FEATURE20 August 2013

Screen savour

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Multi-screening is a way of life for most UK households. But the way people use their screens defies neat categorisation, says MediaCom’s Claire McAlpine.


Advertisers and researchers have spent a lot of time thinking about what multi-screening behaviour means forbrands. As an industry, we’ve learned that individual screens – our phones, laptops, tablets, PCs and TVs – now rarely receive our undivided attention. Hence, the growing importance of ‘screen neutral’ content that works across different platforms, and connected campaigns that create journeys across different devices.

Much work has been done to try to identify and codify the different types of things these screens are used for. Microsoft’s ‘Meet the Screens’ project is one example – an archetypal model of usage: the TV is the everyman, the familiar entertainer; the mobile, our lover, always by our side; the tablet is the explorer, the window to discoveringentertaining content; and the laptop is our trusted sage.

Yet research among the 40 families within MediaCom’s Real World Britain mobile ethnography project suggests these devices are being used much more fluidly than typical screen behaviour categorisations would suggest.

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