There’s been a lot of buzz lately on the concept of working with the second screen. This is awesome – and amazing that this is now a reality. Eight years ago when I was working at Carat as Media Innovation Manager we talked a lot about the potential in mixing television with other media as an opportunity to dig deeper into the message. Then it seemed as utopia and television a “drive to web”-channel were only a distant dream. Now this is totally the norm in television campaign. Most tv commercial leave an URL behind, and expecting (really hoping and fingers crossing) the consumer to continue the communication process online.
Now I saw the guardian featuring the news about Shazam entering what they call “the media engagement”-category. We all know Shazam for its quite skilled music recognition app which it really popular and works surprisingly well. Shazam is working on developing a software to recognize shopping opportunities in tv shows or commercials – still using the sound software as engine. CEO Andrew Fisher says “We make it easier for consumers to engage with a brand or a piece of content they are interested in, without having to go through search engines, then mining the results. That works with both TV programming and advertising: a 30-second slot can be turned into a three-minute brand engagement – and more.” (the guardian)
With a Nielsen study showing that 80 % of people watching television is engaging with a second screen at the same time, the potential seems to be huge. The second screen will not merely be a channel for bonus info and extras, but has the opportunity to actually deliver added value to the viewing – on the terms of the viewers. Perhaps this can actually create a new era for commercials. Commercials are now something that disrupt the viewing experience, but could be sought after content – inspired and initiated by television but the further commitment on the second screen on the terms of the consumer.
Perhaps this is only a theoretical opportunity. There are huge barriers – both in the technical aspects and in marketing regulations. There are also concerns about this being intrusive – and yes, brands have to behave. But with the possibility of actually “shop what you see” – I think this could be a great opportunity for consumers as well as advertisers.