Monday, October 06, 2008

"To let oneself be bound by a duty from the moment you see it approaching is part of the integrity that alone justifies responsibility." Dag Hammarskjold

"The test of extraordinary merit is to see those who envy it the most, yet obliged to praise it." Francois La Rochefoucauld

"A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority; what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority." Eric Hoffer

Today's image: myself by Davaun. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

[Chart via RWW]

Lots of conversation recently about measuring media. The Madison Avenue preoccupation is with so-called engagement. We are still in the process of establishing exactly what engagement means and how to properly measure it. There may not be agreement on how we define it but, that pesky detail aside, engagement is becoming one of the terms of art used most by buyers and sellers.

My sense is we are heading in the direction of getting a better (or in the least more serious) understanding of cognitive process and advertising.

Radio measurement is moving from the literacy driven diary to the passive Portable People Meter. From respondent recall to device exposure. The interesting development here is we are moving from engaging the attention required to complete the diary to a less demanding and different engagement of the respondent. From writing down listening and mailing to caring for a device that needs to be carried on our person.

No matter the method of capture we use the data to buy and sell advertising, the data also has serious business implications from what we program to how we program. But what does the data tell us about engagement? My sense is we don't yet know. We remain in the early days of learning.

Let's take a moment and deal with the bigger issues at play, the matters of cognitive process.

Advertising is communication that seeks to influence our thinking and behavior. For advertising to be effective it must first be noticed, before doing anything else advertising needs to get our attention.

For decades we have measured this notice in the study of recall. Did they see or hear the ad?

Here's a practical example. What billboard or other outdoor advertising can you remember seeing in the last seven days?

Years ago I put this question to my colleagues during an all hands meeting. The interstate highway we all used getting to and from work was filled with outdoor advertising. The majority of staff immediately recalled the exact same billboard. White letters on a black background. Two words of copy. Jesus Saves.

What can be learned from this? Standing out is the first important step. It's getting noticed. The billboard certainly did stand out from all others but is standing out enough?

As the story goes, the great advertising genius David Ogilvy once said "When I want a high recall score, all I have to do is show a gorilla in a jock strap." Speaking of gorillas, I invite you to watch a TV commercial starring a gorilla. Not even kidding. Via YouTube here. What did the ad say to you? Here's another to check out. Again, via YouTube here. What did that ad say to you?

I applaud those involved in creating those two excellent ads. My thought is if they moved the needle for the clients they were successful. The ads were certainly entertaining but is being entertaining enough? How many times have you been a part of conversation about a really cool ad where recalling the client was a challenge?

Next time we'll be back to more matters of cognitive process. Here's something to think about until we meet again. We pay attention with our time but time alone does not pay attention.

Thank you very much: To the readers from Australia, the EU, the USA and from all over the world who have been kind enough to use the chat feature on this blog to get in touch. It's always great making contact with readers. You'll find chat on the upper left of this page. Should it indicate I'm available please do give it a go.

Have an amazing week. Make something happen.

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