3 Ways to Make People Pay Attention

If advertising was as easy as throwing out your business name, model, and address, I wouldn’t have a job. It’s not that easy. People are cynical. They don’t want to hear what you have to say. They’ve heard it all before. To make things worse, you have 15-60 seconds to make them change their minds. Crap. Ok, it’s not so “dire” when you have a plan. So, make sure you have one. If you truly want to claim the attention of your listeners you need to do at least one of these three things in your ads.

  1. Inform – This does not mean “informing” people that you’re selling cars for “$199/month with 0.9% financing OAC.” That is obviously informational, but it’s not enlightening. If you go the informative route, you need to offer interesting, useful information about your product. You need to become the expert. Nobody is listening to your commercials on purpose. You need to offer them something more interesting than “zoning out.” Interesting, unique, useful information can bring your advertisement from the background to the foreground. It can be very difficult to do. Usually, I don’t think the business owner should decide what’s interesting about their own product. They’re just too close to their own product. To find the true gold nuggets, you need to consult with average people who know very little about your business. Those are the people you’re advertising too. So, make sure you know what they find interesting.
  2. Entertain – Everybody enjoys a funny commercial. It’s one of the easier ways to gain someone’s attention. That makes this style popular and useful. It also makes it one of the more abused strategies. There are a lot of hilarious ads out there that don’t work. If an ad entertains, but doesn’t “move product,” it is a failure. Make sure you know the difference. Comedy is a tool to make people listen up. Get in, and out quickly. Harness it to gain the listeners attention and then make sure you finish the commercial with a good reason to buy your product or use your service. Make sure it’s memorable as well. We don’t spend thousands of dollars on air time to entertain people. We want to better our businesses. So, don’t get too caught up in the jokes. They serve their purpose, but they are not the important part.
  3. Surprise – As I’ve said, people don’t actively listen to commercials. Surprising them is a great way to reboot their brains. Say something out of the ordinary. Set up a ridiculous situation. Incorporate long sections of silence. Anything that will spark intrigue or disrupt an unengaged mind. People clue in to things that are different. If you’ve positioned your business well, your product is different and interesting. Use the same technique in your advertising to make sure people hear about it.

Bottom line is, we need to earn our listeners attention. It is not their job to pay attention to your commercial. They do not care about it like you do. You need to make them care. Speak to them like the people they are. Offer a reason for them to pay attention. If your current commercials don’t require one of these tactics, they are a lot less likely to be successful.

As always, I’m here to help you find your “gold nuggets.” Contact me if you’d like to have a chat about it.