Mobile devices aren’t just everywhere, they’re ever-present. Rarely more than an arms-length away and increasingly a distraction to every facet of our lives: at work and on the go and at the dinner table and at dinner parties. With 96% of adults in the U.S. with access to a smartphone in 2016[1], you probably don’t have to work too hard to conjure up a favorite mental image, illustration or anecdote of the myriad consequences of our always plugged-in lifestyle.

For marketers, this relatively new behavior poses significant questions, particularly with respect to their biggest form of mass communication: TV advertising. As second screen devices become more ingrained in our lives and as more households include multiple devices as part of their regular viewing behavior, what is their influence on TV viewing behavior? Further, how do you break through and connect with effective advertising in the age of distraction? 

Effective advertising sells and builds brands over the long term. But creating a successful campaign is complex. It requires that you marry the right media plan (right people, right time, right frequency, right context) with the right creative. Optimizing both factors is critical because the best media plan paired with poor creative, or a great creative that is never seen, is a recipe for failure (and millions of wasted dollars). But when you get it right, the payoff is huge.

While there has been much recent discussion about optimizing media – programmatic buying, targeting, recency, and more – there has been less discussion about optimizing creative, despite the evidence that creative may be the single-most important factor in a campaign’s success. A great creative idea, well told (one that engages emotion, is remembered, is tied to the brand), and delivered to the right audience – is the key to success.

To gain real insights, we need methods that do not depend on what consumers can’t provide, but rather on what they can. Non-conscious, unbiased, neurobiological based responses. Consumer neuroscience delivers insights that go deeper than asking someone a question or having them fill out a survey.

Join us at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Spring Symposium where I will share recent insights and case studies exploring how consumers respond to content and advertising on TV and digital platforms, how distraction impacts content & advertising consumption, and how individuals respond to advertising on digital platforms.


[1] Nielsen Social Media Report 2016