Many of the problems that currently beset advertising – including short-termism and the death of the creative multiplier – can be traced to an “attentional shift” that is reflected in the different ways in which the left and right hemispheres of the brain attend to the world.

Writing in the current issue of Admap (topic: smarter video planning), Orlando Wood, chief innovation officer at System1 Group, explains that the left and right brain don’t do different things; they do things differently – and that has implications for advertising, he maintains.

In an attempt to analyse what these could be, System1 compiled a set of left- and right-brained features that might feature in video advertising and ran two analyses to identify the frequency of each feature in two datasets of TV ads (one sampling 200 recent US and UK ads, the other reconstructing ad breaks from a soap opera going back 30 years).

“The results reveal a clear pattern,” he states: “video advertising on TV has become flatter, more abstracted and rhythmic over the last 15 years – more left-brained.”

Features that are characteristic of the right brain – such as dialogue, implicit glances, scenes unfolding, accents, a clear sense of time and place – have largely disappeared, he reports. (For more, read the full article: Flatland: Addressing the crisis in video advertising creativity.)

But right-brain features are associated with emotional response and long-term growth, while left-brain features impede it, Wood points out.

“Advertising features that are less effective are becoming more common, while features that are more effective are becoming less common.

“Effective, right-brained creativity is under threat from multiple angles; we need to recognise it, protect it and nurture it if advertising isn’t to run to seed,” he declares.

Wood expands on this work in a book, Lemon (to be published by the IPA in October 2019), in which he sets out the extent of the “left-brain problem” in marketing and advertising, and suggests how things could be put right again.

This issue of Admap on smarter video planning features articles by thought leaders from across the globe. WARC subscribers can access a deck which summarises the expert advice from contributors and key considerations on the topic.

Sourced from Admap