May 27, 2004

Short Clutter Spans

I've always stated here that ad clutter has diminished the effectiveness of advertising. This seemingly common sense notion has had me perplexed for some time as to why agencies and advertisers continue to pack as many messages into a bottle as possible. Not only does this make the advertiser lose, it makes the media property lose as well. They are perceived as cluttered, annoying and disprespectful of a customer's needs. It would seem there would be less and less clutter as the audience demands it.

Of course, sometimes common sense doesn't win out. A study is needed to prove the obvious. BURST Media took that step today in releasing a study which shows that clutter not only makes advertising ineffective but also creates a negative brand impact.

Key findings included:
-1/3 of web users (34.2%) say they will tolerate a single advertisement per web page
-Another 1/4 (26.7%) of respondents say they will tolerate two advertisements
per page
-1/2 (51.2%) of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of an advertiser’s product or service when their advertising appears on a web page they perceive as cluttered
-More than 1/3 (36.8%) of respondents say they immediately leave a site if it appears cluttered
-Fully 3/4 (73.4%) of respondents who remain on a site they perceive to be cluttered say they pay less attention to advertisements appearing on its pages

These findings should be extended to other advertising. We would find longer but less frequent TV commercials more effective, same with radio, and the list continues. It's not short attention spans that we have, but a need for clearer communication. Hopefully this is a first step in the market reacting to the overall shift to a more consumer empowered marketplace.

26.2 Miles!

Amy has decided to run a marathon. It started as a half marathon and she decided to go for broke. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is sponsoring her training and the money she raises we'll go towards their programs. Here's a bit from her website:
"I have chosen to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC on October 31, 2004. This will be the FIRST race I have ever ran in my life. Actually, this is the first major athletic event I have ever participated in. I could barely finish a mile in middle school gym class. And now I'm going to run 26.2 miles throughout the monuments of Washington, DC. "