06 December 2008

Is technology rewiring our brains?

A piece by AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter:

Your brain on Google: Scientists examining whether digital age rewiring young people's minds

ap When the brain spends more time on technology-related tasks and less time exposed to other people, it drifts away from fundamental social skills like reading facial expressions during conversation … So brain circuits involved in face-to-face contact can become weaker … That may lead to social awkwardness, an inability to interpret nonverbal messages, isolation and less interest in traditional classroom learning.

I’ve written about this before: Advertising Gone Wrong

But put aside any qualitative judgments about the damages or benefits of a (mostly) virtual life.  What about the creation of advertising and marketing?  If a certain age/lifestyle demo sees and hears differently, relates differently to the world, if it is in many ways a different world for them – don’t you think that it would behoove ad agencies to hire a more diverse creative workforce?  Shouldn’t clients insist on this?  

It looks like they’re having the same problems in New Zealand – and not much in the article points to the obvious solution.

04 December 2008

I’m watching an Oprah Show …

My sister emailed me:

winfrey I'm watching an Oprah Show and it's about women around the world. She brought up Dove’s international campaign and said that a "whopping 91% of woman over the age of fifty believe that advertising does a poor job of representing woman in their age group." 

I thought this would be a watershed campaign – but has anybody done it right since Pro Age?

03 December 2008

Let’s Go Holiday Shopping!

I've been hanging around the web for an eternity. At least it seems so. Since 1994.

The other day this showed up in my Google alerts:

felixgumby Step back into time: Gifts for nostalgic and sentimental baby boomers
Baby boomers tend to be a sentimental lot. And what better time to buy into this nostalgia than at Christmastime?

It reminded me of a yours truly scribbling from the internet dark ages. So I went snooping around in the stale ether – and found it, rotting away in a web dustbin:

Santa Let’s Go Holiday Shopping!
As you all know, gift-giving is a custom that tells us more about the giver than the receiver. For example, I remember getting lots of ties and World War II-related plastic models from ol' dad. Far be it from me to defy tradition, so …. Let's Go Shopping!

Then all those pics of moldy toys reminded me of my ninety seconds of fame.

I guess Christmastime is for reminiscing …

30 November 2008

Brains More Distracted, Not Slower with Age

smp Older brains work differently than younger brains.  I’ve talked about this in my book, in a new book, and here in the ether:

What Kind of Genius Are You?
A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types - quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet … Science News reports on a study that says an aging brain may be a more emotionally astute brain …

And in all my presentations, including this one:


Advertising/Marketing to Baby Boomers: A PowerPoint
The presentation is basic marketing/advertising to Baby Boomers. If you’ve been involved with this market for awhile don’t expect too many surprises. It runs about 45 minutes.

AP’s Science Writer Malcolm Ritter’s syndicated piece tells us more:

Brain scans show root of memory glitch with aging
newsweek Brain scans of older people in a noisy lab machine give biological backing to the idea that distraction hampers memory with aging, researchers reported Wednesday.

Scientific American weighs in:

Brains More Distracted, Not Slower with Age

All these findings should translate into principles and guidelines when fashioning advertising and marketing to Boomers and older.  Commercials/print ads/web sites should be free from distractions.  Creative must be coherent for older eyes, older ears.  More often than not, copy needs solid through-lines. 

If you think this means simple and dull, try hiring some older creatives. You’ll expand your definition of creative – and your definition of effective.

SantanaAbraxas Remember: We were young once – and wallowed in graphic and auditory noise

Of course, what I’m really talking about is diversity.

More from Dick Stroud.

26 November 2008

Social Networks & Banner Ads

Two interesting pieces by Mike Shields of MEDIAWEEK:

mediaweekIs the End Near for Display Ads?
As ad budgets shrink, buyers and publishers face growing pressure to prove value of banners …

MikeShields Social Networking Traffic Up as Advertising Falls Flat 
More than half the country actively uses social networking sites, but so far advertising on these properties is nothing short of anemic …

I’m not a huge fan of banner ads, but they have their place – and their influence:

How Ads Affect Our Memory
A new study suggests that marketers shouldn't fixate on the number of people who click on ads. According to the research, just seeing an ad on a Web page can impact memory. The findings could have a significant impact on the way online advertising is made and metered.

While word-of-mouth (not word-of-mouth marketing) is the gold standard for Baby Boomers (especially women), the most effective marketing model is still traditional advertising pushing to a company/product web site.

As Jack Trout says:

jt “This all brings me to my word-of-mouth on word-of-mouth marketing. It's not the next big thing. It's just another tool in your arsenal. If you have a way to get your strategy or point of difference talked about by your customers and prospects, that's terrific. It will help, but you're going to have to surround it with a lot of other effort, including, if you'll pardon the expression, advertising. You just can't buy mouths the way you can buy media. And mouths can stop talking about you in a heartbeat once something else comes along to talk about.”