Screen Pass – Monday morning quarterbacking the multi-screen experience

I’ve been watching a lot of football lately. Between the Ti-cats making it to the play-offs (Oskee Wee-Wee!) and the Bills strong showing this year I’ve been glued to the screen. Not too mention various fantasy football leagues and weekly survivor pools. Actually I should say “screens” – plural.

You see I don’t watch one screen at a time during football games. For the most part, my attention is divided between the game on the TV and my tablet. While the next play is setting up on the TV my attention is on my tablet so I can check the progress of my fantasy teams and the scores of other games. If my tablet indicates a scoring play is eminent in another game I’ll switch the TV channel to that game and watch the play live. And when I’m not at home I’m still engaged in a screen experience via my smartphone.

Marketers and media planners are taking advantage of these multi-screen experiences and reaching consumers at multiple touch points of one piece of content. This multi-screen approach is much like the bread-and-butter play of the Buffalo Bills – the screen pass. In the screen pass, blockers shift to run in front of the ball carrier and throw blocks in order to spring him into the secondary.

To put this into media perspective, the quarterback (media agency) calls the play to the running back (broadcast television) and the blockers on the offensive line. Broadcast slips out to the side as a receiver and as the blockers (digital and social media) roll into protection he catches the pass from the QB and heads up field. If everything goes as planned you’ll also get an additional block from a receiver – let’s call him “mobile”.

For example, don’t rely on your 30-second spot on CTV’s Gossip Girl as your sole media play – look to amplify the reach with digital and social media support surrounding Gossip Girl content. By adding a little extra media support you can increase the impact of that broadcast spot.

The key to a successful screen play, and multi-screenmedia, is timing. It takes a while to set-up and requires an astute play-caller to recognize when the maximum benefit will be gained. But when its done right, well, it can lead to amazing results – just ask the Bills’ Fred Jackson.