The blurring difference between television and the Internet

The blurring difference between television and the Internet

Interact Barcelona is, undoubtedly, one of the most important events for interactive media in Europe this year. After two days of conference, there was a conclusion that the difference between television and the Internet is visibly blurring. – writes Michał Daniluk, head of the PHD media house.

At least form the point of view of those consumers who adapt new solutions fast and want to make use of them. And there are more and more of such people along with the growing number of devices such as smartphones, tablets and technology facilitating content consumption on the market.

What screen is the best?

The main slogan of the Interact Barcelona 2014 conference was “the war of screens”, which catch the consumers’ attention and which fight for it each day on a growing scale. With each of the subsequent speeches “the war of screens” evolved into the cooperation of screens. The complementarity of communication on mobile devices facilitates discovering completely new possibilities for marketers, who will want to use this opportunity. Like it was highlighted during the conference, one in three Europeans today uses at least three different screens every day., and this trend continues to grow. It results also in the necessity to use all these screens in creating effective communication strategies. It was markedly emphasized by the marketers sharing their experience. Nobody questions the fact that TV advertising is still effective but everybody knows that broadcasting sole TV spots without the skillful use of the interactive media is just a matter of unused opportunities. The traditional constraints of a thirty-second TV spot also disappeared. What was repeated over and over again during the second day of the conference was the change which (because of that, affects) brands and marketers. They often become the providers of content, which in connection with their brands become relevant and desired by consumers. The representative example is Unilever, which uses the female consumers’ interests (i.e. “hair styling for different occasions”) to create video content in which they show how to use their products and what are the effects.

New opportunities for advertisers on TV

Marketers not only create content themselves but they cooperate closely with the media. It’s all for making their interaction with the brand natural and free from the necessity to watch any unwanted ads. Brands should design content interesting for their consumers and engaging them to the extent that will make them not only watch the content but also want to share it. It is a great challenge and a significant change. And it is related to all the screens, also the TV screen, which was explicitly stated in the excellent speech of the representative of Cisco. The presentation closing the first day of the conference was a good and quite unexpected conclusion of many matters discussed during that day. Cisco is today the provider of software to, among others, cable TV decoders and satellite receivers. The new technological platform Snowflake, which is used in practice, is really impressive. The main aim of its authors was eliminating the current drawbacks of TV. They wanted to make watching TV a natural, pleasant and engaging experience. The result? The interface (live presentation), which is used to control the TV content or rather video content. It has been shown how we can fluently use the content provided by using an iPad as a remote control. iPad, depending on how we hold it can become a remote control or a second screen, on which we can use apps dedicated to particular programs. I can, for instance, open a map of the city in which the action of a movie takes place and switch between the scenes. I can check where to but ingredients to the recipe from the cookery programme that I currently watch. I can play a game specially designed for Coca Cola, when their spot is broadcast on TV. After installing a simple game, I receive a voucher, which I can use in store. The use of these technologies is limited only by our imagination and, obviously, by the advertisers’ budgets. It is also clear that the will to make use of these opportunities will grow along with these devices reaching homes and being widely used. Cisco provides software to, among others, devices offered by UPC. I’m waiting for the moment when such opportunities will be available in UPC’s products. Certainly, such solutions redefine television, which becomes a personalized, engaging experience, not only passive reception of content. Personalization was, by the way, another recurring theme during the conference.

Personalization of advertising message

No matter if we want it or not, we are the witnesses and participants of legal changes that will be implemented in Europe. These changes will provide proper data security to the EU citizens and ensure them that innovative technological solutions would still be released and developed on the European ground. The representative of the European Parliament has been talking a lot about innovation but his speech has shown that the interactive business world is still far away from the European lawmakers. What is proposed by the commission today, unfortunately, is still far from what we, as an industry, can accept. On the other hand, it is visible that there is a lot of work and communication needed on both sides. The whole industry talks today about the personalization of the advertising message and reaching the consumers with relevant content. It is one of the basic elements of the most curious an innovative technologies used and developed on the advertising market. It has been highlighted many times that consumers themselves, if they are properly informed about the fact that their behavior is analyzed, accept that readily. Of course, now we are talking about projects and consultations. But the things that will be created within the next few months and years will directly affect what happens in interactive media and the EU economy.

How technology affects the world of advertising?

The conference illustrated not only the way technology changes but also what is the influence of this shift on the strategies chosen by advertisers, the media and agencies. BBC analyzed the way we use different screens to consume the news during the day. In the evenings, similarly to what it looked like in the previous years, TV is still our first choice but, as research shows, tablets which are used simultaneously with television, a perfect addition to it. Microsoft emphasizes that various screens have different personalities. Smartphone is a very personal device, tablet is frequently used to look for information and laptop is used for “serious” purposes. It is obvious that an ideal communication scheme with these devices is the one that takes these facts into account. But it requires a lot of discipline, thorough preparation and a model of cooperation between advertisers, agencies and the media, which is jus emerging.

Are marketers ready for a revolution?

What was inspiring, was the openness to new tools of communication of the advertisers that participated in the conference. Cases shown by Unilever or Nestle demonstrate how seriously the problem of media consumption is approached today. On the other hand, it was highlighted that the spendings on advertising do not follow the changing habits of the consumers. It is extremely difficult to synchronize the strategies of many entities creating a campaign, in which we use many screens in the way that uses their potential in the right way. It is a great challenge for all sides on the market to suit the advertising solutions, the European law and the ways of measuring effects of the campaign.