Attention to Bad Advertising Is Declining at an Alarming Rate

Attention to Bad Advertising Is Declining at an Alarming Rate
Photo by Ahmed Zayan / Unsplash

Yes, people pay much less attention to bad advertising than good advertising. Trying to develop great advertising is the only antidote marketers have to fight this trend.

Advertisers are swimming against the flow - very much like salmon these days. We push upstream in a world where attention flows downstream fast.

Tough life! But wake up. There is little we can do to reverse the trend.

We can understand precisely where attention is declining, and we can create gold-fish analogies in PowerPoint, but ultimately we can’t really shift the water flow direction.

The alarming decline in attention to advertising is caused by a saturation of time. Time is our only finite resource. We can’t create more than 60 minutes in an hour, but we want to consume as much content created as possible.

In the old days, when we only watched TV, we would have 10 minutes of advertising to fill the time. Today, while searching for entertainment and semi-useful content, we scroll through dozens of pages and newsfeeds in a single hour, skip stories and ads at an alarming rate, and are exposed to over 300 brand messages.

It’s not that we pay less attention to advertising; it’s just that we get bombarded by a much bigger number of messages, and naturally, we can’t fit all that in the “available time.”

In spite of this brands still grow, campaigns still get shared, and Super Bowl ads are still sold, so something must attract attention disproportionately.

And that’s great advertising.

Ads like these:

Or like this:

So, be the salmon that reaches the ocean. Make great ads!