Read This Now!

If you don’t read this entire article now that you’ve started, you will miss valuable information about how to get someone’s attention.  Yes!  That’s the purpose of the headline and this blog – getting people’s attention.  And yes, we’re revisiting the topic.

Headlines are attention getting devices (AGDs) in print ads or newspaper and magazine articles.  So is an opening scene or theme in a TV commercial or video and the initial sounds in a radio spot, TV commercial, and video.  With the average person being bombarded by more than 2,000 advertising messages every day, it is imperative that any advertising you do for your business stands out from all the rest.

You also have to realize that the more targeted your ad messages are to your desired audience, the greater your chances of inspiring a positive purchase decision.

Some commercials are so horrible they stand out because they’re atrocious.  Others are fabulous in that they grab a consumer’s attention and keep it until the end.  If the commercial has the intended impact, it creates a sense of urgency with the consumer to go and make a purchase.  That’s the intent of an AGD and the commercial, is it not?

Think about a majority of the drug commercials on television today.  They try to get your attention by highlighting an illness or symptom, using 10 seconds out of 30 to explain what their product can do to resolve the concern.  Then, based on the federal regulations, they spend the remaining 20 seconds telling you the potential side effects.  Do these spots keep your attention after they get it, if they get it?

Knowing your target market segment is critical to developing an effective advertising and marketing budget.  You are likely to waste money if you advertise to potential consumers outside of your target demographic.  That’s another blog, though, and often unavoidable since advertising channels (newspaper, magazines, radio, TV) have to lump people (potential buyers) together to get you to buy their space or time.

Let’s consider a relatively new commercial campaign for a fast food restaurant that has decided to launch a breakfast menu, Mexican style.  The belief is that their target audience is consumers who like to eat breakfast at the dominant player in the fast food breakfast market.  The attention getting device showcases men claiming to be Ronald McDonald who love breakfast at Taco Bell.  We asked consumers who were discussing the commercial which fast food company paid for the ads.  In shades of Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” faux pas, the majority were unable to identify that it was Taco Bell.

Think McDonald’s is going to complain about the commercials?  Hardly!  When you study the 30-second commercial,  Taco Bell is mentioned once outside of the actors’ lines and the logo appears twice … but Ronald McDonald is mentioned over and over.  One might think it’s a commercial for the golden arches.

In other words, be careful about your attention getting device.  Take the time to think things through.  We noticed Taco Bell now has some different commercials focused more on their breakfast entrees than on their competition.  Agencies don’t always have the right answers, and mistakes can be costly.  Know your market segment!

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand