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The Rise Of Social TV And How You Can Make The Most Of It

Relevant topics Archive, Advertising

  • Neuromarketing Principle:
    Online interaction and engagement with TV shows are characteristics of an engaged viewing audience. This audience tends to be more responsive and more captivated by specific advertising efforts.
  • Application:
    Advertisements that evoke an affective response from the viewer tend to be more effective compared to more rational forms of advertising.
  • The rise of social media has made watching television more fun and interactive. We get regular status updates from our friends who are commenting and sharing the latest trends and their opinions on current TV shows (not to forget about the endless amount of hashtags and tweets giving us live updates on current developments as the show proceeds).

    On top of this, it seems as if the sudden rise of niche influencers has radically increased the volume of online chatter. These recent developments seem to have kickstarted a new multi-screen phenomenon, otherwise known as “social TV”, which is the joint viewing of TV shows alongside the consumption of program-related social media chatter.

    This rapid growth of social TV has raised numerous questions for today’s advertisers: How can shows with a high volume of social TV activity, so called “social shows,” benefit today’s advertisers in this age of a multitasking TV audience?

    Why social shows are interesting for advertisers

    Shows with a high volume of online engagement are known to have a committed viewing audience. This means that these viewers are more inclined to watch multiple episodes, watch live and watch without changing channel during ads, all of which are of great importance to advertisers.

    Participation in online chatter about a show may engage viewers, making them more committed to the show, which in turn may improve the effectiveness of subsequent ads shown during commercial breaks.

    Social shows may therefore benefit advertisers, because media multitasking whilst watching TV decreases the ability to resist persuasion attempts, thereby increasing ad effectiveness.

    Viewers who converse about TV shows may also discuss ads online, an activity that increase earned media for the advertised brand, boosting brand awareness. This also provides advertisers with a real-time gauge of ad effectiveness.

    How the halo effect may increase your ad's effectiveness

    The positive effects of social shows with program involvement are diven by the halo effect. The highly involved viewers who acively follow social TV are known to have an increased cognitive arousal and attention whilst watching the show.

    Through the mechanism of the halo effect, this change in cognitive state affects their ability and motivation to process ads.

    We find that increase in viewer attention, processing effort and involvement with programs relate to better ad recall, improved ad attitudes, reduced ad skipping and increased purchase intent.

    The importance of emotion

    Research has shown that specific ad characteristics can increase viewer attention and motivation to process ad information. Given that ad effectiveness during social shows may vary due to the emotional component of an ad, we can separate ads into two ad groups: affective ads and informational ads.

    Affective ads tend to have an emotional or funny component, are perceived as more entertaining, are more successful in capturing viewers’ attention, and reduce ad skipping. They also tend to increase immediate online traffic when the volume of social activity is high. This is caused by affective ads’ capacity to recapture the viewers’ attention from the TV show, allowing their engagement to spill over to engaged ad processing. Affective ads are known to trigger immediate e-commerce activity when they air during the broadcasting of social shows.

    On the other hand, informational ads have the opposite effect on ad processing. Informational ads tend to deviate from the hedonic viewing experience, reducing viewers’ ability to process ad information.

    Boundary conditions

    Advertising in social shows may be a great strategy for increasing immediate online shopping activity as social shows offer more engaged audiences.

    Since online program engagement may moderate the effect of ad mood on online shopping behavior, we suggest running more affective ads to boost ad performance when online engagement with the program is high.

    With this said, retailers interested in leveraging the full benefits of social shows should air more affective advertisements, rather than more rational or informational ads.

    So, Remember:

    • The positive effects of program involvement on ad response result from a halo effect, with increased interest in the show carrying over to ad processing.

    • Ad effectiveness on social shows may vary with mood.

    • Spicing up your ads with some humor and affection may boost ad effectiveness.

  • The Rise Of Social TV And How You Can Make The Most Of It
  • Reference:

    Fossen, B. L., & Schweidel, D. A. (2019). Social TV, Advertising, and Sales: Are Social Shows Good for Advertisers? Marketing Science, 38(2), 274–295. https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.2018.1139

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