How Often Should I Change My Ads?
About 15 years ago I concluded that a medium-impact broadcast ad should be replaced only after the typical listener has heard it at least 12 times, and a low-impact ad should be replaced after achieving a frequency of 20. I arrived at these conclusions by carefully monitoring the results of radio campaigns of clients around the country.
But the times have changed, and so have you and I. It appears that the media filters we carry in our heads are like computers: they've been forced to get faster in order to keep up with the demands our high-speed society puts on them.
My most current research clearly indicates that today's moderate-impact broadcast ad begins to show diminishing returns after achieving a frequency of only 8 to 10. Let a listener hear the same ad 12 times or more and you'll see clearly diminished effectiveness after achieving a frequency of 8 to 10. It appears that our brains have learned to more quickly recognize what we've heard before, and to subconsciously tune it out.
Dang. This is means we've got to write 20 to 50 percent more ads in every 52-week campaign if we're going to keep our message at maximum effectiveness.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is that we still have to hear the new ad 2 or 3 times before it begins to affect us, even when we're already familiar with the advertiser in question and have a positive opinion of them. What this means is that the first week of every new series of ads will continue to yield softer results than you can expect to see in weeks two and three.
Neurologically, all of this happens in the phonological loop, one of the 3 functions of Working Memory just forward of Heschl's Gyrus and Broca's area in the dorsolateral prefrontal association area of the left hemisphere of your brain. Broca's area is also known as Brodmann's area 44. And just interior to it is the Nucleus Accumbens, the pleasure center of the brain.
Okay, I'll admit it… I said all that just to impress you. I wonder why I do that. Do you figure perhaps I'm insecure about my lack of education? Or is it just that I like to show off? I should probably give that some thought.
Oh well. That's pretty much all I've got to say today.
Oh! One last thing: Wizard Academy is offering a Free, Public-Sampler Seminar on Saturday afternoon, August 19 in palatial Tuscan Hall. I'll be delivering a tantalizing series of multimedia previews and teasers about each of the new, upcoming courses at Wizard Academy. It's going to be lots of fun. We won't be starting until 2 in the afternoon, so you'll have plenty of time to fly into Austin on Saturday morning from wherever you happen to be. We'll keep going until probably 9 or 10 that night because we want you to see how magical the Wizard Academy campus becomes after dark. But don't worry, we're going to provide a nice evening meal for you. No charge. We know you'll be back to take some classes later. We just take the cost of it from our ad budget.
And that, my friend, is what you call “transparency.”
I hope you approve.
Roy H. Williams
Back-to-Back: August 7 – Steve Clark's Free Intro to NewSchool Sales Trainer Certification, followed on Aug. 8 by Dr. Richard D. Grant's Selling by Personality Type ($300.) in palatial Tuscan Hall, Austin, Texas.
The fellow in the photo that accompanies today's memo is the man who introduced the idea of a “global village” long before such thinking was common. He's also famous for the line, “The medium is the message.” His name was Marshall McLuhan. Canadian, McLuhan was made of the same stuff as Walt Disney and Buckminster Fuller.