‘Social TV, it’s the future. Right? Nearly everything you see today will blog your mind with stats and numbers and tell you that SOCIAL + TELEVISION is the way forward for 2013. Yes, that’s right 2013 will be THE YEAR of social media + television integration. Today though, I want to add a dash of realism to your future-gazing souls. And to do that, I’m going to address…
…the three kinds of people in the room who will [probably] have the most impact on this new facet of the broadcast and social media industry. First:
Broadcasters. You’re the folk who are bringing social media integration to our TVs. Either through creative productions, or with new and ‘innovative’ advertising from your friends at my next audience:
Agencies. Super-creative. Super-smart. Constantly craving THE NEXT BIG THING. All of you, in one way or another, is totally awesome. I want to talk to you today.
Finally, brands. Lovely lovely brands. Three audiences, three different challenges, three different questions. Let’s do this:
So broadcasters, one question you’re dying to know the answer to.
IS SOCIAL TV ANY GOOD? That’s what you’re here to know today Well, I’ll tell you what it is isn’t.
IT IS NOT GREAT. I wrote this post last summer as I was tired of the same old ham-fisted attempts to take second screen interactions and bring them to the first screen where, to all intents and purposes, they lose their meaning [and context]. Let me give you an example -
Remember this? #AREYOUSEEINGTHIS was the Homeland/Prometheus/CH4 tie in that not only encouraged viewers to tweet about what they see [eg: the UK premiere of the Prometheus trailer], but also used the Channel 4 announcer to do so. The rules and regulations around the latter are a matter for another day, what I’m interested in is what happened next. Around 20mins later, in the next ad break – this happened:
They showed tweets from the previous call to action ON THE TELLY. AMAZING. IT IS AMAZING. RIGHT? I MEAN, IT’S REALLY…
REALLY Great, right?
It is wrong. TV is a one way medium. This is why we have the second screen: to interact. I don’t really care what Dave from Braintree thinks about Prometheus. It has no meaning or, really, any context. While we’re at it -
TWITTERWALLS on the TV? They’re guilty too. I mean…
WHY DO I CARE? 1. They’re using actual names (as opposed to Twitter names). 2. It’s a distraction from the interview I’m supposed to be looking at and 3. If I wanted to look at tweets about the show, I’d look on my phone/iPad/computer. While it *might* be good to be the one person in seven million whose tweet actually makes it UP IN LIGHTS, it’s still pretty rubbish for everyone else.
It doesn’t make any sense. NEXT:
AGENCIES! Hello Agencies! Any in the room? Well done for getting the time off. [timesheets? ‘development’ – don’t forget]
This is a plea to think things through. Well, it is and it isn’t. This next piece is a case study, a very personal case study, that happened to me. This is about -
#DRIVETIME. An orchestrated ‘live’ event. When DRIVE was launched on DVD & Blu-Ray in 2011 (a GREAT film by the way – see it), the agency sent out pre-release copies to influential film bloggers asking them to all hit play at 8pm and then tweet along together using the hashtag #DRIVETIME. It’s a nice idea, right? Well, it certainly resulted in…
…LOTS OF TWEETS! Hurrah! Loads of people tweeting about DRIVE using the hashtag #DRIVETIME and yeah, woooo! But. The great thing about (most) social media campaigns is that when the goal is for users to create content, all the data is out there to look at and measure. So, when the film finished – I took a look.
Using the hashtag, I gathered up all the tweets and charted them like so. Lovely lovely data. Isn’t it great? What’s even better is that my buddy Robbie, who was with me when I did this, he’s a dab hand on the design side of things and well, when you…
…add some creative. And you get this sexy thing. But then, when you done *that* - you may as well do this:
Look at that! You can map peaks and troughs of conversation against key moments in the film. NIGHTCALL, the biggest spike, is the film’s signature sound track. When that kicks in everyone thinks it’s awesome. F is also quite interesting as that’s quite possibly the most powerful moment in the film… THE ELEVATOR SCENE. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it. Nevertheless, all of this was achievable with DATA. If you’re going to replicate a live event, at least DO SOMETHING WITH THE DATA, please? Except…
NOBODY DID IT. I did it. With my mate. In an hour. This isn’t a ‘hoorah, look at me! Aren’t I awesome?’ – this is to make the point that the most exciting thing about Social TV and second screen viewing is THE DATA.
What is your objective. It’s a question I always ask: WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
Start here: here’s a good one. As a brand you want to SELL MORE STUFF. But how?
People aren’t looking at your ads anymore, that’s an issue. So what do you do?
You could make your ads interactive? Turn them into a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE story! Like Mercedes did. That’s cool, right? Innovative? Yes. Pushing the envelope. Certainly. Expensive? Yeah, a little bit… Speaking of expensive.
If you’ve just spent however much you’ve got on a beautiful advert for your car, why would you then stick a teeny tiny little badge on it and ask viewers to SHAZAM it. That 10 second CTA in a 30 second spot, can you see it?
There it is. Quick! Get your phone out, unlock it, find the app, open the app, hold it up to the TV… (wait, what?) – and you’ll get moar content. More advertising. For jumping too many hurdles, that’s your reward: More. Advertising. Ugh. Look, let’s review where we are.
1. Twitter walls suck.
Add context – make it mass participation, add meaning, do something other than show banal support from someone I neither know or care about.
2. Think it through
Measure stuff! DATA IS YOUR FRIEND. You know who else is your friend?
Media dot twitter dot com. They are your friend. If you’re doing anything in social TV then you need to get to this website because, if we’re honest, Social TV starts with Twitter.
Set Clear Objectives.
Because ultimately you want to achieve something.
And that’s it, thank you.
SOCIAL TV, REALLY?
SOCIAL TV, REALLY?James WhatleySenior Associate Director, Social@OgilvySocial TV ConferenceJan 22nd 2013
THREE AUDIENCES TODAY @whatleydude // #SocialTVConf