Some argue that we see more than 5000 marketing messages per day, once other argue it is more around 300-700 marketing messages per day. Either number is very important, and shows that nowadays, consumers are over-exposed to marketing messages and ads. Because of this very high exposure to marketing messages, consumers are protecting themselves to those messages, and they do not believe and/or are influenced by any of those messages. Consumers aren’t dupe and they develop knowledge about persuasion and use this knowledge to “cope” with persuasive attempts.
Marketers and advertisers are now challenged to create ads that can retain consumers’ attention out of the cluster of ads people are exposed to.
Originality is one of the tools used by marketers to retain attention. For example, most car commercials show the car running and simply describe its attributes. Some try to be original by doing other kinds of commercial than might attract people’s attention. But this desire to get more and more original can sometime fail and do the opposite effect, just like in this Hyundai commercial:
This commercial shows a man trying to commit suicide with the pipe of its car, but being unsuccessful as the car is 100% water emissions. This commercial tries to be humorous, but the joke isn’t a good one as suicide isn’t a theme that should be used in a car commercial. Instead of promoting the car, this commercial probably had the inverse effect, and most people watching it probably now have a bad image of the brand. This shows that marketers need to be careful in their persuasion attempts.
Those types of campaigns also try to create a « buzz » so that many people would be exposed to the brand and the product, but most of those are actually more perceived as « hypes », defined as an inauthentic message generated by corporate propaganda.
More than just the content, persuasion now also relies on new communication formats. Traditional formats still work, but new formats are even more efficient. Those new formats include blogs, tweets, Facebook pages, podcasts, widgets, etc.
One of the efficient technic is to change the source. Traditional ads are clearly made by the corporations, while new message formats can use new sources (such as consumers themselves) that have more credibility to the public. Those sources can appear more objective and trustworthy. This shows how important the source is in a marketing message.
For example, by using bloggers to write articles or make videos about one corporation’s product, marketers can get closer to consumers. I did an internship in an advertising agency, and very often we recommended blog articles and/or youtube sponsorship to our clients. Imagine a very famous « youtuber »with many followers, famous for her make-up tutorials and advices: if she advices in one of her video a Sephora product, most of her follower will believe the product is very good as she is a trustworthy source. So nowadays corporations pay so that their products are featured in such videos/blogs.
To finish, I would say that advertising technics have very much evolved in the past year with use of new sources and new formats. I am personally very curious to see how it will evolved in the next years, and if consumers will finally cope with persuasions attempts that are nowadays very efficient.
Solomon, M. (2013). Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (6th ed.).