People Watch Mobile Ads More When on Double Screens


  • Mobile ads have been found to get the most interaction from viewers who are also watching TV meaning that the best time to reach smartphone watchers is then. In the U.S, over 50% of adults who participates in an Aki Technologies survey admitted to being more receptive to ads on their phones as they watch TV. Other activities such as lying on their beds before sleeping and eating came second and third respectively at 51% and 36%. 25% were more receptive when running errands or shopping.

  • The survey also found established brands to have more advantage is advertising on the phone with over 50% of adults in the U.S admitting that the top reason they kept watching an ad was familiarity. 52% said they watch if the creative is exciting and 41% tied their behavior to right timing and coupons. Consumers feel less compelled to watch an ad as they are on the move. Still, brand familiarity tops even for people who manage to watch some ads on the move at 38% closely followed by interesting creatives at 35%. Timing and coupons were at 34% and 30% respectively.

  • Aki also discovered that how people receive mobile ads varies based on the activity. Millennials were more interested in ads as they were shopping, 39% while the number for Generation X consumers is at 27%. Generation Z and baby boomers were at 25% and 15%. The research also found Generation Z to pay the most attention to ads right before sleeping at 73%, millennials at 63% and Gen X and boomers at 51% and 40%.


Aki’s research has recommendations for marketers who want to develop strategies that will use their media to reach viewers when they can best engage with content like when they are eating, watching TV or preparing to sleep. The study found ad recall also to be highest as consumers were performing those activities regardless of the generation. The finding suggests that a second screen as one is using their phone will not affect how receptive they are to ads. Adults in the U.S spend on average, three and a half hours on their phones according to last year’s find outs, time which exceeds TV viewing.

Aki also discovered that mobile video ads got the most attention during bedtime when contrasted with banners, with 64% of viewers likely to watch them. It also found that video works well with consumers as they watch TV or eat. They are least likely to view such ads as they work or run errands. Ideally, the consumer is more likely to watch a video ad when they have the time to engage with a long sales pitch. Brands can use this fact to their advantage and place their ads in parts of the day when engagement is likely to be high.

The findings by Aki support the idea that viewers will likely take action after watching an ad on TV when they are using their phone concurrently. The second screen will improve their chances of follow up by 75% thereby improving the effectiveness of the ad, according to another study by MediaCom and ViewersLogic. People who watched ads with two screens were found to know more brands with a 12% difference between them and those without another screen.

Mobile ads will be quick in triggering emotion in the viewer and causing them to respond a certain way according to the Mobile Marketing Association. Such advertisements will trigger a response in half a second a fact which should inform how brands strategize their efforts. Commonly, brands look to get people’s attention by first displaying a human face image and then contrasting colors to highlight the image. Other brands also show strong emotions through complex situations.

The study by Aki comes at a time when mobile advertising is booming. It is expected that mobile ads spend will form 43% of the total ad market in the U.S by 2020, surpassing the total ad spend on traditional media. Last year, mobile contributed $76.17 billion of the ad spending. TV contributed $69.87, radio $14.41, print $18.74 and out of home, $8.08. By 2022, mobile ad spending will grow by 200% of TV.

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