Sedes 
Skip to main content
Top Picture

Consumer Science

Go Search
Home
Calendar
Group Member Publications
Contributors
MSMC
Winter Camp
  

Consumer Science > Categories
How to make people learn when they are tired of the message?: work (with your agency) to make it better!
I can not count the number of times I have traveled by plane.  One constant on every flight are the safety instructions before take-off, sometimes demonstrated live by the flight attendents, mostly on video. 
Although I can appreciate the occasional view of a stewardess performing the blow-up of a life vest, most of the times these communications pass by me.  I have seen them hundreds of times, I ignore them.  And I still don't have a clue where the life jacket is. 
 
Virgin Airlines has found a surprisingly simple way to make people attend safety instructions: make them somewhat fun to watch.  Add a little humor, unexpected style, an incongruent image now and then, a pleasant tone, use a format and style that allows you to deliver a clear message.  Or: let your (good) advertising agency handle your instruction videos.  Communication is their craft. 
 
HERE is the video.  You will keep watching.  And you will learn where the life jacket is.  And HERE is a comment on ExperienceCurve.com.  The commentator makes an additional point:   Customers might infer that an airline which exceeds expectations on a seemingly unimportant detail (like the safety instruction video), will be better evaluated overall.   I would call this a hypothesis, but one that is interesting, testable, and to my knowledge yet untested. 
Does TV advertising reduce consumers' price sensitivity?
 
A few days ago, AdAge reported a study apparently demonstrating that exposure to TV ads reduces consumers' price sensitivity.  According to the report, price sensitivity reduced even after seeing only one commercial, and kept going down at a decreasing rate with frequency of exposure. More than seven or eight exposures had no additional effect.  
 
HERE is a link to the AdAge article. 
 
Two interesting issues here: 
 
One is the issueing of this news item itself, without the actual data or research report to back it up (at least I could not find it).  The finding was produced by the Project Apollo, a collaboration of research firms Nielsen and Arbitron.  Arbitron gathers media exposure data, and Nielsen scans the purchases, both on the same large panel of consumers. The project was recently extended, and the many potential clients for the service probably need a 'significant' finding now and then to guarantee their continued interest.  This kind of 'finding', vaguely described, quickly spreads over the net, and onto the screens of potential clients.  It's a classic PR/publicity technique, amplified by the multiplication power of the internet.   
 
Second, the apparent secrecy about the actual findings (data, analyses, what is really going on,...) is regrettable, because the finding could indeed contribute to the scientific research about advertising effects.  Compare the finding with the classic 1995 JCR paper by Anusree Mitra and John Lynch. They found that advertising would increase price sensitivity if the effect of the ad on brand awareness (likelihood that the brand enters the consideration set) dominates its effect on brand preferences, while it would decrease price sensitivity if the preference effect dominates the brand awareness effect.  Interestingly, Mitra and Lynch speculated that the memory effect is larger when consumers need to remember brand names in order to find them (like in complex store environments), or when stable preferences (among mature brands) have already been formed. 
The bottom line is that a lot of 'background factors' influence whether ad exposure frequency makes us more or less sensitive to prices.  Only when the details of this particular study would be revealed it would be possible to evaluate whether they really have an interesting new point or not. 
 
Luk
 
 
Originele Anti-rook campagne

 

 

In kleine lettertjes onder staat:

''Deze waarschuwing negeer je niet, waarom negeer je waarschuwingen op pakjes sigaretten dan wel?''

 

Dit vind ik alleszins een originele, aandachttrekkende manier om de boodschap over te brengen.

Stereotypes in ads
The last few days there is a lot in the media about using stereotypes as
marketing communication instruments.  The now infamous Dolce&Gabanna ad,
supposedly about rape or gang-bangs (I don't see anybody being raped or
gangbanged in the ad, do you?) is really just about presenting women as
objects of lust (a stereotype) like so many other ads do.  Only here,
the voyeurs are IN the ad.  The guys standing around the scene are you and me.  But they look better in cut-off jeans ... 

Stereotypes are just simple ways to say something that everybody
understands.  Advertising needs to communicate fast: you only have a
few seconds of a consumer's attention.  Stereotypes, as extreme
simplifications, are never 'the truth' (the truth is complex,
multidimensional, etc..).  They are part of the mental toolbox we use to
understand and communicate reality.  We can use stereotypes as 'the sender' of information, and interpret these messages as 'the receiver'.  It can facilitate communication (shared understanding of the meaning of the communication), while neither of us has to BELIEVE that the stereotype is true.   I also don't think many people actually believe that.  But we DO share the illusion that the stereotypes in such ads might affect other peoples perception of reality.   

As an illustration, here are two other examples of extreme stereotyping in ads.  The women
protesting the D&G ad probably think that THIS clip is very funny.  And
the older people might like this -spoof on a- LADA ad.    I got both ads from the BizMediaScience blog.  The characters are presented as least as caricature-like as in the D&G ad.  The format is humor, instead of Penthouse-style glamour photography.  It is easier to swallow, but no less stereotypical. 




Effect of location in the screen on ad response? 

I found this interesting but weird claim from marketing practitioner Joseph Carrabis on i-Media Connection.  He claims that stimuli (like logos, banners,...) placed on top of the screen invite more cognitive reactions, while stimuli in the middle of the screen invite more emotional reactions.  

Carrabis claims this as ‘the truth’ but without support.  I at least, have never seen any evidence for any of this.  It is consultant blah-blah.  I put it on the blog, because somehow, as a hypothesis, it seems to have some appeal. There may indeed be implicit interpretation rules that attribute more authority to what is on top. Although, I think that IF there would be an effect, it is likely to be very small and overwhelmed by the effects of ad content.  There seems to be less intuitive value in the claim that we react more emotional to what is in the middle of the screen, at least not if you hold intensity and duration of attention on the screen elements constant.  

I copied the relevant part of Carrabis' message below: 

Placement

You may be surprised to know that branding has a great deal to do with where something should be on the page. NextStage's concept of branding may sound different than marketing's definition, but it has pretty much the same intent: "How does something become a positive long term memory?" Placement also is a little different in NextStage's lexicon. It has to do with "Where does something need to be in the visual field to be positively acknowledged and referenced by the viewer?"   These redefinitions are useful for several reasons, one of which is that these redefined topics have a rich research history and have been answered many times before under many situations and constraints.

I mentioned in the summary to "Branding in Online Video" that it doesn't matter where something is placed, what matters is "What response do you want from the viewer?"

That answer is trivial to state but not trivial to execute. Fortunately, executing an outcome to that question can be broken down into two simple outcomes: do you want to capture their hearts or their minds? Capturing both is beyond the scope of this article, but capturing either hearts or minds is easy.   The "voice of authority" in western culture is located in the upper left. A lot depends on what that voice is authorizing, but a good general rule is to place ads, images, videos that you want to make people think in the upper left. Touching people's hearts is done in the middle right of the screen. Like the voice of authority, the "voice of compassion" depends on what that voice is compassionate about. A good general rule is to place ads, images or videos in the middle right of the screen if you want to touch people's hearts.

 

 

increasing nicotine levels in cigarettes
Apparently nicotine levels in cigarettes have increased by 11% in the last few years.  See the Reuters news release HERE
 
The article claims that it makes cigarettes more addicitive.  But would a smoker smoke more or less with increasing nicotine in each inhalation?  Both stories seem plausible.  Anyone seen reasearch on this? 
"The Consumer" is the ad agency of the year
Advertising Age has elected "the consumer" as the Advertising Agency of 2006 (here the link).  Accompanying the announcement is the usual story: YouTube, Web 2.0, Mentos&Coke, etc ...  Another signal that there are important new developments in the brand communication world.  Or mainly A.A. jumping on the buzz train?  I still don't see advertising agencies (or traditional advertising) disappearing: there is a still a big gap between the highly involved, highly active 'player' on the internet, and the massive-passive audience for basic brand communication.  It is great to have a bunch of affectionado-ambassador-evangelist consumers behind your brand, but as a marketing manager trying to build awareness for my new product (or renewed interest in my old product) I would still opt to spend enough on TV-radio-print ads.  At least in 2007.