AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerTelevision Advertising and the Multitaskers

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Television Advertising and the Multitaskers

According to Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey, 90% of US consumers multitask while watching television. And it is not just the “young generation.”Dad sitting on the floor and uses a laptop

More than 5 in 6 Baby Boomers actively engage in other activities while watching television. The No. 1 activity for multitasking is browsing the web, and that trend from 2012 is continuing to grow. Millennials are more likely to be browsing, but even those aged 69+ reported web-browsing multitasking activity.  

Other activities included social media, reading email, texting and playing video games. Only 8% reported that they “just watch TV,” and that trend line is heading down.

What does this mean? There are two keys ideas to adopt:

  1. You need to find a connection between what you are saying on TV and where people can find more information online. They are browsing, give them a place to go. Breaking Bad provided an online, second-screen experience as you watched the show;
  2. Back in my early TV days we talked about getting people to look up from the newspaper. The same rules apply now: You have to re-engage people on TV.

The best way to re-engage is to write to the video and use words to activate viewership. Phrases such as “take a look at this” and “you will not believe this video” or “watch what this person does.” These engagement phrases have been used by TV news anchors for years, now it’s time to adopt the same engagement tools in this age of multitasking.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.