Get Shouty

30 second seductions
August 12, 2007, 8:44 am
Filed under: Digital Strategy

I was at the Effectiveness Awards last week with the brilliant Todd. I think it was the second time he got up on stage one of the agency types who were sitting next to me said, ‘who did the TVC on that account?’

-No one.
– ”       “

Chatting about it afterwards, Todd said: “30 seconds doesn’t give you a lot of room for seduction” and it’s been making me think ever since, and not just ’cause he really knows what he’s talking about. Todd is also behind one of Australia’s best known TVC campaigns. The ad plays only on one day of the year. Once. It’s over 3 minutes long. And its remembered by 51% of the target group. This is despite it only reaching 33% of them. So there’s a bit of other stuff going on then…..maybe…

How much of our thinking is proscribed by the ad units of channels- not just TV but all channels? We can buy Reach and Frequency and we can build Context and Creativity, but how effective can we really be if all ad messages are interruptions?

During the geek love in between Faris and Iain the guys wrap their heads around that  ‘5 years into the future’ thought, with a great ‘what if’ (which I’m completely paraphrasing):

– What if all consumers only ever subjected themselves to content entirely of their own choosing?

I’m not all that sure that this reality is five years away.

It is possible to create advertising that people look for, that they look forward to, that they talk about, and helps them to buy stuff…. and you don’t have have to rent space on somebody else’s platform to achieve it.

What if…..instead of buying engagement vehicles to deliver an audience to your brand message…you threw away convention and created your some of your own engagement instead.

Keep in your mind that advertiser don’t integrate messages- consumers do.

I’m a huge fan of musical structure as an analogy to allow understanding of layered brand communication. I get told again and again that consumers cannot understand more than one message at a time.

Think of musical round– a simple one like “Row, row, row your boat”. It has four parts. Each voice starts at a different time. 5 year old children can manage it.

So why have a brand song with only one note?

Why not allow you consumers to build their own tune and join in with you as they uncover your song  in what ever way works best for them.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hello mate!

I think you’re right – it will take longer than five years – even if the technology is all there the Passive Massive won’t re-learn a lifetime of media habits in a heartbeat.

That said, I think we’re saying the same thing no? Don’t piggyback the attention earned by other content, earn your own?

Of course, this isn’t easy. People didn’t use to care but now they are wary of being persuaded – thus we not only have to compete with content that has no other purpose than to entertain, we have to sell on the back of it.

I’m pretty sure that will take more than one note ;-p

Comment by Faris

G’day Faris.
Yessireebob we are saying the same thing. Message fatigue in combination with those finely honed BS detectors does mean that piggybacking competes with engagement.

Amplification of enjoyment is a much better goal than interruption- don’t you agree?

I’m a huge, HUGE Joss Whedon fan and loved your chapter in The Age of Conversation “Don’t Give Me Songs. Give Me Something to Sing About”.

In it you say “Today, brands can’t stick to a single song sheet”.

I wish more brands had song sheets, that they had a more creative structure in their comms, that there was a defined melody and a counter point with a verse that everyone could join in on. Song sheets can even be distributed so that everyone can see the sum of the parts, you can see the key that they’re written in, the tempo, the parts where the different instruments join in….even where there are spaces for improv…

Your lovely concept ‘word of mouse’ comes in beautifully here. If we can create hubs to distribute brand song sheets, if we can create delectable brand assets to “remix and re-imagine the ideas we create and realise that the more people play with our ideas, the further they spread, the more meaning they accrue, the stronger our brands become.”

Oh the songs that will be sung!

Comment by katiechatfield

Good post.

I am oddly reminded of the time Korn (who were sponsored by Adidas) released the song All Day I Dream About Sex. It was a pretty much unique song in recent history, I cant think of anything else so blatant yet accepted by the (then) alternative audience.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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