On an ad-funded TV network, how to connect to the heart? What about the mind?
The mobile engagement program set out to validate two assumptions:
1. People would be willing to willing to shift attention from games their phones to games on our screens. 2. We can measure it. Outcome: By keeping the test simple and optimizing with just a few variables, we attained 200% of industry benchmarks.
theBite, a TV Network installed in quick-serve restaurants nationwide, was 100% ad-funded, and thus, faced unprecedented competition. Mobile was the greatest rival to theBite in capturing the attention of diners grabbing a quick ...bite.
Without an interactive component, we risked being as compelling as wallpaper.
We evaluated a range of ways to interact with the screens, including geofenced targeting, audio watermarking, restaurant apps, and we concluded that the simplicity and ubiquity of text messaging would be our best mode to test click-thru engagement.
The trigger we used to engage viewers was weekly polls and quizzes that took less than a minute to complete.
For operational efficiency without sacrificing flexibility, we established givens and optimizing variables for the program.
The Givens Templated content formats, for easy updating One Shortcode for easy recognition
The Optimizing Variables Length and frequency of interactive content Subject matter: sports, entertainment, topical
Term: Six months Refresh: New quizzes each week
The Experience Funnel
Casual quiz attracts attention
User plays the game via SMS, makes his guess: "T1"
We respond and provide topical CTA. Should the user engage further, highly relevant content would be served up.
During the time of the test, casual gaming mobile ad response rate was 5%; We exceeded that considerably: 10.25% of users would go beyond the quiz and engage deeper into served up content.
It was a key validating point: the screens in the corner indeed have the power to captivate those otherwise engrossed with casual activity on their phones.
Manipulating levers of Optimizing Variables did indeed improve results, with most success by fine-tuning subject matter to pro sports. One can posit that it validates, amongst a plurality of diners/viewers, the core target we believed would likely engage with the tv channel: college-age guys.