How do we find stuff anymore? Adverts?

It’s rare for me to write a blog post on the back of a previous one, but I can’t shake the feeling that I should have approached it from a different point of view.

The more I think about it, the more I see how we (customers) are being sold stuff, or rather, how we’re not being sold stuff.

As I had mentioned in the previous blog, we live in an age where we’re almost pre-programmed to skip adverts. We do it with catch-up TV, we do it online and I’ve seen people tearing out the ads at the front of magazines to get to the articles.

We consciously avoid websites with banner ads at the top, sides and bottom, not just because it’s ugly, but because it’s a distraction from what we actually want to read/see.

Which leads to the main question: how are we finding stuff? Are we actually less informed now than we used to be when it comes to new products and services?

In a world of information, how much do we take in?

The problem of the new 11-year-old not knowing what he wanted for his birthday, came about because he no longer consumes the adverts on TV. He watches catch-up, Netflix and YouTube.

This is less of an issue for radio, as we don’t have the option of fast-forwarding past the adverts and even Spotify manages to cram in advertising on its free plan.

For most other forms of media though, it’s a common problem and we can see how some advertisers are trying to combat this.

The key is to really grab your attention. From a magazine’s perspective, it needs to be long enough to avoid you flicking past the page.

Can you smell that?

The fragrance industry does this by adding the little tabs that you lift to smell the perfume/aftershave. It means the page is a little heavier as you turn it, which in turn grabs your attention because it feels different.

Product advertisers using Facebook are paying for adverts to sit in the middle of a video. You watch 30 seconds of people being given puppies as a present and then there’s an advert that you can’t skip past but you have to view it to see the second half of the video.

Some of these adverts are only five seconds long. Why? Because it seems less intrusive so that you don’t mind watching it, but also it’s how long you have to wait to skip past an advert on YouTube. Clever eh?

Seek me out

Now my favourite tactic by far is just actively going to look for a specific company or product. We want to see that company’s advert so much we will search for it on their homepage, we’ll Google it or even YouTube it.

Doesn’t happen to you? You don’t go looking for the adverts?

John Lewis has nailed this for the last few years at Christmas. The company actually creates a buzz around the fact that their advert is ‘coming’ way before it airs. Other companies follow suit. Millions of pounds are spent to get us to look for their company. Why? Because we skip past the ads.

Even before we were recording programmes on the TV with video recorders, what did we do when the adverts came on?

We went out of the room and put the kettle on.

I don’t have millions of pounds

This is the ultimate problem for the local businesses on our high streets and immediate area: the ladies and gents doing all the things that need doing when running their own businesses.

They don’t have that sort of budget to market themselves.

How do they grab our attention? me:now can help. Find out more about me:now for business.


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