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On Thursday 26th June, on E4, Ed Sheeran presented a new breed of TV ad to viewing audience explaining that he was going to need the viewers help to decide which song they would like him to play acoustically from his new album "X" in a groundbreaking step in commercial TV advertising. Usually viewers would have just been played some highlights from his latest album with a voiceover but this time Ed was asking for the audiences help with deciding which song they would like to see him play at the end of the new series of "Big Bang Theory", making them crucially part of the ad.
Having worked with Channel 4 to push this space forward its superb to see the desire and willingness for audiences to engage with this kind of content first hand.
Channel 4 have a pan platform licence with Mass Relevance/Spredfast, the technology used to power the on screen vote. Without the power of this kind of technology this opportunity would not be possible.
It's incredibly important that both the technology and the creative concept work seamlessly together to ensure that the whole campaign works to enhance the viewer experience, making them feel like their engagement matters - This campaign certainly executes this.
Whats exciting is that after the ad aired the amount of social conversation around @EdSheeran was huge, due to the fact that viewers felt part of a live event experience. From a brand wide perspective Ed Sheeran could have been McDonalds, a Honda or a Nokia. The conversation and amplification TV adverts can give to brands is huge and this activation has proved this. Viewers had more affinity with the advert because of the social interaction, it resonates far further with the viewer as they are integral to the TV advert.
TV ad revenues have been on the decline in the last 5 years, but this provides a new leash of life on the commerciality around ads which should make both the Ad makers and the broadcasters jump for joy....bring on the new era of TV advertising.