The quality of consumer attention has been falling for decades, and consumers find product information on the web rather than on TV these days.
That what’s Thales Texeira, assistant professor in Harvard Business School’s Marketing Unit, explains in his intriguing working paper on the need for creativity in marketing: The Rising Cost of Consumer Attention
What can marketers do about that?
Beefing up advertising or setting up price promotions can have negative effects on current profits and future revenues. Hence, Texeira says that marketers should focus on reducing cost (create & distribute advertising for less money, using crowdsourcing, for example) or on increasing quality (create better ads and tailoring them to increase conversion).
The basic idea is that consumer attention, which has always been highly sought of by brands and advertising agencies, is far from being a given. Actually it has never been, but today it is even more difficult to get consumers’ attention through advertising.
In a context where consumers pay less attention, companies could just buy more media space to offset this decrease. But Texeira explains that buying consumer attention becomes prohibitively more expensive. His suggestions are:
- Create advertising/marketing content for less money
- Distribute advertising/marketing content for less money, by using inbound marketing (pull) and amplification (push) strategies
- Tailor advertising to have higher conversion rates when people don’t pay attention or
- Tailor advertising to increase peoples’ attention levels.
It’s I reckon this can be done by using AMAZING, AWESOME, HEAD-TURNING props and models that get lots of media attention and create ‘wow’, awe and curiosity with consumers – see my example below!
Outdoor ads as monuments, sculptures and statues to create attention
I worked with Studio Kite’s production team to create ‘Ella’, a giant, naked woman in the centre of Sydney, whose skin is made up entirely of peaches (approximately 24,000); she is a creative and engaging interpretation of Ella Baché’s brand proposition, Skin Good Enough To Eat. The Outdoor Advert titled 24,000 peaches was done by BMF Australia advertising agency for product: Ella Bache Skin Care (brand: Ella Bache) in Australia. It was released in the Feb 2008.
You can read Texeira’s dissertation here http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/14-055_2ef21e7e-7529-4864-b0f0-c64e4169e17f.pdf