‘Instant Call to Action’ from zeebox Dual Screen Ads

The first automated platform to deliver targeted mobile ads sychronised with TV commercials has been launched in the US and UK by zeebox, which currently has 3.7m users worldwide.

SpotSynch serves display ads in the live stream of the zeebox app on smartphones or tablets at the same time as the advertiser’s spot appears on TV. zeebox detects the ads on TV automatically and displays the relevant content where users typically get more context around their favourite shows. After the commercial has finished, the message retracts to a clickable tag so users can still find and interact with it.

SpotSynch integrates with existing cross-platform ad serving and tracking platforms, including DfP, and Freewheel. zeebox is working with Viacom and NBCUniversal to develop the first synchronised campaigns with ‘leading brands’. The ads will work across all the broadcast networks and 120 national cable channels in the US and UK. The platform will launch in Australia in Q2 2013.

“SpotSynch is the instant call to action following a viewer’s exposure to a brand on TV,” said zeebox CEO, Ernesto Schmitt. “The linear ad creates the demand, SpotSynch is the immediate path to engagement – cutting to zero the usual funnel from impression to action.”

“SpotSynch is exactly what clients have been asking for. It will drive a unique and new level of engagement between their TV ads and the second screen,” said Scott Schiller, EVP, digital entertainment ad sales at NBCUniversal. “The technology offers marketers a whole host of opportunities to make their ads part of the social conversation, and we’re already seeing tremendous interest in the marketplace.”


David Murphy writes:
The race to tap into the revenue potential of the second-screening revolution is hotting up. Zeebox was already a very neat offering before the addition of SpotSynch, which will now enable advertisers to serve a mobile ad to Zeebox users to complement their TV ad which is airing at the same time. The mobile version of the ad, of course, will also offer advertisers a direct response path, rather than simply inviting them to text in to a shortcode or enter a URL on their PC or tablet.

It puts zeebox head-to-head against Shazam for TV, with zeebox perhaps holding a slight advantage, since to use zeebox, you need your phone to hand with the app running. To Shazam a Shazam for TV ad, you first have to find your phone, though for most us of course, it’s never too far away.

And while this may be the first automated platform, it’s not the first time this type of functionality has been deployed. Last year, UK broadcaster ITV introduced Ad Sync, which enables an advertiser to target consumers using the X Factor app during the programme. The advertiser’s ad appears on the TV during the ad break, and at the same time, a mobile ad for the same brand appears on the screen of anyone using the app.

Elsewhere, other services are coming up with their own spin on second screening. iMediashare enables users to access video content on their phone and then ‘throw’ it to a connected TV, while Tellyo, still in private beta, reverses the trick, enabling its users to grab a video clip from the TV and port it to their phone for viewing and sharing.

Expect lots more activity in this space in the weeks and months to come as the battle to control the living room, or at least make some money out of it, continues.

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