AD-VERSE. #1.07 Nobody's paying attention
In which we don't go to Cannes, for the presentations or the rosé
Is this thing even on?
If you’ve not read Peter Field and Les Binet’s “The Long and Short of it” then stop reading this now, fork out the £50 and sit down for a good hour or two of essential marketing theory.
Or just take my tl;dr of it as gospel - businesses benefit by spending around 60% of their advertising budget on building their brand over the long-term through creative, emotional campaigns, and then 40% on harnessing the demand this creates with short-term, probably slightly more rational, sales focused advertisements.
Since publishing this over a decade ago the pair have spent a lot of time pointing out that a lot of brands aren’t abiding by these rules and are suffering as a result. As part of this they also like to take the hatchet out on “digital marketing” - suggesting that it isn’t as effective as traditional channels like TV for the brand building part of the puzzle.
In many respects they’re right and there’s no better (colloquial) evidence of this than how big digital brands like Facebook (the business which really wants us to call it Meta), Amazon et al spend billions on TV ads, not on the digital advertising they shill on their own platforms to make money. It’s beautifully ironic and absolutely true.
So anyway, when Peter Field stumped up at the Cannes Lions Festival this week to present a report titled “The triple jeopardy of attention”, it was broadly going to be a variation on this theme. And indeed it was… a key finding from previous studies was that how much a brand spent on advertising (“share of voice”) with respect to their competitors, roughly correlated with the growth (or decline) of that brand - spend more proportionally and you grew.
Which is pretty intuitive and fairly good evidence that advertising has impact on consumer behaviours (swaying what brands they choose at least, as discussed last issue). Except that now seems to be broken… brands who spend more aren’t necessarily seeing greater growth in “mental availability” (whether a consumer thinks of them at key moments, and thus is more likely to buy them.)
Why? Because, the Internet.