A couple of years ago, I decided that I didn’t need cable television. I had Netflix, Hulu and the internet. I could watch anything I wanted, any time I wanted. I did this for about a year. And I found that I was missing something: live events (the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, etc.), the news, and conversation that happened during those “appointment” television shows like “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal.” It would drive me crazy to not be able to watch these events at the same time as the rest of the world and not understand the references, jokes and hashtags on Twitter and Facebook while the shows aired. And I couldn’t not pay attention to social media!
As football season kicks off, fall television starting, a presidential election in full swing and awards season on the near horizon, the time for real time discussions about shows and the brands that advertising during them (or even in them with product placements) is gearing up. Yesterday, the NY Times included an article about Google’s new advertising program that places ads next to football-related search results that they know will be called up by users across the country watching the games (and monitoring their Fantasy Football players).
“In addition to Google’s ad program, Facebook is shopping around marketing products that allow advertisers to target football fans and run campaigns around N.F.L. and college games. Twitter now offers several live-event tools for advertisers, including one for brands to sponsor clips related to the N.F.L. Snapchat, the fast-growing smartphone app, is working to secure a partnership with the league to push out weekly football-related video stories, with spots for ads. Even Vox Media is getting involved, creating a website for the technology company Lenovo centered on fantasy football.”
While consumers may be watching the events real-time on their television, they are talking about the events in real time on their mobile phones and tablets, too. Brands and advertisers are recognizing this and want to be wherever those consumers eyes are going to be, hence the new real-time advertising options from Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
“According to Nielsen, the television research firm, 88 percent of tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV.”
This new trend in digital advertising means that brands have to be even more careful to make sure the messages they place are relevant to the context in which they are seen. There are risks with anything that happens in real-time: you don’t know what could happen and what news or search results your ad might appear next to at any moment.