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Combining TV and Twitter Lowers CPA by a Third

Alex Spencer

Thinkbox's Neil MortensenTwitter and TV marketing body Thinkbox took to the stage at Advertising Week Europe today to unveil a “tsunami of data” from a joint research project.

The key takeaway was the largely positive effect of multi-screen behaviour for brands – especially when used in conjunction with TV advertising. Combining paid media on both channels saw a 36 per cent decresed in CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) for UK telco brands, according to the research.

The research looked at a Mother's Day campaign from Sainsbury's, which encouraged users to tweet about their mum using the #BestMum hashtag alongside TV advertising. Consumers who were exposed just to the Twitter content saw an increase in both positive emotional response towards the brand and purchase intent of four percent; compared to four per cent and eight per cent, respectively, for those exposed only to the TV campaign. But those exposed to both, saw an impressive increase of 21 per cent for both metrics.

No downside?
The research also found that advertisers needn't be concerned about this behaviour impairing the viewer's attention, as second-screening was found to have no impact on ad recognition.

Not only are multi-screeners primed and ready to interact with brands, according to Thinkbox research and planning director Neil Mortensen, they're potentially more likely to stay in the room with the TV, and thus in front of ads – after all, even if your partner is watching a programme you're not interested in, you can just switch the majority of your attention to the second screen.

[caption id="attachment_42657" align="alignright" width="300"] A graph showing Twitter activity during two airings of The Shawshank Redemption - click to see full size[/caption]

Peaks and troughs
TV programmes are undeniably generating a lot of conversation on Twitter. The 2014 BRIT Awards – which featured a live Twitter vote for the first time – attracted 4.2m tweets in February, making it the UK's most tweeted-about TV show ever. But vitally, there are predictable patterns to this tweeting, which depend on the kind of programme being watched.

During an episode of Educating Joey Essex, tweets relating to the show continued throughout, peaking around the time of the first ad break. During a drama, however, the peaks come immediately before and after the show, effectively bookending it as viewers pay more consistent attention to the TV screen.

Most interesting of all was a comparison of two different broadcasts of the film The Shawshank Redemption, four months apart. On both occasions, tweets about the film showed almost exactly the same peaks and troughs (see image, above right).

This is a major opportunity for advertisers – it's possible to anticipate these moments, where the most people are going to be using Twitter to discuss a particular programme, and respond to them accordingly.