Advertising in the Era of Shifting, Stacking and Meshing

I belong to the majority of people (65%) who spend the majority of their time shifting form one screen to another, even if more than a time I have found myself watching TV while text messaging and checking my emails on my tablet. This simultaneous use of screens, less common than using one screen per time, makes me belong also to the 35% of people that behave in this way. But why this should be interested and to whom? As the ADReaction 2014 report, to which these data belong, realized by Millward Brown underlines the multiscreen consumers comportment should be considered by brands to evaluate and plan their ads taking into account the scale of screens and the receptivity of people to various marketing approaches across screens.mb_adreaction_infographic
First of all, let’s take a quick look to which kind of behavior describe each term. Shifting means that people use one screen per time. So, let’s say if I’m watching TV, my eyes are only seeing images projected on that screen and I am not giving any kind of look, neither a glimpse to my laptop or smartphone. Then, I can decide to interrupt the enjoyment or boredom I’m feeling watching the show or movie aired on TV to put my attention on my smartphone (37% of people do this), or my laptop (as the 25% of users) or to shift from my smartphone to my tablet (like the 19% of users).
Stacking is the term used to define people who use a second screen while watching TV and its common among the 35% of users worldwide. In detail, the majority of the people (62%) check on their smartphones or tablets contents unrelated with what they are watching TV and only in the 38% of they case they use their second screen to look for related content. As the report explains people behave, in the first case, “to fill time during the ad breaks”, and in the second case “for more information about what’s on TV”. In detail this second kind of use of a second screen, is defined as Meshing and is considered as a true gold mine for advertiser.
More in general, Meshing is already a form of engagement beyond the pure consumption of a product on TV. It tells more about audience engagement and it’s will of knowing more, participating more in the conversation about the product and it’s probable desire to be changed by the product’s experience.

Contaious Contributor ((2013, December 10). Multi-screen Marketing in 2014. In Contagious. Retrieved from

McGoldrick J. (2014, March 17). Multiscreening and simultaneous media use: unlocking the golden age of digital advertising. In Forbes. Retrieved from

MillwardBrown. (2013). Digital Media &Predictons 2014. Retrieved from

MillwardBrown (2014, March 17). Adreaction Multiscreen report 2014. Retrieved from

4 thoughts on “Advertising in the Era of Shifting, Stacking and Meshing

  1. I think it is realy interesting how advertisers shape our minds. There is a real art to advertising. I like this post because it provides an inside look on how people can be sort of coerced into an ad they may or many not even be interested in.


  2. I’ve learned some new terms here thanks to you Federica. Apparently I stack all the time. Shifting attention from screen to screen, medium to medium, was often likened to a kind of ADHD-like proclivity for distraction. Now it is normalized behavior that we need to study to improve marketing strategies. I’m still in awe, for instance, how no longer does anyone question that 9 out of 10 people on a bus are staring at their phones, or have earphones on. That includes me.


  3. I agree with foolsblood! I never knew these terms even existed and I work in the advertising world, where you think we might know these to help us advertise. I think it’s important to understand these terms because they’ll probably be ten new ones in the next ten years! There are also times where I wish I wasn’t such a shifter or stacker and just enjoyed my surroundings – I need to make more of a conscious effort to be more aware and not so buried in my phone and all the other screens around me!


  4. I’m stacking right now. It’s amazing to see how the advertisement world shapes how we use products in addition to going to a site to look at the content. This was a really interesting article posing a lot of thougt for ads and how we use them.


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