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Olympics second-screen strategy needed

News, 08 July 2016

LONDON: UK advertisers looking to take advantage of next month's Olympic Games will need to devise an effective second-screen strategy, new research suggests.

While the Games will be broadcast on the ad-free BBC, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Britons viewing them will use an internet-connected device at the same time, according to a survey of 1,000 adults by martech business RadiumOne.

"The large amount of second-screening enables sponsors and other advertisers looking to get in on the act to target viewers with a similar profile to the TV audience online during broadcasts, which they can't do on TV as it's on the BBC," said Craig Tuck, RadiumOne's UK managing director.

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The most popular activities undertaken online by these second-screeners will be unrelated to events in Rio de Janeiro, however, with more than half (53%) of this group indicating they would be doing this.

But 31% will be using online chat/Instant Messaging to discuss what they're watching, while 30% will be searching online for event-related information and the same proportion chatting on the phone about what's on.

One quarter of second-screeners will be posting Games-related comments on social media or reading online comments. Sharing Olympic content is marginally less likely, with just 23% doing this.

The survey also highlighted how very different consumer behaviour around the Olympic Games is from other landmark sporting events such as the current European Championship.

Nearly all (97%) of Olympic TV viewers will watch it at home, much higher than the Euro 2016 (58%); only 20% were planning to watch the Olympics at a pub, half that for the Euro 2016 (39%).

But the fact that the Games are much less of a social viewing experience is good news for advertisers, argued Tuck: "attention is much more likely to be on the TV or a connected device than other people or surroundings."

He added that the moments that matter most for connecting online and TV activity are the most popular Olympic broadcasts – the opening (watched by 71% of Olympic TV viewers) and closing (60%) ceremonies and the BBC highlights shows (56%).

Beyond that advertisers can tie online ads to athletes taking part. "For example, Santander and Vitality Insurance can coordinate online ads with broadcasts of heptathlon events featuring Jessica Ennis-Hill, who they sponsor, as could Puma and Virgin Media during Usain Bolt's events."

Data sourced from RadiumOne; additional content by Warc straff