Think about the last time you watched a live event on television. Whether it was a football game or a reality TV show finale, chances are you watched the program with your smartphone close by, ready to comment on the action with friends or the online public. The act of watching television while engaging with another device – like a phone or tablet – has been dubbed “second-screen,” “multi-screen,” or “omni-screen” experience.

With more viewers picking up a second screen during their favourite television shows, brands have taken notice and have developed creative ways to engage with the second-screen audience. One recent example comes from a partnership between Twitter and Volkswagen Canada, in which Volkswagen timed targeted and engaging Twitter ads to coincide with the live broadcast of the NHL Playoffs. A 30-second commercial for the Volkswagen Tiguan played on television, and an interactive quiz was shown on Twitter using interest keywords and TV conversation targeting to ensure the right audience took part.

Using this example, we have compiled the TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 Reasons to Leverage Second-Screen in your brand’s advertising and marketing strategy.

1. Learn more about your audience
Through the customized Twitter Card created for Volkswagen, the brand asked users to determine “What Tiguan are you?” by answering a set of questions. While users enjoyed a fun and interactive experience, Volkswagen received important data on the audience engaging with its brand.

2. Drive action
While a television commercial may create interest in visiting a website to learn more about the product being advertised, there is no way for the viewer to access that information directly from the ad on the screen. Leveraging second-screen experience, Volkswagen’s Twitter ads included a strong call to action that reinforced the message from the television spot, and prompted users to learn more about the Tiguan through a click.

3. Add interaction to traditional ads
Much like the above point, as entertaining as a traditional television ad may be, it does not allow for fun and interactive experiences for its viewers. As the importance placed on customer experience grows, brands should be thinking of ways to interact with their customers before and after an in-store experience. Adding an engaging second-screen component to its ad strategy allowed Volkswagen to do just this.

4. Become a topic of conversation
Leveraging a popular television event through the use of second-screen experience is a great way to place your brand into the current topic of conversation within a target audience, staying relevant and top-of-mind even while another topic of interest is prevalent. While hockey fans were watching the NHL Playoffs, they may not have naturally engaged in conversation involving Volkswagen, but because of the engagement through second-screen, the brand was able to place itself into the popular conversation, resulting in 10.2 million impressions for the campaign.

5. Stay current in a mobile-first world
Not only does second-screen experience provide the ability to better engage with your audience, to take away important data, to drive measurable actions, and to promote conversation around your brand. It can be one of the most innovative and customizable marketing tools available to you, giving you the ability to ensure your brand stays current and up-to-date on tech capabilities in a mobile-first world.