Have you noticed?

Last Update: January 12, 2018

Recently I've been walking past the TV on occassion. I have studied some of the ads that are on to try and determine their appeal to the audience. I try to guess the demographic that they are targeting.

One has a woman holding back tears ordering coffee at a Starbucks like place.

A big burly guy stands behind the counter. Her acting is quite touching, his....well he's a big burly barista....WTF.

The product is totally unrelated to anything going on in this commercial.

There is no relevance to the product.

Another shows a guy sitting on a park bench. He receives a text of consolation regarding his dog. The product is a bedding manufacturer. Ummm, Relevance?

I don't know if the advertisers are just getting people to look at the screen long enough to see their product or if this is a new advertising technique.

It Doesn't Work!

It may work for television if all they are after is attention span long enough to see the product. Online, you need to have relevance.

People are looking for something.....you need to catch their attention and provide substance before they will make the decision asked for in the Call to Action.

Headings and images grab the attention but your content needs to close the sale.

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reesa12 Premium
Hello. I agree with you. It can be hard getting there but it is worth it.

Avecita Premium
That's certainly very interesting. I have to admit I usually hate adverts, though I'm very good at 'designing' them in my head for TV, -just need to figure out how to translate that to my online venture, lol.
But there's an advert on tv atm that I love. It's for coffee, and it's a packed auditorium with one guy on stage in front of all the people he's ever known, and he asks them to sit down if they didn't know what his school nickname was, or can't remember his name now, if they've lost touch or whatever, "Do you have a few moments now?" and finally invites those that were important to have a coffee with him. I dunno why I love it, I just do! Ha
VickiG Premium
Hi Labman I am with you 99% of commercials on the TV and the radio are bogus, It does not entice me to buy, Guess this is the new norm, :(
mrjoeslist Premium
Snake oil salesmen used Sideshows. Whatever works. Most infomercials are targeted to the gullible; and the ones that run for mos. or years must be producing results.
So; even if it doesn't make sense to you, but gets results, are you going to scrap it?
CannCoder Premium
Advertising seems to be going more and more into entertainment. They tell you a short story and then say Buy Coke.
SWagner2 Premium
I've noticed that with television ads, too. The commercial itself is the attention grabber but I don't always remember what product they were trying to sell. It kind of defeats the purpose of the ad if they get someone's attention but the person doesn't remember what it is that they're selling.

Remember the old advertising jingles that would have people humming the tune all day? And there was no question about what they were selling because they almost always had the name of the product in the jingle. Or the ad campaign slogans that people would repeat ad nauseam. Advertising agencies were very, very smart and knew how to stick in peoples' consciousness. Today, not so much.
kiliwia62 Premium
Craig, just in recent weeks I too was asking this myself. More and more commercials are out there where you start to ask what the heck is going on?
Perhaps I just belong to a generation who try to see "always" behind the message or is it just me, who knows. :)

Great post!
mgsmith Premium
Thank you for sharing that. It's true. I sometimes focus too much on posting relevant pictures and images when it is the content that closes the sale for you.
VeronicasLuv Premium
"Headings and images grab the attention but your content needs to close the sale."

That says it all, Craig. Thank you!
ManikaHenn Premium
Interesting points! Appreciate the share :)
Really got my brain going...is there a way to do this online without losing the attention of the viewer? Perhaps something to think about in the future huh; a way to stand out from the rest!

Labman Premium
Ahhh, it is called your USP. Unique Selling Proposition.
sheikave Premium
A more precise way to advertise on TV is to use ads between programs we can guess what kind of audience we are dealing with.
mybiz4u Premium
Good points, C. Thanks for sharing.
JohnV Premium
It perhaps does not work on you, but if they continue doing it, you can be sure it is convincing someone. Those controlling advertising budgets have a huge amount of influence and are not known for wasting money in the long term. There might be a lesson in there somewhere, if anyone wants to study in depth for long enough.
buffetearns Premium
Not watching tv these days, to distracting! Thanks for the Post though, interesting tactics.

yashar1973 Premium
Totally agree, there are a lot of those non specific, non-related commercials out there, maybe they just love spending money on advertising, i really don't see their point
JamesJB Premium
Clickbait doesn't quite do it in content. It has the opposite reaction...
DNicholas Premium
Funny you should mention that, at work, we just had a discussion about the same thing. Some of those commercials are just plain stupid. To think that somebody actually got paid good money for that. LOL
bmjt7845 Premium
I thought it was just me that noticed certain ads on TV commercials don't even relate to the product itself.
derekmarshal Premium
Got me on this one! I'm totally clueless - Havent wateched TV for over 10 years!
d68452s Premium
TV and the Internet are worlds apart somtimes.. TV has only seconds to grab our attention, so does the Internet, and that's about all they have in common. However most people on the Internet are researching, and TV is questionable what they are trying to do, most of the products we either already know about, or spending 2 minutes of disclosure as why we should or should not take that prescription.
Great Advice. Doug
ContentBySue Premium
Yes, with appropriate headings and images we have to play show and tell. Not always easy, but if done correctly, it is worth it. Great points in your post, Craig.

All the best,
MarkBa Premium
Too right and there's plenty with which to compete for people's attention so the more deliberate we are with this the better, Craig.

IvyT Premium
TV advertising is very costly and difficult to fine-tune the targeting of.

For those with a lot of money to spend, there is a good deal of behavioural science and pointed psychotactics to support your brand. That can make your TV campaigns worth it in the long-term.

The only reason a brand would keep spending money on such expensive campaigns is because their earnings and market research confirm they work!

There is a lot of money to be made in market research, and the best practitioners travel the world on lucrative contracts.

Internet marketing in comparison, can be more highly targeted, and get you a better bang for your buck, but that relative advantage can be undermined by delivery. Disruption advertising online has a poor conversion rate, for instance.
CowboyJames Premium
I have notice some commercials running slightly different versions and/or lengths. Cutting the last scene for example.
Figured it was testing.
gohealthy Premium
I used to wonder what's the message of these advertisements. Didn't know it's happening everywhere - Globalization.?
RandyL1 Premium
I have seen similar silliness as well just shake my head in confusion of their goals

DEversley Premium
Silly ads trying to be abstract as a poor excuse for creativity that's all.
Cindyda1 Premium
I've wondered about this. Unless the companies are trying to evoke some sort of emotion for viewers to remember and somehow use that to cause one to remember the product I have no idea either. It can create topic of discussion (e.g. "you know that stupid commercial about the mattress that has the guy sitting on the bench who gets a text about his poor dog")? Probably not good enough to make one go out and buy the product, but only remember it as a stupid commercial.

Anyway, I agree and I don't care for them. Generally commercials are for me to flip the channel until I find a station that isn't on commercial, run to the fridge or a bathroom break...that's the good I get out of them with the exception of only a select few. Once in a while someone does a really good one.

Interesting post!
IWoodhouse Premium
See quite a few ads like that - nice music, nice story, nice feeling but no idea what the ad was or who it was for!
frex6 Premium
You know Labman I've seen those commercials and the way they work, if your watching television show, your not going to change the channel. So you see it over and over it works for them. It gets instilled in their mind. On websites, the reader has more control, if it they see something on there that's different, it draws their mind away. This doesn't work.
Roybretton Premium
Very wise words, thank you. I have to admit that I haven't had a television for years, so I don't see many TV adverts!

Enjoy your weekend, Roy.
123pat Premium
Well spoken
Swangirl Premium
I just saw an ad like that ok TV recently and wondered the same thing! It seemed the story had nothing to do with the product.
boucherda Premium
Couldn't agree more.
NicoAlpaca Premium
So true. You cannot just put words on the screen, they need to tell a story and give something to the reader.
suzzziq Premium
Totally agree with you:) This is the competition of internet marketing:). Thanks for giving us the reminder:)
BillandSue Premium
Hi Labman,
Thanks for sharing this timely thought. I am going to make sure there is a "Call To Action" on my website articles.