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Blogger’s Park: Navigating the Attention Economy

LS Krishnan

If you ask any marketer about the positive effects of the information boom, their instinctive reaction is “information flow”. It’s the number one cause of clutter, the noise responsible for losing most marketing messages. How to attract attention in such a scenario?

The movement to grab attention starts with creating a functional metric (a media plan) linked to the message assimilation score (TRP score) for each advertising environment. However, one must understand the human mind before trying to capture its attention. A rule of thumb to follow is that it is not pleasure that the brain seeks; the mere anticipation of pleasure is a more powerful engine for reaching attention-grabbing levels of dopamine. While you can’t be physically there to measure the surge of dopamine in every consumer’s mind when they watch your ad, significant positive changes in TOMA (top of mind awareness) metrics will be every evidence you will need.

But before dopamine becomes the driver of attention, there’s one main hurdle that all marketers must overcome: distraction pruning. Our brain does this to give us time to pay attention to the essential things. Of course, the exception to this case is “active intent”.

When you apply these principles to marketing, it becomes clear that more compact creative and messaging will grab more attention and save faster. A giant hoard, on the other hand, is treated like noise in our heads (contrary to popular belief).

Indiranagar ka gunda is an example of an eye-catching campaign that filled the consumer’s mind with anticipation. Yes! Without me even mentioning the brand name, you began to imagine Rahul Dravid standing through the sunroof of an SUV, waving a cricket bat like a sword. FinTech unicorn Cred instantly grabbed the attention of the Indian consumer with this ad, making its way into consumers’ memory.

While a lot of time and effort is invested in creating messaging, advertisers rarely focus on the campaign’s delivery mechanism or its resulting uptake result. A recent Deloitte survey found that consumers can spend up to 140% more if they have more positive experiences with a brand than negative ones.

This is among many other reasons that have paved the way for new advertising formats like in-content advertising (ICA). ICA digitally integrates brand advertising communication into content during the post-production phase. ICA provides an uncluttered environment and provides exclusivity, meaning a 22-minute episode has only one branded communication integration. As the consumer is engrossed in watching their favorite show on TV, the levels of anticipation are high, resulting in a higher rate of information absorption. Thus, between two continuous shots, when they see a brand advertisement of an actual product, it is almost instantly (a) identified and (b) registered. The future looks bright with innovation to increase the attention score of brand advertising campaigns with subsistence goals.

The author is CEO & India Director, Whisper Media

Also read: EU lawmakers pass landmark tech rules, but enforcement is a concern

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