August 17, 2007

Amazing data from TiVo, II

Earlier this week, I presented data collected from TiVo (see Amazing Data from TiVo) that showed that the least-skipped commercials in June, as in previous months, were all either retail or direct response commercials.

This will be shocking to almost everyone on Madison Avenue and not surprising at all to a small group of us who practice Performance Based Advertising (PBA). One of the three principles of PBA is that advertising is most effective when it focuses on changing behavior, not attitude. How are retail and direct response advertisers different from typical "brand" advertisers? They aim to get us to do something. In other words, they focus on changing behavior.

This is a critical strategic principle that almost no one in advertising seems to understand. In general, brand advertisers do a much better job than retailers and DR practitioners in the area of creativity, but by concentrating on trying to change attitudes their wonderful creative efforts are often misguided.

Attitudes are almost impossible to change. Ask any neuroscientist or psychologist. If your advertising is aimed at changing attitudes, you better rethink what you're doing.

For a whole lot more on this check out Myths Exploding, Mysteries Unraveling. For more on Performance Based Advertising, you can get a free copy of The Ad Contrarian book by clicking here.



JHipkin said...

Another difference between brand advertisers and retail/DR advertisers is a much more rigorous attention to measurement. This allows them to understand whats working and what's not. If the ads aren't working, they aren't changing behavior, they will change the ad. No hand wringing, no anxious moments, put a new offer out there. Measurement gives them the confidence of knowing what is, and what is not working. Quickly.

The Ad Contrarian said...

Thanks. Said like a true direct marketer.

True, but we can't expect "brand" advertising (see Brand Babble for more on this outdated concept) to always be offer-driven. It can, however, focus on product-oriented differentiation which aims at behavior change rather than just imagery or "lifestyle" elements aimed at changing attitudes.