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New TV – How to get intimate with the crowd

July 7, 2014 | features

While the media world continues to evolve, the one thing that hasn’t changed is New Zealanders’ love of TV shows. Television attracts big crowds engaged with plot lines and characters – a relationship that’s far deeper and more enduring than the flings we tend to have with other media. 

“I often get asked about the difference between video on the likes of YouTube and TV shows. My answer is simple - millions of video clips are viewed every day, they are shared, liked and talked about in the moment,” says Jeremy O’Brien, TVNZ’s head of sales and marketing. “People consume these videos like they watch a bubble being blown: it forms, it delights, it pops and then it’s gone. The next bubble is already on its way. 

“TV shows create stories, enduring characters, drama and tension, fun and laughter, light and dark – over days, weeks, months and often years. That’s why TV shows spark the greatest level of interaction and the highest advertising response rates in our increasingly video-centric world.” 

And this video-centric world is being fueled by the growth of smartphone and tablet ownership by New Zealanders, now around 60 percent and 20 percent respectively, opening up a whole new world for advertisers.  

TV has always been an inherently social activity, the fixture that anchors family life, shapes pop culture and sparks great conversations. Now these conversations take place anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. 

“The explosion of smartphones, tablets and social media lets the crowds watch and interact with TV wherever they are,” says O’Brien. “It creates more opportunities for brands to connect with audiences. This allows for instant responsiveness to advertising and completely new ways to capture attention.”

This is ‘New TV’ and it is at the heart of a media disruption that is opening the door for advertisers to start or join the conversation and get intimate with the crowd.

New TV is more central to people’s lives than ever before and O’Brien says it serves as a “big emotive catalyst” for responding to advertising. Globally, multi-screen sequences are most likely to start on TV and continue on a smartphone (allowing viewers to respond to brand messages in real time). Eighty-five percent of New Zealanders who own a smartphone use it when watching television – and with nearly one fifth of Kiwis now owning tablets too, expect to see that behaviour echoed. 

Advertising messaging is adapting to this new world. “The proportion of brands featuring online calls to action in their ads increased eight-fold from 2005 to 2013,” says O’Brien. “And branded searches created by TV advertising on Google increased by a third during 2011-14 compared to 2005-11.” 

“TV shows create stories, enduring characters, drama and tension, fun and laughter, light and dark – over days, weeks, months and often years. That’s why TV shows spark the greatest level of interaction and the highest advertising response rates in our increasingly video-centric world.” 

TVNZ have been fully embracing the benefits of New TV for some time as evidenced in its successful marketing approach to recent campaigns and partnerships. O’Brien believes TVNZ’s partnership with other media and the co-creation of branded content has driven some of its most successful advertiser innovations over the past three years. Shortland Street’s off-air campaign The End is one such example, where the broadcaster seeded clues on social media throughout the show’s on-air break to keep fans talking about key story lines. The clues gained 6.8 million Facebook impressions and exceeded 100,000 likes, comments and shares. 

The campaign included content from sponsor Holden, which reached 544,000 fans on Facebook and generated nearly 85,000 visits to the co-branded microsite.

Appetite for market-changing services that put the viewer in control of TV content - such as TVNZ Ondemand - continues to grow. “Ondemand is expanding fast; it’s scope is well beyond ‘catch-up’ TV,” says O’Brien. “For a growing number of New Zealanders, it is their preferred method of viewing.” 

In April of this year, TVNZ Ondemand clocked up 5.6 million streams, an 80 percent year on year growth. Two and a half million of these streams were on mobile, and the average user spent 24 minutes watching shows each time they viewed. 

“That length of user session tells you something about how engaged viewers are with the content,” says O’Brien. “It’s a bit more meaningful than dancing cats or dogs on skateboards, and as such the quality of environment for advertisers is better.”

Platforms such as Ondemand provide greater accessibility and more touchpoints for brands to interact with audiences in increasingly creative and meaningful ways. 

“The beauty of New TV is that it’s more intimate, yet also more social,” says O’Brien. “Our content draws the biggest crowds - crowds that are better targeted, more engaged and highly responsive - so you can get up close and personal with the people that really matter to your brand. We want to partner with advertisers to make the most of the great opportunities New TV presents.” 

For more information, contact Jeremy O’Brien at 09 916 7894 or jeremy.o’brien@tvnz.co.nz

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