Can I Have Your Attention…Please?

Posted on Posted in Social Media

In a world where email overloads, 1 second radio commercials, and high speed internet take over most of attention, when do we have time to appreciate quality advertising? The reality is that we don’t. Our time is consumed by daily tasks, activities, and jobs and our attention is limited to our own personal interests. Selective listening not only affects our daily choices but also our decision making process as consumers. Advertisers now have the challenge of obtaining the attention of consumers now more than ever because of their depleting attention spans.

What is Advertising?

It’s a structured way of communication that is directed to a target audience, paid for, usually persuasive, about a product or service, identifies the sponsor, and is transmitted through advertising media. Advertising it the result of a marketing plan that has been created to reach a target market for a company.

Content Overload & Attention Spans

Each day  information is thrown at us from different angles like our TVs, laptops, cell phones, billboards, radio, etc. All media platforms are used to provide information to the world and because of our exposure to these mediums we are conflicted with content overload. The issue with content overload is that our brains can not run fast enough to process all the information so we selectively choose what we what interests us the most and retain it. For this reason the human attention span has depleted over the past 15 years. As of 2015, the average attention span of a human is 8.25 seconds. A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. During 2000, the average human attention span was 12 seconds meaning the average has dropped 3.75 seconds. Although this may not seem like a significant amount of time this effects how advertising functions today. The attention span statistics do no confirm that the human population is getting more simpleminded but instead it highlights the affect of content overload.

The Price of Attention

The need for creative advertising and the cost has risen over the past couple of years. Did you know that this year the Superbowl reached it’s highest commercial ad prices ever?! This year a 30 second commercial for the Superbowl was $5 million and it reached 111.4 million people! It is projected that within the next few years the price of Superbowl commercials will to continue to increase. The Superbowl is a phenomenal time to launch an ad or campaign for your company but there are other platforms that are effective and can be used throughout the year. YouTube allows ads to be played before a video and the viewer has to be engaged in the commercial within 5 seconds or else they skip the ad. Now companies pay for YouTube impressions (views) so their ads can be viewed by a large group of people. The average TV commercial is about 10-30 seconds, these commercials are more memorable for frequent TV users. In the 1990’s the average TV commercial was 1 minute long and had shorter over the years.

5 Ways to Engage Your Audience

There is still hope for consumer engagement. Here are so quick tips for engaging your audience through meida platforms:

  1. Provide VALUE
    1. The question of “what’s in it for me?” should be satisfied in your marketing plan and advertisement.
  2. Make it PERSONAL
    1. Tap into the target audience’s emotions to draw them in.
  3. Let the PHOTOS speak for you
    1. “Photos speak a thousand words”, sometimes voice or audio isn’t directly needed to get the point across.
  4. ENCOURAGE participation
    1. Use multiple social media platforms to draw in different generations and users.
  5. K.I.S.S. Method
    1. Keep it simple stupid! To best adapt to short attention spans we have to make the content exciting and simpler for our viewers.

If you read through this entire blog without clicking through another link, I applaud you!  You’re beating the odds!


“Make it simple. Make it memorable. make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”

-Leo Burnett



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