AGD’s – Attention Getting Devices

How long does it take you to check your smart phone when you hear the familiar “ding” that you’ve received a text message?  If the phone is in your hand already, only a few seconds.  If you have to find the phone, perhaps 30 seconds.  And who knows how long if you have it on vibrate or can’t remember where you put it?

The point is that little “ding” is a very poignant and effective attention getting device, or an AGD for those of you into types of acronyms, like F2F for meeting someone face-to-face.  That “ding-y” AGD is part of the reason text messaging is growing in popularity for business owners, and why texting has such a phenomenal response rate.  Unless a text correspondence has ended, the sender or receiver is likely to continue responding until it does.  And the end result is likely to stir one of the parties to action.  Hence the effectiveness of flash mob.

Jamie's Baby

This banner from’s website is an example of an Internet attention getter; the client wanted more carpet cleaning business.

In more traditional methods of advertising, AGDs are as important, if not more so, than a strong call to action.  Think of a direct mail piece that blends in.  It looks like all the other direct mail correspondence in your mailbox and, most likely, gets recycled before it hits the countertop.  We could spend an entire blog on direct mail, but as it relates to getting someone’s attention, that piece must stand out from everything else, be delivered at the right time, and pique the receiver’s curiosity enough to get them to open it and see what it’s all about.  The odds are still in favor of it getting recycled, but if the offer is strong enough, it may survive.

Watch some television commercials, if only to see what grabs your attention.  This can be important to you as a marketer and business owner if your target demographic matches your profile to some extent.  Is the AGD a recognizable celebrity?  A cute pet?  Someone doing something silly or scary?  Does the AGD tug at your heart strings, make you cry, or cause you to salivate for some reason?  Most TV commercials, while they may seem longer, are only 30 seconds.  That’s a short time to get a viewer’s attention, pitch the product, and call the observer to do something about it.

Music and humor can be attention getting devices for advertising your product or service.  Beautiful images and sexual innuendo can also work, but the key to your success is using AGDs that reflect your image and convey your unique selling proposition to the targeted audience as clearly and succinctly as possible to GRAB THEIR ATTENTION … like yelling in an E-mail.

The fun part is that you’ll know yours when you discover it.