The Super Bowl has come and gone, but the advertising lives on as brands seek to squeeze as much as possible out of their expensive creative masterpieces. But if advertisers want to truly validate their media buys beyond simply “entertaining the masses” they need to activate the 50 percent of smartphone owners that use their devices while watching TV on a daily basis. Our review of how well Super Bowl advertisers actively engaged with the audience shows there is a lot of work to be done.

The first problem was that nearly 31 percent of this year’s $4 million-per-minute Super Bowl ads failed to use any form of mobile or digital call-to-action in an attempt to engage audiences. This is even more inexcusable when advertisers know that Super Bowl viewers are actually anticipating the commercials as a part of the event. Thanks to mobile technology these television spots are both a direct path to one-on-one engagement with audiences and can actively validate the efficacy of the media buy. If advertisers want to get their money’s worth, they will have to rethink first and second screen engagement strategies going forward.

The reigning “first screen” -- television -- clearly still has its place in the lives of consumers and advertisers' marketing plans. Even with the emergence of on-demand programming and streaming services, primetime TV still offers a meaningful way to engage consumers offline and online. But this medium can’t stretch beyond the living room, and therefore, cannot be the primary host to the modern web user’s increasingly mobile and social life.

Much of the content we engage with today is about us or our direct networks -- exemplified by the fact that almost 70 percent of mobile phone owners between the ages of 18-29 access social media on their devices according to Pew Research. Advertisers who limit their campaigns solely to the TV screen will find themselves missing 80 percent of the funnel -- but mobile devices are a different story.

How to take advantage of this shift in user behavior?

Whether or not one agrees that mobile is destined to be the “first” screen for delivering and consuming content, it is growing as a crucial channel for advertisers and is rapidly becoming the linchpin of entire campaign strategies. eMarketer predicts that by 2017, mobile will account for nearly four of 10 global digital ad dollars. Audiences are acting mobile first, so brands must behave mobile first.