There has been lots said in the past few weeks about Social TV. The concept is simple and potentially very powerful. In a nutshell, it describes the mass online collaborative experiences that occur in real time during TV broadcasts, extending the viewing experience beyond the goggle box and towards interaction within social media (the google box, if you will). The opportunities for brands (and media companies) are huge.

Simple activations include brands associated with sport sponsorship enabling pundits to provide commentary live during games, allowing fans to interact with them and each other. During ‘reality’ TV shows brands should enable celebrities to critique (Twitique?) what’s on screen, via the brand’s Twitter handle. Similarly, on platforms like Facebook an opportunity exists to create a non ad break, activated during the live commercial break showing video or content directly related to the show being broadcast, but providing interaction/adding depth/commentary etc. When the show recommences, the content ends (but the opportunity to discuss it/share it persists).

Where things begin to get really interesting is around the concept of live DVD extra-like commentary and interaction (enabled for you by brand X). So hypothetically, during the broadcast of the latest Bond film on national TV, Omega (or Aston Martin or any of the franchise’s many commercial partners) would bring you the opportunity to Tweet directly with Daniel Craig and the film’s director. So the audience can interact with the people behind the content as it plays out in front of them, adding depth and flavour.

From a very simple PR perspective, social TV can be used by brands to ensure that spokespeople/employees are active on social media platforms when that brand is going to be featured, especially on short format shows like news bulletins when the opportunity to get the brand message across is short and the positioning potentially hostile. That way, as long as you let people know about it in advance, they can ask for more detail and brand ambassadors can direct interested parties to more information.

UPDATE: No sooner do I post this than I see this.  Orange is sponsoring comedian Peter Serafinowicz to commentate on the BAFTAs via Twitter this weekend.  Smart.