Multiscreen digital video ads are the next generation of TV brand advertising. As consumer attention fragments across an ever-increasing number of screens and connected devices, traditional TV advertising no longer has the same impact and – as a result – marketing budgets are shifting towards digital video.

Online video consumption grew by 43% (iabuk) in the 12 months to March 2014 and a quarter of the 35.6 billion videos viewed during that time were watched on smartphones and tablets. Other devices frequently used for watching digital videos include games consoles, laptops, and desktop computers. The average household now has 4.4 connected devices, which are often used concurrently. This is particularly true of the millennial generation, with 92% reporting that they use another connected device while watching TV (YuMe). Consumers do not differentiate between devices – their only concern is watching the video content of their choice when and where they want it.

So what does this multiscreen behaviour mean for video advertising and what are the challenges that brands face in measuring the impact of their video ads across screens?

The fragmentation of consumers’ attention means that marketers need to plan video advertising agnostically across all devices, but it also provides exciting opportunities for brands that run cross-screen digital video campaigns. The more devices a video ad is seen on, the more triggers it fires in the consumer’s mind. Exposure to an ad on three or more devices causes huge incremental gains in brand recall, consideration, and recommendation, compared with exposure on a single device. A study by Nielsen Research and YuMe found that purchase intent increases to 11% when ads are viewed across three or more screens, compared to just 4% for ads displayed on a single screen. Seeing a brand’s ad on multiple devices also creates a positive impression of that brand, with consumers viewing these brands as more informative, trustworthy, and innovative. 

With so many devices in the mix – and a measurable lift in campaign performance through the use of multiple devices – it is vital that brands can measure the success of their advertising campaigns across multiple screens. However, in the past several factors have prevented brands from measuring multiscreen impact:

  • Platform fragmentation, where an ad was seen by a user on multiple devices, causing duplication of data.
  • Technological differences between individual devices, which make it difficult for brands to measure and compare performance.
  • Rapid changes in the way consumers use devices, leaving marketers struggling to keep pace with multi-screen measurement.
  • Traditional reach modelling proving insufficient for brands to understand how their campaigns are being received across multiple devices. 

None of these challenges are insurmountable, and to successfully rise to the multiscreen measurement challenge marketers need to understand the specific requirements unique to each screen. This is achieved by embedding software into individual devices to collect detailed audience data that relates to that specific screen, in addition to continually tracking and collecting observed behavioural data. This data can be used to quickly optimise inventory for each individual marketing campaign – delivering engaging relevant advertising to attentive, brand-receptive audiences.

Digital video is the future of brand advertising, but to maximise its potential, video campaigns need to be planned across multiple screens and devices. To understand the impact of their video advertising campaigns brands need to measure cross-screen performance; leveraging device-specific data, observed behavioural data, and first-party survey data, to gain insights that will allow relevant engaging video ads to be delivered to the right people, at the right time – regardless of device.