KNect365 is part of the Knowledge and Networking Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Mobile broke TV ads, this is how mobile can fix them

chetChannels are struggling to keep the viewers attention when ad breaks start, writes Director Chetan Damani. Most viewers will fast-forward if they can or pick up their smart phones and the ads will fall flat.

Research by Nielsen shows that 84% of viewers look away once the ad breaks begin. Deloite research states that 99% of millennial’s will multitask whilst watching TV.

So how do we get the users attention back onto the ads, which the industry needs to fund the majority of content and innovation around TV?

One way of recapturing attention is TV ad syncing. This is when a TV advert and digital advert run at exactly the same time, so even if a user is on their mobile devices you can target them there knowing they just need to look up to see the TV advert.

There are a couple of different types of TV ad syncing on offer and these are:

Live ad syncing – Using apps like Shazaam, ITV’s X factor app or, TV ads and digital ads run at exactly at the same time, offering a truly synced experience.

Campaign-level syncing – This is when a TV ad is detected and a campaign is triggered using a DSP (a platform with media demand) or on Facebook.

With all the different options available, TV ad syncing has finally starting to gain mainstream appeal. To help brands execute successful campaigns, we have highlighted six best practices we have learnt from running TV sync campaigns on


  1. Keep the creative relevant – Making sure that the digital creative is not simply the same as the TV ad, but it is designed to continue the TV message and is built with the device in mind.
  2. Have a call to action – Using the TV ad for the brand message is fine but don’t forget to add a call to action on the digital advert.
  3. Use analytics to optimise – Use the results you get from the digital ads to help you find the best performing TV slots and then up weigh to similar audiences and shows, also don’t forget to AB test your creative.
  4. Native and Interruptive is ok – You are trying to recapture attention, so put a message in the digital advert telling the user the ads are now synced.
  5. Don’t just Sync with your TV ad – Use subtitles targeting to sync against what is relevant to your brand as well as syncing against competitor ads, results have shown a 30% uplift when targeting competitor brands and a 80% uplift when targeting relevant subtitles.
  6. Sync within 90 seconds – If you cant sync in real time make sure your TV and Digital ads appear within 90 seconds.


The number of TV syncing campaigns is growing rapidly, today there are more than 1,200 campaigns TV sync campaigns live. As the industry grows and brands start to see the real benefits, we are getting closer and closer to seeing a true cross device ad unit that can run on multiple platforms at the same time. Watch this space.

Chetan Damani is founder of, a TV discovery tool that helps people find and watch great TV. Prior to, he co-founded Imano a mobile consulting firm, which was acquired by Ness Technologies in 2012, he is also the co-founder of acrossair, a pioneer in bringing Augmented reality to mobile devices. 

Get articles like this by email