Cannes Lions and the cross screen world

cannesEach year, Cannes Lions provides a vibrant hub for the ad industry to come together to debate, inspire and evangelise. As always, the festival has surpassed expectations in showcasing the greatest talent and creativity the community has to offer.

While there were many fascinating topics covered at this year’s festival, one that came up repeatedly was cross screen activity.

This year’s World Cup perfectly exemplifies the importance of effective cross screen content and marketing.

If you’re a brand marketer, chances are that your cross- screen strategy is still evolving but with IAB indicating that nearly half of UK football fans will dual screen during the World Cup, it’s an opportunity that can’t be missed.

Multi-screen for the multi-tasker

“Everyone is connected to everything” – Google. We want and expect information at the touch of a button on multiple devices. The combination of live TV and Twitter is proving to be an irresistible combination, with Nielsen stating 60 percent of UK users tweet while viewing.

Consumers are multi-tasking and there is an opportunity for marketers to leverage this opportunity by delivering multi-screen campaigns and connect with consumers around the clock, wherever they may be.

30 percent of Visa’s overall spend for the World Cup is dedicated purely to digital. From football selfies that can be shared via social media to its video ‘United in Rivalry’, the brand is counting on the fact that fans will be using devices constantly to engage with, and share content.

Wanting to connect with consumers across the globe, Budweiser has also harnessed cross screen, aggregating content from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and producing a branded series called Rise One, showcasing original and shareable content to its customers. Brands that offer a social and immersive experience cross screen will encourage users to share, engage and ultimately buy into a brand.

Mutli-screen, telling the whole story 

According to Millennial Media 70 percent of digital users now have access to the Web across mobile and PC, up from 63 percent last year. Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) argued that mobile is the most powerful delivery method to tell a story.

While it may be the smallest screen, it has become the primary screen for many consumers. This is the first World Cup where mobile handsets are widely available and so brands have the capability to deliver highlights to fans anytime, anywhere.

Brands that leverage content cross screen, be it through social, display or video ads have the ability to map out a story to consumers according to what device they’re on and their level of engagement. When executed well and premium ads are employed, multi- screen campaigns can be highly effective.

Using data from devices to understand users

With the plethora of devices available and consumers sharing data on their location (geo-targeting), attitudes and preferences at multiple touch points, data is becoming more pervasive in our everyday lives.

It provides a huge opportunity for brands to understand their users and then ensure ads resonate with a specific audience at a specific time. Brave made the case that data is the fuel for shaping enhanced experiences, people may not have known possible.

The World Cup is a prime example where brands will be able to collate data and react in real time, taking the user’s viewing experience to a whole new level.

As Ogilvy said, two screens are better than one, they present an opportunity for brands to get in front of the consumer constantly and deliver complimentary experiences. Delivering targeted, contextually relevant premium ads cross screen that will enhance a user’s experience rather than disrupt it, remains to be the Holy Grail of marketing.

Donald Hamilton, SVP of blinkx Media