OgilvyOne London: “As an ad agency, we’ll always be trying to lean forward” - Emma Gardner via Lean Back 2.0
Has OgilvyOne London seen any evidence of people “leaning back” when consuming ads or creative content on their iPad?
[OlgivyOne London Chief Executive Annette] KING: It’s interesting because we were having a debate between lean forward and lean back before we got on the call with you. There’s a time and a place for both. The Economist app is a good example of a ‘lean back and consume’ type of situation. As an ad agency, though, we’ll always be trying to lean forward. We’re always trying to get people to take part in the app and engage with the ad. By definition, it’s an immersive kind of approach.
We’re really interested in the dual screen experience right now. By dual screen, I mean sitting in front of the TV with a tablet. You might be watching one thing on the TV, but doing something else on your tablet. And we want to start connecting those two things. If Jamie Oliver is making a special truffle recipe on television, you can use your tablet to find out where truffles grow in the world, or how to make Jamie’s recipe. You can get people involved through the second screen.
I wonder about ‘always trying to lean forward’: isn’t there a place for ambient advertising? Ambient awareness of other people (through Twitter or other social tools) is a back of the mind sort of attention scheme: you know what people are up to based on their updates moving by while you are doing other things.
I conjecture that ambient advertising could be very effective on the second screen. Imagine that as I am watching a cooking show, and I’ve enabled a second screen gear applet on my tablet. As the chef’s use various kitchen tools, the gear applet streams pictures and descriptions of the gear: this knife, this sauce pan, this stove. You might think that this is a lean-forward set up — that I am dedicating foreground attention to the gear streaming by — and I might do that the first few times I use the app. However, as I habituate to the app, I will begin to treat it as a lean-back stream of information, so my perception of the products being featured is more additive or cumulative. It’s just as much about brand building as a call to action.
Yes, there will still be times when I want to buy that particular knife, right now. But in general I think it will lead to a collection of brand associations built over time, so that when I get to the point when I want to buy a new knife, a few brands are in my head, and I choose between them at the store, or online.
If there is one thing that advertisers can do, though, to make lean-forward intimacy with products more likely on the second screen, it would be to make it easy to share product information and images with other people: wire it deeply into the social dimension of TV.
(For more on Social TV and The Second Screen, download the free Work Talk special report on that subject, here.)