Notice me! Why is it constantly getting harder for your comms to be noticed? It’s because of selective attention.


Adelynne Chao

You’ll know what selective attention is all about if you’ve ever watched that video where you’re tasked to count ball passes and, whilst you're immersed in that cognitive exercise, a dancing gorilla 🦍 floats in and out of frame completely unnoticed.

This is the same thing happening to our ads. The majority of people walking (or scrolling) past our ad are engaged in a phone convo, ruminating about a personal problem or thinking about where they’re headed. Not everyone who noticed the ad are relevant buyers and the rest might think it's a great idea but then get distracted afterwards and forget about it.

The noisier life is, the less we notice. The harder life is, the less we notice. The more consumed or distracted we are, the less we notice. Welcome to 2022.

All great advertising and comms are focused on overcoming selective attention. The right kind of research upfront can help you:

  1. Be ‘relatable’: identify common frustrations, use customer language that taps into the collective struggle
  2. Make an emotional connection: identify emotional needs and make the person feel seen, or make them laugh
  3. Solve a pressing issue: find out their ‘Job to Be Done’ and solve it! So many bus stop ads are about food, because people are likely to be hungry, right? 😅
  4. Stand out: find out what others are doing or saying and then aim for difference and novelty
  5. Find the right moment: discover common triggers that push the customer into a buying moment. Reaching them in that moment means you already have their attention!

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