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National Geographic?s TV-to-mobile ads increased viewership by 100pc

Television network National Geographic sought TV-to-mobile advertising to promote its show Life Below Zero through smart remote control mobile application Peel, driving an increase of viewership by 100 percent and ad recall rate by 50 percent because of the dual-focused ads.

By engaging viewers with a TV ad that was later displayed on the app, the partnership employed a multichannel strategy given the prevalence of mobile?s role in the entertainment industry lately. If users have access to promotions or advertisements across many sectors, marketers can rest assured knowing that consumers are more likely to wander across them and become more engaged.

?The combination of seeing an ad on TV and then reinforcing that with a follow-up ad on their smartphone led to a 50 percent higher show recall rate as well as double the rate of actual tune-ins to the show relative to app users who had seen either just the mobile ad or just the TV ad,? said Bala Krishnan, founder and chief product officer at Peel, Mountain View. ?We assumed there would be an improvement but we were pretty surprised by how much both recall and especially tune-ins increased. 

?It really demonstrated the punch of dual-screen marketing. It was also a good showcase of Peel's ability to track and report the actual tune-ins of all three test groups.?

Dual targeting?
National Geographic and Peel?s partnership also involved marketing research group IPG Media Labs and Mullen?s Mediahub.

IPG?s capabilities were used to survey Peel users in an effort to accurately retarget viewers and then gauge the impact of the ad campaign.

Peel users who were exposed to the ad were retargeted with a different ad for the show in the Peel Smart Remote app within 24 hours, placing Peel in a convenient position to do this sort of mobile retargeting given the app?s tracking capabilities. The app is able to obtain which shows the user watches. 

The experiment also utilized a set of control groups who only saw the TV ad or mobile ad rather than both. 

As consumers are leaning on their mobile resources to enhance their TV experience, marketers can take this opportunity to utilize multichannel advertising approaches. 

The Peel app is only available on Android devices.

Continuing to mobilize
In 2013, the National Geographic Channel leveraged tablets to drive TV viewership for a new documentary about President Lincoln.

With tablets having become an important part of the TV-watching experience for many consumers, the campaign targets home Wi-Fi networks and is only running on tablets. The goal was to reach consumers who are at home and to entice them to watch the program (see story).

In 2012, a National Geographic executive at the Nonprofit Mobile Day in Washington D.C. said that mobile applications give publishers and nonprofits a way to connect with new, modern users.

During the ?National Geographic Society: building a best-in-class mobile application program? session at Nonprofit Mobile Day, an executive presented the different ways that the company has used multiple mobile channels to showcase its content.  The session also hinted at what is on the mobile horizon for the company (see story).

As National Geographic builds its mobile presence, the network aims to offer the most technologically inclined experience for its tech savvy consumers.

?We continue to want to get closer to our consumers at the point-of-purchase and serve our messaging to them as they are making their entertainment viewing choices,? said Hayes Tauber, senior vice president of consumer marketing for the National Geographic Channel, New York. ?Mobile advertising is becoming an increasingly successful method for us to achieve this objective by reminding our target fans what?s airing on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild while they are sitting on their couch deciding what to watch.?

With the help of Peel, National Geographic can track its success.

?I think more and more networks are seeing the value of our direct Peel-in advertising opportunities that may or may not be synchronized with TV ad campaigns,? Mr. Krishnan said. ?The huge advantage with these click-to-tune-in banners or interstitials is that the TV marketer can actually track how many users tuned-in for a given dollar of ad spend.  That can't be done with any other marketing channel they are using.?

Final Take?
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York