Archive for the ‘Audience Attention’ Category

Attention Audience: Schema Disruption

February 13, 2011

To get and retain audience attention, look for marketers and advertisers to continue to mine the limits of the “what is acceptable” envelope.

The recent Super Bowl XLV provides two examples of “what is acceptable” messaging gone awry – one unacceptable example from Groupon and the other more tolerable example from Christina Aguilera.

Groupon ran a commercial that apparently offended more people than not while Aguilera botched her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

While the former disrupted the collective audience schema negatively and thus the brand,  the latter appears to have had neither a positive or negative impact on its product.

However, one thing is for certain – Aguilera’s gaffe and its accompanying schema disruption generated considerably more earned media attention than Groupon’s ad did.

Super Bowl Gaffes

Super Bowl Gaffes

Going forward, smart marketers and advertisers alike would be wise to consider the implications of any schema disruption their messaging may have on audiences before they attempt to get their attention.


The Attention Wars

October 27, 2009

Now playing on a screen near you – The Attention Wars.

Some time ago I wrote a piece characterizing Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo as their attempt at reinforcing and fortifying the habits of computer users to remain on Microsoft owned property.

Not because Microsoft needed Yahoo for additional desktop market share but because Microsoft needed Yahoo’s search audience share and still does.


Microsoft doesn’t want to lose any more attention, audience or keystrokes to their now main strategic rival and desktop franchise threat – Google.

I also thought Microsoft’s offer was dubious at best – offering just enough money to get everybody’s attention including half Yahoo’s board of directors – but not enough in the end to cause Co-Founder Yang to surrender his baby.

The whole act was really a masterstroke on Microsoft’s behalf.

Because as we all now know, Yang was excommunicated for not agreeing to sell while Microsoft also got to add the latest chapter to their Embrace, Extend and Extinguish playbook.

I digress…

Anyway – as the web has matured every large internet property has become visitor retention focused – ie., motivated to retain what audience and attention they have.

Hence, the recent introductions of new web homepages for each of the three largest internet audience properties – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

In case you hadn’t noticed, each property has recently introduced a more sticky homepage.

Google has introduced their “fading” home page.

Google Attention

Google Attention

No links are shown on the page until a user mouses over the links.

The Google home page links “fade in” only after a cursor moves onto the page.

This may not seem like much of a change, but over the course of a day and with it 100s of millions of users – the amount of additional time spent collectively by visitors on the Google home page will  increase.

Bing’s Home Page Picture

Bing Attention

Bing Attention

Even before Bing became Bing, Microsoft had added an eye catching image to their homepage with several pop up boxes throughout the image to capture and retain searchers attention.

I am not sure what direct branding effect this will have on the Bing brand, but it will definitely increase awareness and recall for each of the images featured on their home page.

Yahoo My Favorites

Yahoo Attention

Yahoo Attention

Yahoo moved “My Favorites” to their home page’s left rail in the hopes of both  increasing their users attention and keystrokes.

I suspect Yahoo’s efforts will achieve both.

Expect to see every media company with a screen presence whether on the world wide web, television or mobile phone going to ever greater lengths to try and capture the growing more elusive with each passing day audience’s attention.

Top 25 U.S. Consumer Magazines Total Paid and Verified Circulation Slips 1.2%

September 1, 2009

AdAge is reporting the 25 Top U.S. Consumer Magazines experienced a 1.2% drop in paid and verified circulation during the first half of 2009 according to the semi-annual report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

From AdAge:

Total paid and verified circulation…, slipped just 1.2% as subscriptions held their ground, gaining 0.6%, and publishers reduced their use of verified copies, which are distributed free in public places such as doctors’ offices, by 3.9%.

Among big magazines (those that report paid and verified circulations over 100,000 copies), 10 of the top 25 posted top-line gains, including the biggest, AARP the Magazine, where overall paid circulation rose 2.8% to 24.6 million.

Top 25 U.S. Consumer Magazines

Top 25 U.S. Consumer Magazines

Reader’s Digest, the third most widely circulated consumer publication which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, experienced a 3.4% loss in paid and verified circulation.

TV Guide and Playboy magazines were the Top 25’s two biggest circulation losers posting 10.36% and 9.16% drops in their paid and verified circulations respectively.

I suspect the web directly impacted the two biggest circulation losing publication’s ability to retain their audience’s attention.