The battle for the consumer's attention is reaching a climax. Multitasking increased dramatically, especially during commercial breaks, leaving marketers questioning how to capture consumers' attention.
Media multitasking is the most common form of media consumption today. U.S. adults spend more than 10 hours per day in front of a digital device. Furthermore, studies have shown that almost everyone is multitasking while watching TV mostly with a digital device (laptop, tablet, mobile phone), and multitasking behavior especially increased during TV commercials breaks.
Multitasking forces consumers to divide their attention across different types of media content, resulting in lower attention for each stimulus. As a consequence, the simultaneous use of two types of media diminishes the persuasion of such messages and reduces message memory, message comprehension, and message recall and recognition. This leaves marketers wondering how they can attract and maintain consumer attention during TV commercials.
Think about two similar scenarios where you want to treat yourself. One: you just left the gym after a long day. It was a good session. You ate your frog and managed to tick almost everything off your list. You have a hankering for something good to say “You did well today”.
Two: you just left the office, it’s late in the evening and you want a little pick me up. Another day at the office, a lot of overtime with little moments of reflection. You rarely have time for yourself, but you are the best at your job, and you love it. You want something good to ease your relaxation and end the day.
What do you pick in each of them? A chocolate cheesecake sounds just as good as a pack of graham crackers. You will say: “My choice can come down to many things! My plans for the evening, the package and its colors, how, and if it smells. Should I go on?”. Well, yes and no.
Whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or another self-made commitment, individuals face a daily barrage of goal conflicts. Granola bar or brownie? Gym or another Netflix binge? Scroll social media or pick up a good book?
Conflicts of goals occur when a person must choose between pursuing long-term goals or succumbing to indulgences. And it turns out, willpower isn’t the only factor.
While it might seem easy to choose a healthier option, especially knowing there’s a weight-loss or healthy goal attached to it for example, studies have found that self-control failure is higher when there’s a meaningful reason to justify the indulgence.
In other words, give yourself a good reason and you’ll choose the indulgence nearly every time.
Just some quick fun facts. Companies spend millions of dollars to discover the perfect amount of fizz in a soda. Eating chips with headphones on makes the experience less enjoyable. And the louder the sound of a shutting car door is, the safer a consumer feels - which is why car manufacturers see this as a feature instead of a bug.
What do these phenomena have in common? They highlight the importance that sound has in consumer perception. But did you know that something as subtle as the sound of background music can affect your purchase decisions drastically?
Today we will talk about how background music affects consumer behavior. Because even when you are not consciously listening to the music being played, it can still affect your buying decisions. And not just a bit, but quite dramatically!
Let’s look at some of the most interesting insights on how you can put music to work for you as a company.
Take a moment and jot down all the brands that feel important to you.
It’s likely your list isn’t too long (unless you work in branding or marketing, which makes you almost a different species compared to the typical consumer). When Connors et al. (2021) asked this question to a large sample of respondents, the average number of brands was a meager 2.15. Fewer then 1% of people mentioned more than 10 brands.
This pushed the question how important brands are in our lives – really?
Strong brand relationships are extremely rare (Thomson, MacInnis & Park, 2005). Consumers do not have – and truth be told: do not want – strong relationships about the brands they use. In fact, for most of the products that end up in shopping baskets, we wouldn’t lose any sleep if these brands would disappear eternally (Havas, 2020). There’s almost always a substitute just around the corner.
‘Love brands’ such as Apple and Coca-Cola do exist, but only arise once in a blue moon – and even these textbook brands show only slightly higher levels of loyalty as what would typical (Sharp, 2012).