How to Own the Living Room During Major 2020 TV Events 

December 9, 2019

There’s no bigger spectacle to bring family and friends together than a live TV broadcast of a major event, or, as those in the industry refer to it, a “tentpole” event. Millions of Americans can instantly and vividly recall moments like when Warren Beatty mistakenly crowned La La Land as Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, or when Kerri Strug landed on one foot to lead the U.S. gymnastics team to gold in the 1996 Olympics, or even Tom Brady’s umpteenth Super Bowl victory. 

While tentpole events remain the most sought-after media buys, live TV has been significantly impacted by second screen attention deficit—a symptom that almost all Americans deal with as a result of the plethora of video devices available. As viewers heavily utilize their mobile devices during live news, sports, live TV has pivoted from the main focus to a mere ambient amusement.

Let’s look at one of the biggest tentpole events out there—the Super Bowl. At first glance, we find that Americans didn’t tune into this past year’s Super Bowl coverage on TV in as large of numbers as previous years. Sure, the 13-3 final score wasn’t all too enthralling, but why the dip in viewing?

According to Nielsen, the big game drew an average television audience of around 98 million viewers (compared to 111 million the previous year). However, according to CBS, the big game was watched across all platforms — including streaming and Connected TV devices — by a combined total of 100.7 million viewers. In addition, the streaming coverage of the game made up for some of the TV decline, with 2.6 million viewers, up 31% from last year’s Super Bowl, and a new streaming record.

So, no matter how you cut it, tentpole events like the Super Bowl provide a major medium for advertisers to tell their brand story to a vast majority of households. However, as we know, most viewers are simultaneously gaming, on social media or browsing online. In fact, 70% of U.S. adults ‘second-screen’ while watching TV. This leads to an issue with brand recall during commercials. A study has shown that brand recall plummets by nearly 50% when a TV viewer uses a second screen.

Advertisers must find ways to transform the challenges of modern living room viewing habits. After all, tentpole events are still attracting millions of viewers. That’s where automatic content recognition (ACR) comes into play. By utilizing ACR technology, Tremor Video can leverage TV data from millions of households in order to guide and deliver the most effective TV retargeting campaign across devices during tentpole events. Not only that, we can get creative by delivering videos across screens to viewers in real-time with messages that actually pertain to what they’re watching.

During specific Olympics moments like the 2018 opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang, viewers of the winter games received customized messages from American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to promote the ABC reboot of the hit franchise. The campaign was also able to reach fans of American Idol that have previously shared clips from the show, as well as viewers of other music and reality competition programs. This ensured that not only were the right audiences informed of the upcoming series reboot, but they were told in a time, place and tone that made sense.

It’s this kind of innovation and strategic thinking that advertisers should consider in order to effectively reach modern TV viewers during primetime tentpole events.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up in 2020:

Q1 2020
Q2 2020

For more information on how Tremor Video can help you reach tentpole event viewers across all screens, visit:

-Frank Pasquine, Content Manager, Tremor Video