Two new TV studies could offer clarity for brands

Lucy Handley

The online world is gradually embracing the idea that more people will be accessing the internet through their mobile devices rather than on desktop computers in a few short years. Google says it has a ’mobile first’ strategy, FT.com is working hard to make its new web app available on various types of mobile device and free newspaper Metro says its readers’ involvement with tablets and phones is higher than the norm.

The TV industry equivalent of this revolution – if the two can be separated – is how to approach the fact that consumers are on their laptops and tablets while watching TV, as well as how they are viewing shows via the internet on these mobile machines.

Two new studies revealed this week should help.

Channel 4 said this week that it is looking into the advertising opportunities on internet-connected TV devices. This is part of research by agency Decipher looking at audience reach, retention, awareness and influence. It will contribute to Channel 4’s reinvention which new marketing head Sarah Owen is leading – part of what marketing director Dan Brooke says is a ’mission’.

Channel 4 and Twentieth Century Fox will run ads on internet-connected TVs such as Samsung’s Smart range and Panasonic’s Viera Cast where viewers can view trailers or download programmes. Broadcasters are trying to make the most of this trend with Channel 4’s head of digital marketing Steve Forde saying it is doing this to ’stay ahead of the curve’. It will be competing against ITV’s micropayments strategy when it launches later this year.

Television marketing body Thinkbox also revealed this week that it is running a study on the effectiveness of different types of advertising. Media analyst Ebiquity will look at Thinkbox’s previous effectiveness research and add to it, looking at nine measures including ROI, sales return and brand equity for those brands advertising during the recession.

While these two studies will vary in their output, taken together they should hopefully have a powerful effect.

Nielsen has also launched a tool to measure online video viewing, looking at audience size, demographic, location and how long people spend watching video streams.

Hopefully all of this will mean better tools for broadcasters and better targeting opportunities for advertisers which are also grappling with how to make the most of budgets when they want to run both big, brand building campaigns and much smaller locally targeted ones.

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