Attention is the life-blood of advertising. No matter which way you cut it, advertising can only work if audiences are paying attention to the message and the environment it resides in.
With the proliferation of social media and second-screens, capturing the undivided attention of a consumer is a greater challenge now than it ever has been before. A recent report from Enders Analysis found that advertisers are placing a priority on poor quality attention. That is a consequence of an increased focus on maximising reach and achieving short-term goals.
Cost-efficient, reach-driving channels clearly perform a key role as part of the media mix. However, by focusing purely on these channels, as brands, we run the risk of denying ourselves the longer-term benefits of higher quality attention.
Marketers should be asking – is my campaign capturing enough attention?
At Smart Energy GB, this is a question I ask myself a lot. Our mission is to convince every household in Britain to book a smart meter installation for their home. With that, we have had to grapple with the challenge of engaging a diverse set of audiences with a complex message from a low interest and extremely low trust category.
Independent tracking had highlighted that engagement among 20-28 year olds and over-65s was lagging behind the national average. To address this, we needed to deliver tailored communications in an environment, which allowed enough time and space for the audience to digest a complex message. Reaching these audiences more efficiently in online channels would not be sufficient; we needed to capture and hold their attention.
The solution we reached was a series of magazine partnerships, bringing to life the existing creative concept of ‘The Power of 10p’. By illustrating what was possible with just 10p’s worth of power, the idea reframes personal energy saving as significant. This also proclaimed the smart meter product as an easy way of monitoring and adjusting energy usage. Magazines represented the perfect environment to communicate a new set of 10p examples, tailored to our key audiences.