A lively event full of dialog and networking across three days which took place at Miami’s Fontainebleau resort January 24th – 26th, 2011, the National Association of Television Programming Executives assembled to address the state of the industry, network and do deals, poolside. With topics like the NBC Universal and Comcast merger, the rise of Netflix-like distribution, emerging markets, and shifting consumer consumption patterns there was plenty for attendees to chat over during the many networking and social functions at the event.
Across the conference themes developed. It’s becoming a clear reality that consumers are in the driver’s seat and want their content anytime, anywhere and this imperative is cascading across content creation, partnership and distribution systems.
The tagline for the event was Content First, but borrowing a phrase from John Hays from American Express “Content Conundrum” might be more appropriate given all the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.
Hays laid out what he means by content conundrum (which he feels the industry is currently squarely in the crossroads) in his keynote session in the Advertising and Innovation track. As a major brand there are many things to think about before moving forward which contribute to the conundrum. Who to work with? Once upon a time there were three partners to work with- now there are over 600 at NATPE alone and no one partner has all the answers - it takes collaboration. With whom do I work with in order to be on in the inside looking out, and not looking in and feeling out of touch? What media or delivery vehicle is going to provide the best return for investment? How to keep things simple for consumers when what’s happening in the background is far from it?
Not only are brands thinking about which screen content will be delivered on for consumption- but also grappling with how to connect with consumers within multiple screens for content promotion. That’s what took center stage at the Marketing across the Screens session within the Advertising Innovations track sponsored by Microsoft Advertising. Each participant had their own take on the success formula in working with multiple screens with wide ranging experiences all having one thing in common- more screens mean more results.
Microsoft’s own Jahn Wolland bolstered this idea by sharing early results from a top quick service restaurant partner showing solid improvements in message recall and brand attribute impact when using a multi-screen campaign delivery. Wolland also cited entertainment related campaigns for TOM”s shoes as well as the Avatar campaign successes.
With so much attention being showed to multi-screen panelists began alluding to changes coming in the future. No longer will it just be about creating the campaign and “running across the screens”, rather it will be about thinking through each platform from inception and creating a richer narrative to create a deeper connection. One panelist said it best when thinking about the future- wherever the consumer and its habits go, we will go.