Growing Trend: Social TV

Growing Trend: Social TV

There aren’t too many industries that are valued in the billions, let alone the tens of billions.  TV broadcasting (valued in 2012 at about $60bn in 2012) is generally the same as it’s always been — streamed via cable, satellite, or antenna, and reaching massive audiences directly — but something’s changing in the way brands are engaging audiences and keeping their attention through this medium.

As audiences change over time, brands are finding that it becomes exponentially more important to change the conversation. (Especially where marketing and audience attainment goes.)  Today, we’re seeing a myriad of businesses taking their online, social presence and strengthening their missions and campaigns offline, especially through TV ads. Some argue that TV ads are more important now than ever before but it’s up to marketers to strike just the right balance of traditional and experimental.

Shifting slightly away from multi-screen advertising, Audi and Coca Cola are capitalizing on the sacred commercial spots surrounding the upcoming Superbowl.  This is how Coke’s doing it: They’re airing a 30-second teaser of their ad before the game where three teams are competing for a large bottle of coke, once audiences see the piece they can go on a specially-created site,, and vote on the team they want to see win.  The winning team will complete the commercial and the finished product will be aired post-game.  Similarly, Audi has chosen to do it this way:  On Thursday midnight ET, Audi will release three versions of its Superbowl commercial on their official YouTube.  After the three are posted, viewers will have 24-hours to vote on the one of they like most and the winner will air on Saturday on their official USA YouTube channel and again during the Big Game on February 3.

These brands understand that it’s crucial not to overwhelm viewers — especially during something like the Superbowl — but it’s important to engage people and keep the conversation going.  These methods allow brands to create a sense of intimacy and share the decision-making processes with consumers.  It’ll be a cool feeling when the version you chose is the winner: you did that.

Other examples of advertisers finding efficient ways of communicating their marketing practices by including social media tactics (i.e. hashtags for Twitter) are McDonald’s when they launched their first hashtag campaign under #mcdprobowl, Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report’s #AtrificialSwedener (a collaboration between Colbert and VisitSweden), and even chief social media tech-giant, Twitter, who crossed over when they partnered with Nascar to announce hashtag pages through their first-ever TV ad in June 2012.

Brands that hit closer to home (in the fashion tech space) are increasingly transferring their online presence offline through TV ads.  Some include: Gilt’s High Noon commercial, Hautelook’s Spring 2012’s plug, and ShoeDazzle.  We continuously talk about how important it is to have a presence on and offline and these brands understand the power of knitting multi-faceted marketing into the entirety of their business venture — traditional and disruptive.

It’s pretty clear that marketing has become multi-functional where businesses have no choice but to cross-pollenate their initiatives to reflect all the media they’re participating in.  Hashtags, YouTube channels, and traditional advertising no longer survive separately, but have found ways to co-exist on a uniform stage founded on disruptive technologies, branding and ventures as well as thought-invoking, intimate, commercial campaigns.  It’s a completely new ecosystem.  Long gone are the days that brands told consumers what to want, now audiences the world over are making decisions and molding these business giants.  Talk about power!

Learn more about the power of Social TV at WIM’s Social TV meet-up next Wednesday, January 30, being held at the Apple Store in SoHo.  Speakers include Nancy Jo, VP of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Bravo and Carlota Espinosa, CEO and Co-founder of Styloot, amongst others.  Get your tickets here.

Leticia Domenech was a Writing and Copyediting Intern at TWF. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

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