Embracing Shorter Attention Spans


We used to think of brand trust as a necessary condition for believability. Now it is a necessary condition to be heard at all.  Marketers are spending more time thinking about how they can be authentic and add meaning to their marketing, and less on how to ‘break through’ with a message. How could that be a terrible thing?

Shorter attention spans are also forcing brands to pare down their messages.  In today’s brand strategy, mantras and vision are more useful than sentence-long positioning, especially if that positioning has more than two benefits (and how long has it been since you’ve seen one that didn’t?).

Even though recent studies indicate the brains of young children have begun to adapt to this multi-channeling phenomenon, the concept of simple needs to be further simplified by advertisers. The word count in ads must be reduced, the messages minimized, and the language, pictures, music and sounds completely aligned. Marketers should forget the notion of three messages in one ad. Forget about a logo, a pack shot, a web address, and a slogan on the end frame in your TV ads. Let’s insure your communications remain relevant for the future. First, does your brand own one word–one truly unique word? I say “cowboy” and you think “Marlboro.” I say “safety” and you think “Volvo.” How is your brand stacking up? Is it claiming its own territory or is it melting into the generic mass? One where there’s any number of companies laying claim to “quality,” “worldwide,” and “service”–to name just a few.



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