Initiative – The New Power of Television



‘TV Talkers` are using social media to popularise TV programming and advertising


Social media is having a profoundly positive impact on TV viewing, as a new group of highly-engaged TV viewers is using social media to talk about TV programming and advertising and to influence the content and brand choices of their social peer group.


This is the finding of Initiative`s latest global report, a research and analytics study into social television. Entitled “The New Power of Television: How Social is Revitalizing the Future of TV”, the report explores how television is enjoying a revival thanks to new digital technology and the rise of social media.


Over the past decade, experts across the advertising world have been proclaiming the demise of TV, and marketers and agencies have been searching out creative and media options beyond the 30 second spot. However, unique research conducted by Initiative shows that the future for TV has never looked so healthy. Using its online consumer panel The Connections Panels, Initiative spoke with consumers in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and the UK to learn about how TV and social media are now working in combination to provide a hugely powerful advertising medium.


Rather than replace TV, digital technology has given TV more screens and devices on which to broadcast and given rise to a social media phenomenon that is actually amplifying both programming and creative messaging.


Television viewing working in tandem with social media has created a new group of highly influential consumers, the TV Talker. Making up more than half of TV viewers aged 16-54, they share ads they like and post frequently to their larger social network, sharing brand stories and driving ad messaging.


In “The New Power of Television”, Initiative explains how TV and social media are now providing marketers with a synergistic pairing that is delivering unexpected creative and media opportunities. We unveil a new group of technology-enabled, engaged TV viewers who are now influencing brand choice and purchase decisions through social media.


Television is driving online conversation which, in turn, is driving people to watch more TV. Initiative has identified a series of key pointers for marketers looking to tap into this vast resource:

•    Create fully-orchestrated TV Talking experiences over time – before, after and, critically, during broadcast.

•    Create a multi-screen and multiple element experience to make your brand easy to share and easy to explore.

•    Implement social governance strategies to maintain your relationship with the valuable TV Talkers.

•    Invest in analytics to prove the value of TV Talk on brand equity.

•    Test and learn new technologies to give your brand “first-mover” advantage.


Sarah Ivey, EVP, Director, Communication Planning, Worldwide, Initiative, said: “The synergistic effects between television and social are just the beginning of the possibilities. What is fascinating is that television is now a central navigation point in a brand experience where people can engage and create their own version of the brand story across many screens. Brands are being rewarded when they innovate in this space…it’s a truly exciting opportunity.”