At this moment, your eyes are moving from left to right. Right about now your brain asks itself why on earth is this writer following my eye movements? The answer - this post is all about visual content and how it is perceived in our brain.
Our eyes remain the most basic tool, accepting the content presented to us. The eyes are the first front being attacked by advertising companies and content marketers trying to deliver their goods to our brain, hoping something will stick in our conscience or sub-conscience.
But here we encounter a problem. As a digital advertiser, I work mainly with an audience whose exposure meter for digital content is already sky-rocketing. This audience's brain is soaked in content 24/7 (I believe you are already dreaming digitally, as do I, but that is for another post). Our brain is so jammed with content, relevant and non-relevant, that it actually makes decisions for us.
Fool them eyes
I guess you've all heard of "Banner Blindness", a cute and most effective little syndrome in which our brain blocks some of the content presented to us, as it considers it non-useful and tells the eyes to ignore it and build a somewhat false presentation of the content before us. This happens mostly while we roam through huge content and e-commerce websites where the "noise" is high volumed and our eyes have many chunks of content and banners to digest.
A major part of a good advertiser's job is to find creative techniques and "tricks" in order to fool your eyes into catching a message in a sea of other visual content fighting for your attention.
Down to business. Solution 1, Video. Solution 2, Bold Creative. Let us not get into statistics. We all know that now is Video time. We all know that TLDR. Once you've moved pictures, you've got the eyes. Once you've gone creative, you've got the brain, and with a little luck - You've got your client!
Five campaigns I especially like:
Two awesome Ikea creative moves (it is a well-known fact that I'm addicted to the creative they choose for their campaigns, more about that soon). We are not talking about moves from last year or even the one before it, but I believe these will remain as impactful as they were when they were first released.
The guys at Ikea, they have a hobby of playing with their customers, "wasting" their time as they happily sell them stuff and the customers end up buying their stuff + a hotdog with a smile on their faces (the actual shopping experience in an Ikea store is the most effective, amazing, real life UI\UX study ever made in my opinion). I especially like that the Ikea team take time to videotize their way of thinking about digital products. OK, OK, it's on.
I always find it creative and intelligent when a medium uses its own DNA in order to drive meaningful impact. This campaign uses an advertising technique called "Re-targeting" to do so. All will be explained in the video. I feel sorry for this poor chap getting his face multi-posed again and again in this context. Watch.
Sometimes, visual content gets noticed for being extremely colorful, rich, appealing and… bizarre! Your brain will find it so hard to block this Old Spice banner even if it really really wants to. Put this video alongside others in one of the most notorious video campaigns the world has ever known, add a wonderful sound element and an uncontrollable urge from the viewer's side to interact with the video - You've won.
One fantastic campaign which I will always remember as a Fantasy geek and a techie. I believe you are familiar with "Game of Thrones". Nutshell the whole story to a refined moment of a giant dragon's shadow swooping over your homepage and your favorite content, just one swoop and puff - It's gone.
Now, not only were potential clients disrupted during their daily read, they are now in a state of "What the hell was that?" and "How can I bring that back?" a quick look on the screen would only lead you to a GOT banner and where the show will be airing in the near future - So, click. It's inevitable. MVP title goes to this move for getting entirely out of the banner box. Unfortunately, I cannot find the video to deliver the same experience for you, but imagine this here dragon's shadow swooping for a brief moment over your favorite content site.
Video is like cake:
These beautifully crafted creative campaigns were made by great minds thinking ahead of the industry. Mass of buzz translated into clicks, shares, involvement on the end-user's side, brand awareness, leads and sales. You see, it's like we have another stomach for video which we will always prefer over other types of content, video tastes even better when it is creative, fun and out of the box.
Final words: If you want to move a brand forward in an almost entirely sealed environment, get yourselves a decent video banner production company, get yourselves a sharp creative team, lean back and watch good things happen. I promise your target audience will see them too.
Forever Yours. Oren.