Posted September 30, 2011 3:29 pm by with 0 comments

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You know how two heads are better than one? Apparently, three screens top that when it comes to advertising recall.

Google and Nielsen got together on this study to determine the effectiveness of multi-screen marketing. They gathered groups of people and had them watch a 15-second video ad for a Volvo S60 sedan. Some saw the ad only on TV. Some saw it on TV and on a smartphone. Then they mixed up more combos including ads on PCs and tablets.

Here’s what they got:

Look at that nice hike in recall. Now, my first thought was, of course recall was better because they saw the ad four times where the base-level group only saw it once. Then I noted this line in the results, “different combinations of screens controlling for frequency.” So, I guess that means that the TV only people also saw the ad four times.

In addition to better overall recall, multi-screen viewers were also able to pick out more details, leading Google to state that engagement was higher. When asked what kind of Volvo was featured in the ad, 22% of the TV only group said a 4-door sedan but 39% of the multi-screen group got it right.

Now, not everyone can afford a TV commercial, but businesses of every size can advertise online, and on a variety of mobile devices. So these results still apply, even if you’re just marketing a mom and pop bicycle shop. The multi-screen approach allows you to reach your customer at the right place and the right time. The PC ad might be just the thing when they’re looking to put a bike under the tree this Christmas, but a FourSquare deal is better when they’re on the go and needing to buy a new bike tire.

Are you making good use of the multi-screen method?