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Wednesday 28 November 2007

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There are many sceptics out there who do not believe advertising works. They believe that people leave the room, switch applications off or flick-through the pages when they see adverts.

Television is one of the popular mediums that these people criticise. In the UK it has been reported that the power companies see a large rise in usage at certain points in the evening, for example half time at a major football game that is live on television or an advert break during a popular soap. This has been blamed on people going to their kitchen and making a pot of tea whilst they are waiting for their programme to restart.

New technologies available to us, for example The Internet, DVDR and Hard Drive recording devices mean that there are now many different ways to record or download your favourite program.. With the Internet, people can download programmes whenever they like, advert free! The minor issue with this is that it is illegal. The television companies have responded by offering several programmes online (With adverts). This method, however, is legal!

Recently, American television company NBC conducted a neurological and biometric research programme to find out if people are getting anything out of the adverts as they’re fast-forwarding through them on their DVDR. 20 regular viewers of the Heroes programme were given clothing with special sensors that measured heart rate, respiration, skin response and physical activities.

The study found some amazing results. In particular, the eye movement tracker picked up significant patterns that were not too dissimilar from regular speed/ real-time viewing. The brands’ subconsciously entered the viewer’s minds, partly due to the fact that many ads are on regularly during this time slot so the brain expects and remembers them. Often, people remembered the adverts, but not the particular product and brand (which is true of real-time viewing as well).

This tells us several key things.

When you are creating an advert you MUST make it stand out- use bright, vibrant colours and use all the space you have been given.

Re-enforcing your message is critical. If you have an advert in one place once a year, are many people going to notice? If you have a clear and bright advert with a simple and easy to remember message that is shown several times over a set period then you have a much higher chance of entering your target audience’s subconscious mind. Surely, that is one of the key places you want to be!


Ref: Lewis, C (30th July 2007) "Marketers brainstorm tactics" Multi Channel News. Accessed 24th November 2007


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