It's the age of low attention spans and really short advertising, so how to combat your ad vs. our ADD?
In a society that is absolutely saturated with information that is constantly vying for our attention, an argument can be made that we all suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) from time to time. The inability to concentrate and shorter attention spans can absolutely be linked to the rapid-fire messages bombarding us from every platform, often hundreds of times per day.
So what does that mean for your business? Well, for one thing, it means that your particular brand is going to have to do some serious swimming to get to the surface of all that information. Something is going to have to grab the attention of your consumers in a way that is more memorable than the ads before or after.
Internet advertising is getting more and more sneaky when it comes to making sure it’s at the forefront of your browsing consciousness. Here are some things that internet ads have been bringing to the ring that you may want to consider in your own campaigns:
Really Short Advertising
You know how some sites give you an option to skip an ad after 5 seconds? More and more companies have discovered a loophole in this invention: if you make the ad itself five seconds long, they’ll see the whole thing whether they “skip this ad” or not. As it turns out, five seconds is plenty of time to get a message across, so here’s your chance to get creative and realize which aspects of your brand should be thrown into the spotlight.
Along the same lines as five second ads, many other companies are striking gold with their super-short tutorials. Lowes set the bar particularly high with their six second Vine “fixes”, and other food companies have begun to jump on the bandwagon with fast and easy recipes. Once again, a feat like this requires the ability to zero in on what you really want your consumers to know about your brand and the impression you want to leave after their attention has inevitably wandered.
Remember when MySpace was at the peak of cool and everyone could pick their own funky backgrounds, fonts, colors, even songs to add to their pages? Remember, also, how sometimes going to that one person’s out-of-control page was enough to give your poor, overstimulated computer a stroke? One of the great (for consumers) new things about scrolling through videos on certain sites is that they are automatically muted, or they are muted once you scroll past them. Once again, someone on the advertising end was smart and decided that in automatically making subtitles pop up when the video is on mute, people are much more likely to pay attention since they have a context for the video. This is further incentive to come up with engaging and creative writing for your advertisements.
When in Rome…
Both of the above suggestions have been of the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude, but that’s no reason to go into the ring with your head hung in defeat. Having a little fun with your audience is a good way to be engaging. Geico is one company in particular that doesn’t seem to shy away from the truths of advertising and thus, came out with several ads recently that played along and even poked fun at its consumers who wanted to get through their ads quickly. These commercials came in “unskippable” (“You can’t skip this ad because its already over!) and “condensed” (“for your viewing convenience”) varieties and were refreshing as well as fun. The fact is that society is in a constant state of change, and the brands that will survive will likely be the ones who roll with the punches.
For further ad inspiration, take a look at the following links:
- Lows “Fix in Six”
- Geico “Unskippable” Ad
- Geico “Condensed” Ad
- Marketing to the Shrinking Attention Span of the Modern Consumer