2015 was a watershed year for app advertising on TV, with around $16 million being spent between Clash of Clans, Game of War and Heroes Charge at the Super Bowl.
Contrary to popular opinion, the death of TV as an advertising medium has been greatly exaggerated, as this trend continued towards the end of the year as app developers employed the services of celebrities from Christoph Waltz to Arnold Schwarzenegger and even TV’s Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, to promote their titles on TV. As the industry invariably matures, here are the 5 key trends that we think will shape TV app advertising in 2016.
1. Creativity and emotion will be at the heart of the most successful TV campaigns
Creativity is absolutely key to the success of TV advertising, whether it’s car insurance or dog food, the product has to stand out. A study by U.K. TV industry research body Thinkbox in 2013 showed the link between campaigns that generate some kind of emotional response and long term business profitability. Adverts that generated some kind of emotion were almost twice as effective as those that were purely factual.
It can be little coincidence that the Liam Neeson Super Bowl ad was the clear winner in terms of YouTube views (95 million at the time of writing and still rising). The advert warranted repeat viewings, not because it featured an A-list celebrity, but because it was funny in the true spirit of many Super Bowl ads, as Liam Neeson was game enough to satirize his Bryan Mills character in Taken. Supercell is carrying on this humorous tradition with their True Tale of Clash Achievery campaign which includes the Legend of the Lava Pup commercial featuring Christoph Waltz and James Cordon.
2. TV audience targeting will become much more sophisticated
App developers are looking for new ways to target specific audiences and one such example of untapped potential is what game developer Seriously has done to target their game Best Fiends at the Hispanic audience in the U.S. There are 54 million Hispanics living in the U.S., making up 17 percent of the U.S. total population and officially the nation’s largest minority group. This also makes the United States the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico. According to research by ThinkNow, Hispanics are 8 percent more likely to play video games on their mobile devices than non-Hispanics. Game Developer Seriously
Developer Seriously recently worked with U.S. Hispanic TV network Univision to find ways to include Best Fiends in some of their flagship properties. Univision’s suggested solution was a first – not just for Univision but also for mobile game marketing; to develop a sketch featuring Best Fiends in the Saturday night TV show Sabadazo. Sabadazo is the new flagship comedy show that replaced Sabado Gigante, which ran for an incredible 50 years.
3. The rise of TV app advertising beyond traditional games
Although games such as Candy Crush and Clash of Clans remain a highly lucrative section of the apps market, other segments are ramping up their efforts. Fantasy football app specialists DraftKings have already been active with over 30 TV spots since 2014 and this will only rise. Other areas ripe for growth are e-commerce apps, since more and more retail flows through mobile, as well as other functional categories such as job-search companies. Letgo and Indeed have been using humorous creative to successfully deliver their message to new and bigger audiences via TV.
4. TV will be leveraged more for brand building than as a direct response mechanism
Part of TV’s power lies in its ability to generate mass awareness in a short space of time as well as the ‘halo’ effect it has on other paid for and social channels. Research by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in its study ‘Advertising Effectiveness, the Long and Short of it’ found that TV is the most effective way to build a brand, and that TV also creates larger business effects than other forms of advertising.
Performance advertising may lead to more immediate conversions, but television is unbeaten when it comes to building up sustained brand awareness. As we enter 2016, more and more marketing managers will develop long-tail TV campaigns that build brands rather than relying on pure ‘then and there’ direct response metrics to drive campaign results. Campaign success will be measured over a longer period of time with attribution accorded to more channels that simply what is being done at the time the advert airs.
5. Linear TV will still own the living room but publishers will create more multi-screen campaigns
The death of traditional linear broadcast TV has been greatly exaggerated and has been shown to remain fairly stable in key territories such as Canada (see below) where people are watching more TV that they did 10 years ago. Undeniably, TV consumption habits are changing, especially with Flurry projecting phablets to be the dominant form factor in by 2017 – much of which they predict to be used for media consumption.
In the U.S., around 77 percent of TV viewers are using another device at the same time as watching TV, and 49 percent of these will be smartphones. This increase in multi screening will see a significant rise in multiscreen campaigns during 2016.
A recent piece of insight from mobile marketing consultancy Fetch on the correlation between TV advertising and app downloads has also shown that “app installs in the viewing area of a TV commercial offer uplifts ranging from 56 percent and 74 percent for individual TV ads. TV exposure continues to have an effect on app installs after the TV ad, with 24 percent increase in installs for the subsequent 10 minutes and 20% increase in installs for the subsequent 30 minutes after the TV ad was shown.”
Readers: How do you think mobile app developers will advertise better through TV this year?
Josh Rinsky is the vp of business development at Quaid Media.