There is an inner child in us all. There is never a sunset on this inner child’s imagination. The easiest way to get a child interested in anything is by playful engagement. The better the play the smarter the kid, because playful behaviour creates curious minds.
Some say this is all well and good, however we would be quite naive to believe that this style of bespoke learning can translate into the classroom environment. This paradigm has the scholars questioning whether we are education our children in the correct way. The experts are suggesting we should be focusing on developing our children’s curiosity in things that they will excel in. This will enable students not to be encumbered by guilt and remorse of not being able to achieve high grades in areas that they hold no interest in. This will enable them to be free to strive towards being the thought leaders of tomorrow.
By this stage you are probably asking yourself “What has all this education stuff got to do with Advertising?”. Strangely it has a lot to do with psychographics and how brands engage with consumers. Psychographics is a big word for a small idea. It just means what choices people are naturally attracted to making and what things they have preferences for.
Tapping into peoples psychographics is the key to opening up peoples minds was by triggering interest in a subject or thing. Just as Pavlov would ring a bell and his dog would salivate, so consumers were trained to understand the language of these differing triggers.
These triggers are the cornerstone of “traditional” advertising. Triggering an interest in a product was a way of “schooling” an audience.The process of “schooling” the audience was widely accepted in advertising as the solution to getting brands and product messaging out into society.
Before digital, advertisers had learnt how to overcome difficulties of communicating to differing demographic and psychographic groups but there was little way of placing bespoke advertising into the hands of those that would really benefit from the messaging. This lead to a lot of over production and over promotion of advertising content and unnecessary expenses for agencies and clients alike. This was perfectly encapsulated by John Wanamaker one of America’s pioneers in marketing, when he said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
The digital age has changed all of this. Now we can be certain through data that a person has viewed an ad. The digital world has transformed our understanding of consumer behaviour.
However this hasn’t changed the approach of many brands towards advertising. Some Brands are still using the same process of “schooling” consumers in the way they engage with their Brand.
Today’s more innovative brands are using the digital highway to reach consumers in different and more bespoke ways. They are humanising products through storytelling and playful engagement. When a consumer believes you think in a similar way as they do they tend to act in a similar way as the ad messaging. This is called reciprocal behaviour. This is the child within us all coming out to play. Modern digital advertising works in the same way as bespoke engagement with children in that it works not by schooling and scalding but by stimulating interest and engagement on a personal level.
This is why digital is so successful for all involved. We are no longer wasting money on paper billboards and peeling ads that litter the streets after the rain has passed. Now the advertisers can find the right consumer and communicate with them in the right way at the right time. So just like a bespoke education we can all now follow our dreams and become the thought leaders in our own futures. So here is to finding more of who we are through playful adventures that will enable great storytelling for deserving brands.