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Generation M(mmmm… burgers)

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This is a post I wrote at work for the Cre8ive Wisdom blog, drawing together some recent marketing news with my knowledge of hyper attention collected while studying in my final year of University.

View the original post here

It is commonly agreed that the attention span of Generation M, or the Internet Generation, is generally pretty short. The Internet and digital technology is blamed for this – the move away from getting stuck into a good book to flicking between browser tabs, windows and mobile apps. This is known as ‘hyper attention’, which Hayles describes in relation to ‘deep attention’. A generation that has been brought up with digital technology and online media tends to prefer receiving information through multiple streams, becoming easily bored and distracted by long pieces of writing and less able to focus on single tasks.

Most new marketing, advertising and PR campaigns focus on short, sharp bursts in order to capture audiences’ attention enough to quickly blurt out all the information before attention is lost once again. When it comes to text, short, snappy copy is far more preferable than lengthy articles – no matter how well it’s written, people don’t want, or don’t have time, to read. This is particularly the case with the rise in popularity and use of mobile digital technology and smaller screens. As described on Mashable: “If web copy is skimming the cream off the top of the milk, mobile copy is skimming cream off of the cream”.

Mobile smartphones in particular have very small screens and it is important that marketing copy is optimised for this. 300 words on a computer screen or an A4 page may not look like much – but on a phone that can be a lot of tedious scrolling! People tend not to ‘get stuck in’ to reading, or watching, things on their mobile phones. A lot of the time that people spend using their mobile phone is while they are doing something else, where there are even more distractions. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I find it second nature to pick up my phone and have a browse while standing in a queue, waiting for a friend or walking to a shop, for example. At any minute it’ll be my turn to order, my friend will turn up or I’ll get to the shop and my phone will be locked and put away in a pocket or handbag. Mobile marketing copy needs to be shorter and sweeter to suit our distractive and hyper-attentioned lifestyles.
So keeping someone’s attention for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour is out of the question, right? Not when there’s a free burger involved, apparently.

Burger King has turned the tables with their new marketing strategy which, instead of trying to satisfy our hyper attention spans, encourages people to stare at a TV screen for ‘long’ periods of time. TV – where an advert lasts seconds and we’re used to watching soaps with their snappy, attention-keeping, interwoven scenes. Subscribers of the US satellite service DirecTV can flick over to channel 111, watching a spinning Whopper burger for 5 minutes to be told which button on their remote control to press in order to be sent a voucher for a free Whopper. A further 10 minutes and the patient person can get two burgers… A full half an hour wins the ‘lucky’ (and probably very bored/hungry) person deservedly (?) gets three free Whopper vouchers.

While I’m not sure I could sit and watch a burger for five minutes – let alone half an hour – without feeling tortured through hunger or just incredibly bored, the campaign is doing very well. And while long, tedious, adverts or articles requiring time and attention often don’t work, innovative does work and Burger King are #winning on this occasion!

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Does removing brand visuals remove brand identity? … and does this remove desire?

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Reading about Australia’s plans for ‘colourless’ cigarette packets recently got me thinking about the use of colour and how important it is in branding. Colour choices used by brands and in visual marketing is a decision that isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be taken lightly. Studies of semiotics and semantics show how visual symbols, such as colours, are used in attempts to signify and prompt particular attitudes and associations. There are many common connotations of colours within cultures and societies which brands might want to encourage, or avoid, associations with. For example, many people might think feminine, loving and caring when visuals involve pale shades of pink, or crazy, fun and energetic when it’s a bright yellow.  However, because a lot of connotations are drawn subconsciously, it is impossible to anticipate the associations that each and every individual will make between certain colours and the brand. Therefore it is vital to attempt to predict all possible connotations when choosing colour schemes during the creation of brand identities….

[continue reading my ‘words of wisdom’ here]

Facebook Obsessed?

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Just a few Facebook facts and stats, via Mashable.

So what is it about Facebook, and other social networks, that make them so popular? And in some cases, addictive?

Looking back. And to the future…

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So it is soon the time to say goodbye to another year.

(Unfortunately?) New Year’s Eve for me is due to be pretty much the same as every other night, a number of reasons meaning it is going to be a quiet night in with my man (going out for New Year is overrated anyway, right?). But I’m fine with this… It’s really just another day, a different date.

While I’m being all ‘old before my time’, I thought it would be nice(?) to look back at the past year, and also ahead at what 2011 might hold for me…

Toward the beginning of 2010, I was forced to say goodbye to my Granny. I still don’t feel as though I have properly gotten over this. Will I ever? I’ve lost friends and some family members before, but I think this was the first to truly, truly hit me. It was an is a difficult experience and I will miss her always.. x

I am always very grateful to all my wonderful friends, family and boyfriend for helping me through all difficult times!

After finishing my second year of University, I joined the team at the strategic marketing agency Cre8ive Wisdom for a summer work experience. I really enjoyed my time there and learnt a lot!

Also during the summer, my man and I moved into our first ‘just us’ home together, before celebrating our fourth ‘anniversary’! – Growing up!

I am now well into my third and final year of University – the biggie! And it is tough! Very stressful, but hopefully(!) rewarding… and hopefully(!?) it will all be worth it in the end! I know I will miss it when it’s over!

I’ve  recently turned 21, which means I am apparently now officially an adult… although I feel as though I am in a kind of ‘limbo’ between childhood and adulthood!

My 21st celebrations were the best – thanks to my lovely family, friends and boyfriend (and maybe a little tequila…!)

So, if all goes to plan, 2011 might well be quite a big year… We should see me graduating and starting my career in the big wide world of ‘Full Time Work’ (eek!) I’m definitely becoming a ‘grown up’!

I look forward to visiting my family up in Scotland in January – although it will be odd being there without seeing Granny, or her and my Grandad’s house which is so full of personal memories. I also can’t wait to have a good holiday after the months of stress still to come between now and May!

I’m sure 2011 will hold plenty more of exciting (and maybe some not so) moments for me, and everyone!

Dissertations, presentations, interactive narratives, birthdays & Christmases!

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… Okay just one Christmas, but still… Phew!

Final year is BUSY! It’s all been a bit crazy recently with ever-growing to do lists, but take away the stress and it’s all pretty interesting and exciting!

I’m currently blogging in between working on a creative piece for our New Media Narrative unit and meeting with group members to sort the finishing touches to our assessed presentation and report for the PR unit!

Then it’s just tackling some dissertation before the end of term and MY 21st BIRTHDAY! Yay 🙂

Anyway, short and sweet because I do have lots to do!

Depending on how proud I am with the finished product, expect a link to my interactive narrative piece soon! Over Christmas I also hope to be adding some bits  & bobs to the ‘Portfolio’ page on here, too!

Love The Way You Lie. PT 2. (via Tasha Lauren Cleary)

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I’ve always been a fan of Eminem, despite his music fitting into some genres I wouldn’t usually go near, and I am loving his collaboration with Rihanna ‘Love the way you lie’.

This ‘Part 2’ of the song is quite different but I think I could get to like it! Although you have to wait a little too long for Eminem for my liking!

Visit Tasha’s blog to hear it…

Love The Way You Lie. PT 2. As if Eminem & Rihanna, ‘Love the way you lie’ wasn’t enough, the duo are now treating us to a part two! Having been leaked online, it’s already creating a hype. I was directed to it from a friend of mine, who heard it on bunnywithfangs.com. Keeping the chorus the same, the whole feel and tempo of the song has changed. It’s slower, and Eminem sounds more like his old school self, and reminds me of the days of ‘Stan’. Whilst Love the way you l … Read More

via Tasha Lauren Cleary