More than a decade ago, The New York Times had a headline that read “Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad,” and that is something truer today than it was that handful of years earlier. Why? Because we are not limited to advertisements on billboards, in magazines and newspapers, and on TV. Today we also have computers with ads everywhere as well as mobile devices. Even free apps and games come with an array of advertisements.
It has made it very challenging and competitive to advertise, and there are now many moving parts to a marketing campaign in addition to visual ads. It has reached such a level of saturation that many consumers complain we live in a distracted world that does not allow us to give the kind of attention we’d like. Whether it is attention to consumer goods and service offerings in advertisements to our daily “to-do” lists.
It is important for anyone looking to enjoy success in their advertising campaigns to flip the dialogue and look at the advertising experience from the consumers’ eyes also. This is why the science of “eye tracking” has emerged. It shows you where the “hotspots” on any website or mobile screen are found and where the “visual behavior of real consumers in real advertising” exists. It is typically expressed through the use of gaze plot or heat map visualizations, and proves that some designs and layouts suffer from an issue known as “banner blindness.”
This is a relatively new phenomenon that occurs due to one thing: Consumers are aware of the fact that many banners or other pay-per-click ads are generated based on such things as cookies and consumer tracking. They know they are paid to advertise and might consciously ignore them. Statistics say that a great many internet users opt to ignore such ads and that only further validates the need to be aware of the consumer experience of advertising.
One organization used infrared eye-tracking technologies and statistics to determine that most consumers dislike even a hint of persuasion in the marketing messages and branding they are exposed to through advertising. As an example, think of a video ad that ran the company logo largely and prominently. It is likely you withdrew from this forced viewing, and would do so if that same ad used larger logos briefly or popped up a logo in the center of the screen.
You can display a logo and not cause consumers to recoil by simply handing over the majority of the message to creative imagery and text or video and giving a sliver of the “real estate” to the logo. You can also use the “brand pulsing” concept that firms like Coca-Cola have used for years, unobtrusively showing the logo through a depiction of consumers using the product.
Consumers’ and Feelings
Modern consumers are not as jaded as many would like to think and if you can generate an emotional response, a positive emotional response, you get a much better return. Unfortunately, you have only seconds to do so. Modern consumers are quick to withdraw attention because they are asked to hand over so much of their time or attention to advertising.
Try to use a bit of surprise to make the biggest impact. A funny or humorous GIF, a shareable quote or comment, and other more surprising messages are going to be far more appealing to the modern consumer who is used to floods of advertising that do a lot of asking, but very little giving.
If you want help creating the kind of consumer advertising experience that helps you to reach your goals, the team at RAIN has a full array of services suited to those in the financial industry who face even greater hurdles in consumer messaging.