Oh great! Another piece of content you don’t have time to read.

Joe Parrish

That’s the problem isn’t it?

We as people have become so time stressed, so attention fractured, that we have to choose wisely where to invest our effort or our eyeballs. Oh! There’s a Tweet I should probably read…

Just kidding. But not really. [it was Instagram…who reads Twitter anymore?]

It’s not like it used to be. When people were attention starved and looking for forms of entertainment; no matter whether it came from a brand or a tv station or a movie studio. Now we are the opposite. Instead of being attention starved, we are attention gorged. We are assaulted with content.

I’d blame it all on the Internet, but I love the Internet. I’d blame it on all the screens, but I love all those screens.

Ultimately, I don’t think there is anyone to blame. Because there is only so much stuff that we can give our attention to. There are only so many things we can care about. We are only one heart. And as Cousin Eddie so poetically stated in A Christmas Vacation, “The shitter’s full.”

We, as consumers don’t care about brands, because there are so many other things…meaningful, interesting things…for us to care about. So the new reality is that brands are no longer competing against other brands; they are competing against absolute, unblinking consumer apathy.

A client of mine once pointed out that Lowes Home Improvement and Home Depot are almost always in the same location on opposite sides of the street. He said it was the ultimate test of advertising effectiveness; at the light, do you turn left to go into Lowes, or turn right to go into Home Depot? That’s what brands of his era were dealing with…other brands. But that’s just not the case today. Today, you never would have driven to that intersection in the first place. You’d have found whatever you needed on one of their websites. And then you’d have ordered it on Amazon and had it shipped with Prime. Or you’d pay somebody to come out and fix whatever you were planning on doing, because who has time for DIY home improvement these days? The world has changed. It’s time for marketers to change with it.

At The Variable, we believe that involves abandoning interruptive advertising and embracing co-optive advertising; advertising that mirrors what consumers already care about. The brands that will succeed in this environment are the ones that recognize their consumer’s interests and align their messaging to add value to those interests.

In short: don’t make consumers adapt to your brand. Make your brand adapt to your consumers.

It’s that easy (but not really easy at all). Call us. We’d love to show you what we mean.