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It’s the Content, Stupid

Recently, Rich University's Department of Psychology released a study, "The Effect of Content Desirability on Subjective Video Quality Ratings", authored by Philip Kortum. In summary, the study showed that people's perceptions of video quality is correlated to how much they enjoy what they're watching... Similarly, in advertising, the effectiveness of ads is primarily dependent on the content. The more captivating, interesting, memorable, identifiable, and relevant you make your ads, the more effective they will be - whether shown on TV, on the internet, in print, or heard on the radio...

Recently, Rich University’s Department of Psychology released a study, “The Effect of Content Desirability on Subjective Video Quality Ratings”, authored by Philip Kortum. In summary, the study showed that people’s perceptions of video quality is correlated to how much they enjoy what they’re watching. So, if the content of what is being watched is captivating enough, people not only overlook poorer video quality, but actually perceive it to be higher.

Similarly, in advertising, the effectiveness of ads is primarily dependent on the content. The more captivating, interesting, memorable, identifiable, and relevant you make your ads, the more effective they will be – whether shown on TV, on the internet, in print, or heard on the radio. Look at any effective advertising campaign today, and the ads will score highly in each of these five adjectives.

Let’s look at each of these individually.

  • Captivating – If something about the ad doesn’t jar your attention away from whatever else you were thinking about, and doesn’t hold your attention, then whatever message is conveyed throughout the ad will be lost.
  • Interesting – An annoying ad can be captivating, but that doesn’t make it effective. Once captivated, you must also want to keep watching – and also to share and talk about it. This adjective is critical to making an ad go viral. Note that “interesting” can encompass intellectually stimulating, funny, emotional, or other.
  • Memorable – For how many ads do you recall part of the jingle or visuals, but can’t remember what brand the ad was for? So ads have to be memorable both for the brand and message being communicated. However, they also have to be memorable in and of themselves. They should pop into people’s heads during the course of the day, during conversations, and especially when shopping.
  • Identifiable – This is related to the above, because if the advertised brand is not immediately and clearly identifiable, then the chances of it being memorable are small. In today’s age, though, “identifiable” has more facets than in the past. For example, the brand should still be identifiable if the viewer is fast-forwarding the ad on TV with a DVR.
  • Relevant – This is somewhat related to “identifiable”, but is more focused on the message. In addition to being identified with a brand, the ad needs to support and enhance the brand position.

If you are creating ads – display ads, videos, print ads, or whatever – measure your work-in-progress along these five scales. The higher you get on each, the more effective your work will be.

Domus is an exciting marketing agency, combining classic marketing principles with state-of-the-art digital execution to continually deliver effective strategies and campaigns for our clients. For more information, visit us at http://www.domusinc.com or visit our digital and social media site at http://www.domusdigital.com.

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