Media is a trade. The tools of our trade, like any job over the last 200 years, have become more sophisticated and mechanised, however the principals of human attention, interaction and influence remain the same.
The challenge therefore, is how do we stay true to the job. With new complications and measurements abound, how do we stay true to our design?
In a world where we are increasingly distracted by electronics, noise, open plan offices, adverts, aspirations and other’s insecurities, it is becoming more and more difficult to concentrate on matters at hand. Indeed, we are now in a place where people concentrate more when they have more distractions. Whether it’s the TV on in the background when studying or loud music in a bar.
We need to get back to our roots and learn to truly release ourselves into whatever it is we are doing and unfortunately for some this means facing the inevitability and ego-destroying void that is silence and being alone.
Cicero, quoting Cato, said “Never is a man more active than when he does nothing, never is he less alone than when he is by himself.”
My personal goal in my day job is to enjoy a task, day or role so much that I forget time has passed and I am left emotionally exhausted at the end of the day from the concentration. That is a day worth having.
Considering time has a quality factor based on concentration, where does that leave us in the advertising world? Impressions in and of themselves are devalued, now we trade in clicks, engagements, in-view or even time in view.
Does being true to our design mean that, despite further disparity and complication of human attention, the more complex trading methods and measurements mean that we can force ourselves into the times our targets are most attentive? Or do we need to go back to the good old hammer and chisel and make sure our ads appeal to emotion and are seen?