The Conversation Starter

Sneaky Second Screen

I didn’t think second screen tactics applied to me. Sure, I sit in front of the computer and watch TV at the same time, but I never Tweet along with my favorite shows or log in to enter in the Pepsi Challenge, or whatever second screen prompt is in my face at the time. I just mind my own business, get some work done, check Facebook… you know, the usual.

But when the second screen topic came up as our June theme for the PPBH blog, I really started paying attention to my habits, and you guessed it, I was mistaken. Here I was thinking that I had avoided the ploy, when in reality, I was using the second screen all the time. Here are three ways I find second screen sneaking into my television-watching experience.

Making Home Improvements
I watch HGTV a lot, and I am not ashamed. Watching people tear down walls and create beautiful rooms inspires me. And by that I mean it inspires me to continue sitting on the couch and watch people tear down walls and create beautiful rooms. But one day I decided that my dining room needed a new coat of paint so I searched “choosing paint colors” to help myself think of some color schemes. The first result was a “10 Tips for Picking Paint Colors” post from So here I am accidentally at the exact place that the television told me to go during the last commercial break. But I didn’t get there by following the ad so I doesn’t count right? Wrong.

Product Placement
Product placement is the oldest trick in the book, and yet it still gets me. In the world of computers and smartphones, product placement has the potential to be much more effective than it used to be. If I see a laptop on one of my favorite TV shows and I happen to be looking for a laptop, I will probably pull out my phone and look into that brand to see what the buzz is about. And that applies to any product I see on TV, whether it be in the actual show or in a commercial.

Researching Characters
One of my favorite shows is Walking Dead. Now if there is one show that is full of second-screen prompts, it’s this one. As a matter of fact, it was included in our 3 Examples of Second Screen Done Right post from earlier this week. I was never super interested in getting involved with their Story Sync, but a few episodes in I find myself wondering what other shows one of the characters is in… so I Google it. The first page that comes up is the AMC website. I click on it, giving them web traffic and exposing myself to another round of invites to check out the blog, watch episodes, play their games and more. But I need more information, so next I go to IMDB. Here I find all of the information I am looking for and have the option to buy the full season, explore the trivia, etc. You see where I am going…

Second screen doesn’t mean just creating a TV spot with a call to action and having a website for the viewer to land on. It ties back to the concept of digital marketing as a whole; you need to be accessible in all of the places that your consumers are looking, whether you created those places or not.

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