mercoledì 19 gennaio 2011

A lie repeated a hundred times doesn’t become the truth.

I watched TV the other day and I was astonished by how many times I’ve see one commercial. Over and over again. It almost felt like déjà vu.
I needed to pinch myself to ensure I’ve ended up in some kind of black whole with looping commercials.
It was really happening.

Some marketers and media planners made a pact with Devil and sold their souls in exchange for security in form of frequency. They tend to believe it is a killer idea, that guarantees success and pushes consumers into your arms.
I am sorry to say that advertising industry spends billions of dollars based on vague assumption that effectiveness of advertising is a result of repetition. The more advertising is shown, the more effective advertising will be. It is like media were school and consumers pupils you need to discipline and teach by showing them advertising more than once, twice, three times, four times…Afterwards their knowledge is tested with awareness tracking. High recall numbers and effective frequency on plans ensures you that consumers will buy your products. It sounds neat.
Thomas Smith wrote a guide called Successful Advertising in 1885.
"The first time people look at any given ad, they don't even see it. The second time, they don't notice it. The third time, they are aware that it is there. The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they've seen it somewhere before. The fifth time, they actually read the ad. The sixth time they thumb their nose at it. The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it. The eighth time, they start to think, "Here's that confounded ad again."The ninth time, they start to wonder if they're missing out on something. The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they've tried it. The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads. The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product. The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value. The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time. The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can't afford to buy it. The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future. The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product. The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product. The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully. The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering."
How come that in 21st century, fully aware of media fragmentation, endless choices offered to empowered consumers, we follow the rules of advertising created two centuries ago?!
Media world also adapted and misinterpreted Herbert E. Krugman’s low involvement theory (1965). According to Krugman there are only three levels of exposure in psychological terms: curiosity, recognition and decision. It is not what media planners have in mind when talking about call "frequency." Those are mental states driven by needs. Those are not numbers of repetition.
 "There is a myth in the advertising world that viewers will forget your message if you don't repeat your advertising often enough. It is this myth that supports many large advertising expenditures...I would rather say the public comes closer to forgetting nothing they have seen on TV. They just "put it out of their minds" until and unless it has some use . . . and [then] the response to the commercial continues."

What’s more disturbing, it is the fact that media planners have no faintest idea what is the level of effective frequency. There is no research proving that repeating advertising three times will generate expected effect. Media planners use their intuition and outdated assumptions. 
How come advertising industry keeps talking about frequency and setting effective frequency goals having no proof for it will work
Because it was done this way always…
We use frequency numbers, cause it makes us feel safe. It is tangible and gives the feeling of control. Numbers help to manage chaos. It is disturbing and hard to embrace the reality where people’s behavior isn’t easy to predict, where consumers’ decisions aren’t rational, and where 90% of human’s decisions, actions happen on subconscious level.
But it is not about math and calculations. It is about consumers’ needs, motivations, form and context of advertising. Those should be the key point of interest both for marketers and planers. If you get all ingredients right, you will get effective advertising.
This is quantity vs. quality. Do you want many to remember your advertising because they were exposed many times to it, or do you want a few to remember your advertising because they felt this is the product that fits into their lifestyle, product they need.
No one ever buys your product just because they recall the commercial. People buy products cause they need them, whether it is rational or irrational need.
You shouldn’t seek for the number of ads and repetitions but for the quality of contacts with consumers.
You shouldn’t spend your money on repeating your message but on placing your ad in the relevant context, on the right moment.
Building media plans based on frequency as main goal, is just an expensive way of advertising.
Thomas Smith, "Successful Advertising", 1885
By: Daria Radota Rasmussen

3 commenti:

vinc ha detto...

Apperò!
:-)

vinc ha detto...

E frap1964 che fine ha fatto?

Anche nel suo blog non c'è più niente di nuovo.

Luciano Ardoino ha detto...

@Vincenzo

Eh si, di frap non c'è notizia alcuna, ma recentemente ho letto un suo commento su di un blog.
Quindi sta bene!

:-)