Advertising Lab points us to a press release from London based BunnyFoot … a renowned eye-tracking analysis firm. Apparently, they’re able to demonstrate that advertisements placed inside video games don’t perform as well as expected. In the first example photo, it’s conclusive that teenage boys prefer to look at Lara Croft’s butt rather than ad placements. DUH!
Don’t get me wrong, I think that there’s HUGE value in this type of study. I would even go so far as to say I’d be interested in purchasing the Tobii Eyetracking System to perform this type of analysis in-house. That being said, however, I think it should also be noted that good decision making doesn’t need to be this complex.
It’s ALL about focus. Consider your target audience’s focus on their needs … even superficial needs. When they’re at work, they need to write emails and create reports and make widgets. They don’t need to look at banner ads in an email message or on a web page. When they need to watch a television show (this is one of those superficial ones), they don’t need to hear an Australian guy pitch a car wax. When they do need to buy a car wax, they’re focused on that ONE specific task and need little else, in that moment.
Viral marketing, permission marketing, social networking, blogging, forums, etc. are all exploding right now. Why? Because these, for the most part, aren’t interuptive advertising. The consumer is allowed to focus on a buying decision in a way that gives them more control. The product or service isn’t unexpectedly thrown in their face. These new non-intrusive venues are focused not on the product itself as much as they focus on the consumer … and their needs.
Am I suggesting that companies abandon all advertising? Heck no. Just dont’ expect the same return on investment as some of these other, less “traditional” strategies. More to the point; regardless of the medium you choose for your advertising, focus the message on consumer need and emotion, NOT on your product or service.