order to hit campaign objectives.

A standing-room only audience packed the Times Center Stage as Adweek publisher Suzan Gursoy, who hosted the session, introduced the presenters. Among them were Aimee Duell, EVP Brand Partnerships at Believe Entertainment Group, and Ritu Trivedi, SVP, Digital Strategy and Partnerships, MediaVest.

Gursoy opened the session by noting that:

  • One in five Americans watches TV on a mobile device

  • 71 percent of consumers view content on at least two screens every day

  • The more screens consumers own the more likely they are to multitask across devices

  • Digital natives under age 30 toggle between devices 27 times an hour compared to non-natives over age 30 at 17 times per hour

  • The smartphone is the screen of choice for those 18-34, while those 35-44 prefer the tablet

For Starns, the “Bing it on” campaign was 18 months in the making, and one consumer insight the team ran with from the beginning was that people perceived Google as delivering better search results than those of Bing, when in fact, blind “taste tests” proved the opposite was true. The goal of the campaign was laser-focused on changing this perception. Here are Starns’s must-do’s for creating an effective and engaging multi-screen campaign:

  • Start by building a great content strategy. Determine the story you want to tell and tailor it to fit the customers’ context or need state.

  • Invest time in mapping out a dynamic customer journey. Figure out what the highest value action would be from the customer (it might not be social sharing!)

  • Stamp out discipline siloes. Each function of an organization has myriad goals, but for a campaign to be successful, teams must distill their functions into achieving the same goal or goals.

In this video, Starns talks about what she hopes is next for the campaign.

MediaVest’s Ritu Trivedi shared some of the groundbreaking multiscreen work they had been involved with, including MTV Video Music Awards Most Share-Worthy Video. She starts with planning a multiscreen campaign for clients based on the three D’s: Define, Design and Deliver.

  • Define. Stay informed and deeply connect on all screens because digital natives spend 20 hours online every day, view more than 100+ online videos per month, and 38 percent can’t go more than 10 minutes without checking a digital device.

  • Design. Make content social and shareable at scale.

  • Deliver. Relevant information must be delivered to the relevant device at the right time for a consumer’s need state.

Trivedi also advised brands not to seek out multi-screen “ideas,” but instead to begin by thinking about the consumer journey. A person’s first screen can change throughout the day, from TV to tablet to mobile phone, so Trivedi said it’s important to not just check the multiscreen box but instead let data insights guide programs for advertisers and their media or content partners. The creative has to be native.

Aimee Duell of Believe Entertainment Group, discussed the partnerships her company developed between “The LeBrons,” an animated online show, and Microsoft’s Xbox and the U.S. Army. She described her company as creating shows with well known talent and weaving advertisers into the scripted content.

Duell listed the key challenges and approaches of multiscreen advertising campaigns as follows:

  • Balancing creative. Because users’ need states vary depending on the screen with which they engage, advertisers must walk a fine line and balance the scripted content story with the brand message. You must know your audience and their tolerance for branding.  Adding value to the user is key for any advertising message.

  • Storytelling across screens. Any story varies greatly across screens so brands must leverage any additional time consumers spend with additional content such as a campaign.

  • Harnessing social. Brands need to tap into an already engaged audience by getting them to share.

  • Distribution strategies. Multiple windows extend engagement, so knowing how to deploy messages meaningfully as consumers click deeper into content is a must.


Thanks for reading,


Tags: advertisingweek13, adweek13, multi-screen
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