Multi-screening and loving it – are you?

Last night, when I get home, I switch my TV and Mac on, tune into my Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, have a quick browse on the Mac before continuing reading an article on the launch of the new Coke Zero campaign on my iPad also nearby (in fact never far). As I read on, a comment catches my attention as I seem to remember reading something similar a few months ago. I then pick a book, leaf through it and find the point I was looking for: “It’s the Coke spirit that makes Diet Coke different. For this reason, it’s the Coke, not the “Diet” part of the Coke that should be promoted.” states advertising legend Jean-Marie Dru. I go back to my iPad, satisfied that it is consistent: the reinterpretation of the “Zero” part stays true to the spirit of Coke – I like it. A quick glance at my TV, iPad now at my feet, I then grab my Mac to my right and start typing… this post as it suddenly strikes me how BAD I have become at multi-screening when I am home – hopping from one device or screen to the next and back – and all the while, with my TV still buzzing in the background struggling for my attention. And so I decide to research this behaviour a bit more…

First, there are 2 ways of multi-screening Google tells us – sequential and simultaneous. I find that I fall into the simultaneous usage / multi-tasking / unrelated activity category.


I also discover that I belong to the 77% of viewers watching TV with another device in hand – one of the many stats Google give that show how mainstream multi-screening has become:


In other words, if you are a brand spending millions on a TVC with no or little presence on digital channels, you are not getting my full attention and your $$ are wasted on me. As multi screening makes more of us harder-to-catch, advertisers have to rethink their TV strategy and devise ways to continue (or start) the conversation on that second screen – be it a desktop, tablet or mobile (e.g. Commonwealth bank and ANZ advertising their mobile apps on TV is one way of doing this; chances are that punters will download their apps there and then). They must also give us the option to ”pick up where we left off” as we move from one device to the next (e.g. through offering the ability to save and retrieve a shopping list on all devices for example).

One final (pleasing) thought – slightly unrelated: as consumers, aren’t we lucky to have all these wonderful devices within reach and be able to search, interrogate, challenge the information that brands are feeding us in ways we couldn’t have dreamt before? Multi-screening makes us hard-to-catch but also more astute.


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