5 MINUTES WITH… Unruly’s Richard Kosinski
Last week, ad tech firm Unruly released a report that found that 80 percent of millennials will watch a TV show after viewing a promo shared online within their social network; yet TV marketers are failing to create engaging promos for digital natives. Cynopsis sat down with Unruly U.S. President Richard Kosinski to dive deeper into the study in advance of the presentation of the report at the IAB NewFronts Insights Lunch this week.
Cynopsis: Why did Unruly choose to research TV promos on social media?
Richard Kosinski: TV viewership of ad-supported content is down. There’s been a 30 percent drop in Live TV viewing since 2008. We’ve seen first-hand the impact of video engagement and sharing and its effect on the purchase process- from awareness to consideration to purchase intent, and we wanted to see how this translates to the TV space. It turns out that Millennials are eager to watch a TV show if a promo is shared with them – the key now for networks is create content that will resonate with a Millennial audience strongly enough to win their shares and launch them quickly. The viral peak for online videos is the day after launch.
CYN: How did you define “TV promo”?
RK: We used 3 classifications:
1. Clips: standalone scenes from an episode that has already aired.
2. Original Promos: newly filmed original content, often featuring one or more actors
3. Trailers: a compilation of teaser clips, usually with voice-over and text
We found that clips are the most prevalent format of promo used. This isn’t surprising, because they require the least additional production. However, original promos are the most viral – that is they had the greatest share rate (shares as a percentage of views).
CYN: Explain the “promo paradox.”
RK: This is where things get really interesting! 80 percent of the Millennials in our study said they would watch a show if someone shared the promo with them online. This made sense to us – Millennials are highly social and eager to discover new content. A recommendation from a friend would carry a lot of stock. However, we saw that Millennials were ten percent less likely to share a promo – that is, they found them less engaging and relevant and weren’t as keen to attach the promo to their personal brand with a recommendation. So the promo paradox is that Millennials are eager to discover new content and be social with their friends in watching TV together, but the promos networks are making are falling flat.
CYN: Why should networks, shows, brands consider a social TV strategy?
RK: It’s important because fans expect it now. It’s one of the few cases where having a branded hashtag makes a big difference – fans want to be a part of the “official” conversation about their favorite TV shows. And from a purely monetary standpoint, getting people involved in your show and watching in real time means that the chance they’re actually seeing the commercials you’re airing is far, far greater than if they’re time-shifting.
CYN: Can you give us a peak of what to expect at the Insights lunch?
RK: I’ll be introducing the need for advertisers to have a content stack to overlay their programmatic plumbing to offer situational-relevant, personal online ads to targeted viewers. We’ll show marketers how to make better use of the content they’re already creating – namely TV commercials – and deploy them across all screens (from the big one in the living room to little one in the pocket) without increasing budgets.