Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A quick recap of the The Imminent Power of 2nd Screen Consumer Engagement @ Advertising Week

Rick Liebling of Y&R moderated a great panel of second screen industry experts yesterday in the NASDAQ Market Site in Times Square, largely focused on the impact second screen potentially has on the advertising space.

His able-bodied panel was represented by David Pugh of Magic Ruby, Joe Inzerillo of MLB Advanced Media, Jordan Berkowitz of Ogilvy & Mather, Sue Kaufman of Group M and Brody O'Harran of Microsoft Xbox--a great cross section of the burgeoning industry.

Rick waded into the session with a question about the longevity and reach of this second screen phenomena. The panel pointed out all the current salient points: great content on the first screen, a great user experience, the challenge of passive viewing (engrossed in the first screen) and interactive viewing (perhaps the next generation), and the importance of the context of the experience (from the consumer's point of view). Sue pointed out that while some content creators struggle with the concept of purposely distracting their viewers, many advertisers view this as a means of stealing back the viewer's attention from Angry Birds and other casual games and getting them engaged into the show and the advertising.

Brody gave some interesting perspectives on how seconds screen will play in the Microsoft world, with SmartGlass and Windows 8 just around the corner (late October). Expect the interactive capabilities to be built into the experience, all the way down to the 1st screen capabilities and into the games (allowing you to choose your NFL Madden play in a manner that for the first time prevents your living room opponent from seeing your choices, for example).

When the discussion turned to how the various players in the segment want to engage with advertising agencies, the conversation quickly got interesting. Dave pointed out that his firm doesn't seek to replace the first screen advertising, but rather to enhance it and help it be both more targeted and contextual (giving examples of how that might with in their Fox Sons of Anarchy app). Joe had some great insight for the room, describing the "check box mentality" of many players in the industry as the real enemy of the future of second screen (where app developers/sponsors rush to have an example from major feature sets like Social just to have them)--and with 6m app downloads and the highest Apple grossing app ever, Joe and the MLB certainly have taken the pains to get the At Bat experience right for their consumers (in multiple user experience scenarios). Sue brought the discussion upstream towards integrated brand management and presentation, tying multiple engagement approaches together.

When asked what it will take to truly drive these opportunities forward for clients, Jordan had perhaps the most prescient quote of the day, "Second screen isn't a channel, it is a behavior." And while Dave and Joe exalted the value of simple, clean technology capability to propel the space forward, Sue reminded everyone of the holy grail of the advertising community--the opportunity to create engagement with the consumer on the sponsoring brands in discrete, actionable and measurable experiences. And then Joe brought us back to full circle in the way only someone from such a successful second screen franchise can, reminding all of us not to lose sight of just how hard it is to creating meaningful, engaging experiences for consumers and that experimentation will be required along the way.

A power-packed session if there ever was one.

If you are in NYC, there is another panel this afternoon sponsored by the 2nd Screen Society at 3pm at the NASDAQ Market Site (4 Times Square, NYC). Should be another engaging session.


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