Multi-Platform Advertising as a Global Phenomenon

Multi-Platform Advertising as a Global Phenomenon

Kenneth C. C. Yang (The University of Texas at El Paso, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3114-2.ch001
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Multi-platform advertising has become a global phenomenon. It is also widely known as cross-device, cross-media, cross-platform, cross-touchpoints, and cross-channel advertising. This book chapter provides an overview of multi-platform advertising in terms of its consumer platform usage behavior, global diffusion, emerging metrics, opportunities and challenges as perceived by major players, regulatory concerns, and technological developments. This book chapter offers the up-dated contextual information to allow readers of this edited volume to comprehend better the phenomenon of multi-platform advertising around the world.
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Defining Multi-Platform and Multi-Platform Advertising

Traditionally linked to computing and information technology areas, the term, “multi-platform”, in today’s media ecosystem often refers to “different forms of video and media entertainment on different devices” (CTAM, n. d.). The same CTAM website also offers a very thorough definition of “multi-platform” as seen below:

The secure delivery of rich media, information and applications to any device, regardless of transport, distribution system or user interface, providing the consumer with seamless, integrated and interactive access and management of their entertainment and communication services. (CTAM, n. d.)

Advertising and marketing communication messages delivered through a combination of these platforms are called “multi-platform”, “multi-screen”, “cross-platform”, “cross-channel”, “cross-media”, “cross-touchpoints”, or “cross-device” advertising (Doyle, 2010; Erdal, 2009; Hubbard, Kang, & Crawford, 2016; Marks, 2016; McIntyre, 2006; Neijens & Voorveld, 2015; Nielsen, 2014). New advertising awards, such as Shorty Awards (Shorty Awards, 2016), have been created to select the best multi-platform advertising campaigns that “multi-platform “how content was modified and enhanced for each platform, worked together to create a unifying message and succeeded in meeting its goals” (n. d.). For example, the 7th Shorty Award selected Project Architeuthis, launched by U.S. Navy, to locate ideal candidates for its cryptology unit (The Shorty Awards, 2015). This multi-platform advertising campaign employed alternate reality game (ARG) to solicit hard-to-recruit target (less than 0.004% of the U.S. population) who is characterized as creative, curious, highly intelligence, logical, self-motivated, and tenacious unit (The Shorty Awards, 2015). The campaign employed puzzle from Facebook, delivered clues through Twitter to engage consumers for 21 days. In the end, the client’s recruitment goal was successfully accomplished unit (The Shorty Awards, 2015).

The growing popularity of multi-platform advertising has attracted the attention and interest of many mainstream agencies, marketers, and media operators. According to a 2013 survey study by Association of National Advertisers and Nielsen, agencies, marketers, and media sellers have predicted the advertising spending on multi-platform advertising campaigns is expected to grow from 20% to 50% within the next three years (Nielsen, 2013). Among many media buyers who are most critical to the adoption of multi-platform advertising, the 2014 Advertiser Perceptions Survey by Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) indicated that the majority of media buyers agreed with the importance of buying both TV and video at the same time (Robertson, 2014). Eighty-two percent of the respondents in this study perceived a multi-platform media buying solution to be “extremely/very important, while seventeen percent of them were ambivalent of its usefulness (Robertson, 2014).

As defined by Nielsen (2013), multi-screen, cross-channel, or multi-platform, advertising campaigns refer to advertising/marketing communications activities “that run during a similar timeframe across two or more screens including TV, computer, tablet, mobile phone and digital place-based media” (n.p.). Recent discussions of multi-platform advertising have focused on a combination of multi-platform TV (e.g., television programming in different devices) and digital channels (e.g., display, search, and short-form videos) (MacDonald, Chapman, Naik, Fanno, & Beilis, 2016). It is evident that these emerging platforms have played an important role in this new media ecosystem, including traditional media (such as TV, cable TV, radio, magazine, newspaper, etc), support media (such as out-of-home media), and emerging mobile (such as smartphone, tablet, laptop) (Tode, 2013), video, social, and Internet/digital media (eMarket, 2014; Nielsen, 2017a, b). In this book chapter, the author will use the phrase, “multi-platform advertising,” in the narratives.

On the basis of these platforms, CTAM envisions a comprehensive list of potential applications enabled by multi-platforms: 1) Caller ID between television and voice phone device; 2) Video phone to manage personal services such as ringtone, call forwarding, etc.; 3) Location or device shifting to allow users to seamless watch/move contents at various locations and different devices; 4) Multi- and whole-room DVR services; 5) Content availability alerts; 6) PC to TV and TV to PC viewing capabilities; 7) Preference setting synchronization among multiple devices and accounts; 7) Personal programming capabilities and personalization from multi-devices for multiple functionalities; 8) Personalized advertising; 9) Social sharing contents, commentaries through social media applications (CTAM, n.d.). In the context of the advertising and marketing communications industry, multi-platforms often refer to media or devices that can deliver advertising messages to the targeted consumers. These media include display ads, Internet, smartphone, mobile devices, search engines, or video ad (eMarketer, 2016).

Industry marketing researchers have persuasively documented the rise of multi-platform advertising among advertisers and advertising agencies (eMarketer, 2016). These dramatic changes can be mainly attributed to changing consumer media consumption behaviors (Swant, 2016a). According to Joe Laszlo, VP of Industry Initiatives at IAB, “[i]t's becoming less and less the case that marketers or brands are just looking to reach their chosen audience on a single device or screen at a time—they're looking to get a lot more holistic” (cited by Swant, 2016a). According to a report by ValueClick Media and Greystripe (Tode, 2013), 75% of 201 media buyers in the survey said they have seen increased effectiveness with multi-platform advertising campaigns. About 89% of the digital media buyers indicates that it is important to target consumers across multi-platforms (Tode, 2013). As demonstrated in the following summary report by Criteo (2014), mobile ad spends via mobile devices and apps had grown from less than 50% in March 2013 to nearly 60% for mobile device ads, and 50% for mobile apps. On the other hand, ad spend on a traditional desktop platform had decreased from 53% in March 2013 to less than 40% in June 2014 (Criteo, 2014), showing a continuing migration to digital from traditional advertising expenditure.

Figure 1.

Share of U.S. digital media time spent by platform

Source: Critero, 2014.

Due to the growth of multi-platform advertising spending, companies such as Nielsen have launched its proprietary cross-device verification based on data from its own Digital Ad Ratings (DAR), national panels, and third-party cross-device graph providers. The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) has responded to the challenges and opportunities of this advertising practice launching its Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification (TAXI) to develop unique codes to assess and track ads across different platforms (McNeal, 2013).

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