NEW YORK: Television is crucial to consumer engagement but it is currently in an evolutionary period which could last up to five years and which will redefine how consumers and agencies interact with it, a leading industry figure has said.

Henry Tajer, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, told that he was seeing many examples of "traditional broadcasters doing things that are very not traditional".

Changing technology is of course at the heart of these changes and Tajer referenced addressable television and addressable screens as important developments.

"That rigour and that granularity make for a much more effective and accountable television channel that we can put on recommendations for clients and can invest in around brands, and the ROI on that will be, I think, pretty tremendous," he said.

The necessary infrastructure had was already there in prototype form he said, with investment needed to build it out to the mainstream market.

In the meantime, argued his colleague Chad Stoller, managing partner of IPFG Media Lab, TV-synced digital ads are the next best thing available.

"Consumers use the commercials as a time-out … heads go down in to devices," Stoller explained, "so if there's an ad on screen, it's nice to be able to run a display ad in an app or mobile web.

"It doesn't have to be the same ad that is on the screen – it could be a competitor's ad or someone who wants to run against what is on the TV".

That's an area that was also highlighted by Joe Krokus, vp/sales and strategic partnerships at Teletrax, a business specialising in syncing TV content with social media.

"The lowest hanging fruit has been the simulcast – understanding when there is a television commercial for Audi on the first screen and executing that similar commercial on the second," he said.

"More and more brands, though, are looking at 'switchers' – individuals that don't necessarily belong strictly to them," he explained.

"If there is an ad for Audi on TV, BMW would want to know that and want to execute on the second screen, across social, across display, across search and now, of course, across TV."

Data sourced from; additional content by Warc staff