Brand A.D.D.: There is a Cure

Achieving media involvement, not merely impressions, is key to overcoming attention deficit among consumers

Memo to CEOs everywhere: Your growth engine is losing power and performance.

I'm talking about advertising, the longtime centerpiece of all the communication we buy to build a brand. In a world characterized by over-choice, overwork, and overload, consumers increasingly have less of an attention span for brand messages. What's more, few people live the lifestyle on which the classical marketing formula is predicated, while a growing contingent is openly hostile to advertising. Call it Brand A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder). For advertisers, it's nothing short of a connection crisis.

To cope with this phenomenon, there are specific changes we can make to restore the performance of advertising.

  1. Start by accepting that connection, not awareness, is the goal of marketing. Connection is getting on the consumer's wavelength, so they identify with the brand.
  2. Apply the same rigorous behavioral understanding that underlies creative development to media.
  3. Measure media involvement, not just media impressions.
  4. And invest in new research tools, such as the Involvement Index initiative in magazines and proprietary fusion products that can accurately compare target consumers' involvement within multiple media.