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Is Your Ad Fast Enough on the Draw?

July 30, 2015

A recent study showed that the human attention span lasts a mere 8.25 seconds. Only 8.25 seconds in 2015? Absolutely, a large drop compared to 2000 when the average human attention span was 12 seconds. That means that a human being’s attention span is now less than a goldfish’s attention span (which is 9 seconds). So does your advertisement on the radio have the vigor to give a roundhouse kick to someone’s attention span? (Source: www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics)

You may have a 15-second ad, you may have a 30-second ad, but what really counts is how the ad begins. With only 8.25 seconds to snatch the attention of a person while they are in their car or at work listening to the radio, you don’t have very long. So you must make it count. To be quite honest, the ads I find the most annoying are the ones I remember the most. Maybe there is something to be said for making a commercial unbearably annoying. If it does nothing else, it at least sticks in the brains of many people, nagging at them.

Have you ever wondered how your attention span stacks up? There are tests for that. Psychology Today has one here.

I took this one myself. It says I have an extremely short attention span. I am not surprised. I do wonder also, however, if our short attention spans are the reason nobody makes old-time mystery stories for the radio anymore. I am not very old but even when I was a kid, I could hear these stories on the radio and they were engaging and I loved them. At this point in time though, I sadly don’t think there is a story that could catch someone’s attention in the first 8 seconds.

Yet an ad on the radio definitely has the ability to catch that attention. Radio is fast paced anyhow; why NOT advertise on the radio? Although attention spans are shrinking, radio listening is still very popular and when folks are stuck in their car driving, they have no choice but to listen to your ad on the radio. Just make it count!

-Marjorie Van De Castle, Research Assistant