Ready, steady, real-time: a campaign from two sides

The term convergence is still used with surprising regularity and none more often when looking at how TV and digital is fitting together. To really get under the cover of how 'converged' we are, we look at a recent campaign from the view of the client (Co-operative Electrical) and media owner (eBay Advertising).

Dual screen Great British Bake Off campaign from the view of the brand and publisher
Dual screen Great British Bake Off campaign from the view of the brand and publisher

The 60th anniversary of TV advertising in September was the cue for many a look back at how the medium has evolved over more than a half century. Coincidentally, it was also eBay’s 20th birthday, and the question of how the futures of television and digital advertising intersect has never been so relevant.

To explore the potential of targeting dual-screeners with dynamic messages reacting to the live broadcast in real-time, eBay Advertising partnered with Co-operative Electrical on a campaign to coincide with the final of The Great British Bake Off, the most watched TV programme since coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

We get both sides of the story from publisher and brand

Phuong Nguyen, director of eBay Advertising UK

"At eBay Advertising, we’ve seen the boundaries between formats and media become increasingly blurred. But many brands still address different channels in silos – particularly television and online. Specifically, we’re not seeing marketers capitalising on dual-screening as much as they should be.

Many brands still address different channels in silos – particularly television and online. Specifically, we’re not seeing marketers capitalising on dual-screening as much as they should be

The Great British Bake Off campaign demonstrated the power of technology-enabled creativity at its best. We used a mix of contextual, demographic and, critically, behavioural insights to pinpoint baking enthusiasts who were online during the final, and enjoyed a live creative production with Co-operative Electrical to serve ads that reflected what was happening on screen just 30 seconds earlier.  

During the show we saw a 240% rise in searches for Kenwood mixers (one of the products advertised by Co-operative Electrical during the campaign) and a 112% increase in searches for 'food mixer' compared with the semi-final. We also observed a doubling in searches for rolling pins as viewers were inspired to attempt their own millefeuilles.

One of the most interesting aspects of the campaign was that it didn’t just influence interest in items appearing on screen, but created a halo effect across the category. For example, there was also a 230% increase in searches for 'KitchenAid', which was featured in last year’s series and a huge 680% increase in searches for the generic term 'baking'.

The results underscore just how lucrative the dual screening market is. Events that capture the nation’s interest – from a TV final to sporting fixtures and London Fashion Week – can have a massive impact on how the nation shops, but the effects are often short lived. Once again, it’s the marketers that act fast that will be best placed to capitalise. "

Charlie Manson, head of home entertainment at  Co-operative Electrical

"Marketers understand that some purchases – jewelry, for example – are driven as much, if not more, by feeling as by practicality. But few recognise the extent to which electrical products can be influenced as much by aspiration as by necessity.

Whether it’s the resurgence of home baking or the huge trend for 'clean eating' – the way we plan, prepare and consume food is all about the lifestyle we want to cultivate.

It’s no surprise then that the Great British Bake Off presented the perfect audience for our kitchenware category. In fact, it was a no-brainer for us to target the final episode.

Marketers understand that some purchases – jewelry, for example – are driven as much, if not more, by feeling as by practicality. But few recognise the extent to which electrical products can be influenced as much by aspiration as by necessity

Real-time targeting and dual screening were on our radar, but we wanted to investigate just how big an opportunity they presented and explore how they could help us communicate with an audience in a new way.

We had the chance to zero-in on ‘purchase ready’ consumers who already had a history of browsing for baking items, in addition to those searching for baking-related keywords on the night, and serve ads that would inspire them while they were watching the programme.

It wasn’t solely about the volume of items sold on and around the day, but also a matter of brand perception. We want to be seen as riding the wave of events as they happen. Advertising in real-time is an effective way to demonstrate to consumers that we’re connected to their world.

In addition to an immediate increase in interest in the products that we advertised in real time, we saw a long-tail increase in brand interaction. In the hour after the show, we saw a 40% increase in click-throughs on our ads and a 22% in interaction with our bespoke brand page on eBay.co.uk.

As well as demonstrating how successful partnerships between brands and publishers with high quality primary data can be, the campaign has definitely made real-time targeting a top marketing priority for 2016."

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