Villing & Company

People View What Interests Them...and Sometimes, It's an Ad.

On more than one occasion I have used this space to lament the commoditization of creativity in advertising and other marketing communications activities. Many marketers seem to believe that it's more important to get their message out there than to take the time and apply the creativity necessary to make it interesting.

I just came across some research that reinforces this issue in a "bad news, good news" way. The research is specific to TV advertising but the same lessons can be drawn relative to advertising in any medium. The bad news is, of course, that many people either figuratively tune out advertising or literally skip it by fast-forwarding through programs recorded on their DVRs. The good news, albeit marginally so, is that, depending on the programming genre, 7.2 percent to 8.9 percent actually find the advertising "entertaining." Imagine what those numbers might be if more marketers actually tried to make their advertising entertaining?

The study pointedly stated "High-quality content is also the key to ad engagement: The quality of ad content is vital to driving ad recall."

So what makes advertising entertaining enough to stimulate ad recall?

  • 47 percent of consumers surveyed recall ads because they are funny.
  • 32 percent because they found the story engaging.
  • 31 percent because the ads had well-developed characters.

What I find interesting is that for all the changes our profession has seen over the last two decades, the fundamentals of effective advertising remain the same. Good advertising is all about good story telling. When we present people with humor, emotion, inspiring narrative, etc., they become engaged in those stories and, by extension, the sponsoring brands.

Filed Under: advertising

Villing & Company

Villing & Co
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