Multiscreen advertising brings content marketing to a new level

Our year is punctuated by a number of shows at which the future of TV comes to life. From TV Connect to NAB and ANGA COM, the first half of the year has already demonstrated that multiscreen is here to stay, even in markets that are famous for their ‘wait and see’ approach (I’m looking at you, Germany). The next step for a significant number of operators in Europe is delivering video to every screen – and this isn’t going to be an easy feat.

However, multiscreen is not only on every operator’s lips; it’s now reached the advertising sector, where TV is regularly battling with digital over advertising budgets. 2014 has seen a truce in the broadcast-digital war on ad spend and the first multiscreen campaigns have been eye-opening for me as it bridges two of my favourite things in the world: commercials and mobile devices. Seeing that multiscreen was one of the main focuses at Cannes Lions Festival and will still be discussed heavily at Dmexco and Adtech in London, it seems that my creative dream may finally come true. Soon, ad campaigns will be designed to span every screen, so you’ll be able to watch a story expand on all your devices – just like programming, except you’ll receive recurring messages reminding you that there is a 90% sale on that pair of shoes your favourite heroine is wearing.  Or you could see a new series of adverts in which a panda forces you to eat dairy (have a look at the end of the blog!) – all designed to fit the screen you’re using at that precise moment in time. Hopefully this will lead to the end of untargeted content, which has never caught my fancy, even though I watch more commercials than I’d care to admit – I have even paid to stay awake an entire night in the cinema to watch adverts from around the globe.

In a programmatic era where bespoke content is rapidly taking over, the idea of a one-size-fits-all media campaign sounds archaic. However, it is still the predominant format for broadcast, and with around 4 hours of linear TV consumption in the UK in 2013, untargeted commercials will still populate our big screens in the short term. Still, I’m confident that my ideal world of a promotional story tailor-made to fit every screen will soon become a reality – so much so that broadcasters and brands won’t even think of unbundled ads anymore. If we take the idea even further, the ads could even resonate with each other, enabling you to unlock new original content every time you watch ads in sync. That would become a brand new interactive experience taking second screening to a whole new level – and create even more opportunities for monetization.

Recently the glitz and glamour returned to Cannes for the biggest event celebrating creativity in advertising, which demonstrated that multiscreen has become an integral part of the advertising mix. The competition at Cannes Lions this year was fierce as usual and it’s likely that the traditional, linear “Film” category will soon have to reshape itself to keep up with the new interactive ad world. I’ll even keep my fingers crossed that the committee creates a new “Multiscreen” category next year to award the best cross-media campaign in the world – and I’m sure I will watch it on all screens at once!



Written by Segolene Roche.

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