Explained: Why it’s tough to create impact in consumers’ media-filled universe

Published: October 11, 2019 12:12:53 AM

Advertising when the customer needs your product the most is an age-old tactic for effective marketing.

Ads must create a visual impact to grab consumers’ attention.Ads must create a visual impact to grab consumers’ attention.

By Moneka Khurana

Every day, the average consumer sees 20-30 ads just on their phones. Information consumption is increasing, but the amount of time we have is the same. The result is an attention span crisis. Cognition researches show that the average human brain only takes half a second to register and react to an ad in a positive or negative manner. Studies also show that ads are recognised much faster on mobile platforms as compared to desktop or laptop screens. So, marketers need to have a ‘First Second’ strategy — that’s as fast as the blink of an eye — to grab and hold the attention of consumers. Here is a checklist to help achieve that:

Using ads as triggers

Ads must create a visual impact to grab consumers’ attention. When scrolling down a screen, ads appear as a blur; hence, the colour and placement of elements grab attention. Certain emotions are generated by certain colours — like red invokes love and passion, while green is associated with life and health. Placement and contrast between elements play a major role as well. A recent example of marketers utilising this are static ads by Doritos and Coca-Cola that had no logos, products or brand names. Pepsi and Cadbury, too, created ads with minimalist graphics, just enough for the consumer to recognise the brand. As a result, the viewer saw the ad, and was engaged for the few seconds it took to connect it to the brand. Although the success of such an ad is difficult to measure, it does reinforce the brand into the consumer’s mind without being too loud or obvious.

Advertising when the customer needs your product the most is an age-old tactic for effective marketing. Samsung devised a unique method based on this to highlight the speedy charging and long battery life of its new S6. The brand partnered with InMobi for the launch, and targeted both existing Samsung users and non-users. The ad appeared in a pop-up on their screens while the phone was used on low battery mode, giving a brief ‘demonstration’ of how fast a Samsung S6 would charge, as well as how long the battery would last, along with a video demonstration. The result: 1.6% consumers engaged with the ad, and 1.1% chose the ‘find out more’ option about upgrading or switching to the Samsung device. The two key elements utilised were battery life — the primary need — and motion — the short demo of the phone’s features — triggering a positive emotional response from the viewer when they saw a potential solution for a current problem.

Blend with the platform

Gaming platforms are creating ads that allow the viewer to briefly ‘play’ or view a short demonstration of the gameplay, engaging the viewer in the experience of the platform. An example is the collaboration of the movie Uri and PUBG, where a gameplay similar to the film was created on the gaming platform. The experiential marketing worked for both stakeholders involved, demonstrating a method of unconventional advertising by blending content with the channel used.

Industrial revolutions will come and go, constantly changing the way ads are created, placed, consumed and analysed. A mantra for marketers despite that is to make it simple, visually engaging, persuasive and memorable. Marketers must always focus on the maintenance and reinforcement of close ‘personal’ relationships with their consumers — a feat achievable only through a combination of engaging, impactful content that resonates with the consumer.

(The author is country head, MMA India)

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