The above figure came from a Nielsen report that came out earlier this year.
What does this tell us besides that 16% don’t use a smartphone or tablet while watching TV?
That the secondary objective of a TV commercial has changed.
The primary objective of any TV commercial is to be interesting enough to want to be watched by the target consumer.
An unwatched commercial is a waste of both production and media dollars.
A watched commercial at least has a chance at fulfilling the secondary objective.
It used to be that the secondary objective of a commercial was to convince/persuade the viewer why this particular product or brand was better than the competitors.
Then, when it became time to purchase a product in the category, consumers would know which one to choose.
It seems to me that this 84% number changes that.
With so many people using tablets or smartphone while watching TV, it seems as if the secondary objective of any TV commercial today should be to interest viewers enough to make them want to go online to find out more about the product.
To interest viewers enough so that they can initiate the interaction with the product online, where they control how much additional time they want to spend with the product.
Because today, it is online where consumers sell themselves.
The way we explain it to clients is like this: Marketers should think of their online space as brand theater.
In the brand theater, brands have the chance to tell their story in captivating and interesting ways, unrestricted to thirty-second formats.
Which means the objective of a thirty-second TV commercial become the same as the objective of a movie trailer, to drive people into the theater.
The movie trailer doesn’t tell the whole story – just enough to pique interest.
To make people want to see more.
In our opinion, that’s how advertising needs to adapt to the changing marketplace.
Commercials as trailers.
Websites as brand theater.
Will we start to see it in 2015?