Millennials are not known for their concentration, but TNS Infratest has discovered that second-screen use has the tendency to distract an wider consumer demographic too.

Commissioned by advertising ROI company wywy, the research found that of the respondents who were 25-55 years old, TV ad awareness dropped 58% when a second screen was used while an ad was being broadcasted.

If nothing is done about this emerging trend, TV advertisers may not get the results they were hoping for. All is not lost though, as technology has the potential to offset this drop in ad awareness.

Cross-media technology that synchronises the delivery of TV and online ads onto the second screen can fuel a 40% rise in TV ad awareness among the mobile and app-using contingent.

Ad attention

Dr. Andreas Schroeter, co-founder and COO of wywy, confirmed that consumers’ attention was shifting away from the television during advertising breaks between shows, movies and more.

“Nearly half of the TV viewers use their tablet or smartphone to write emails, read news or surf on social networks while watching TV,” he revealed.

“New cross-media technologies syncing TV and online ads are now proving to be an effective solution in recapturing the viewers’ attention as it diverts to the second screen.”

Other key advertising indicators benefitted from syncing TV ads with media on second-screen devices. Brand attitude and word of mouth, for example, saw performance uplifts of 38% and 18% respectively.

Of course, as with any digital channel there is the immediate feedback of a campaign’s performance, which you wouldn’t normally get from TV advertising that does not have a second screen campaign plugged in.