Day in and day out we sit back and hypothesize about the effect of advertising on the general public. We develop concepts and ideas on how to best reach our target audience and convince them to act in a manner we so desire. One thing that each and every one of you should do is take a few moments every day and just “Be.” Be the audience. Be the client. Be the consumer you are speaking to. Be the person who sees these ads and react as you would if you were them.
I find that all too often we analyze advertising from a marketer’s point of view. Rarely enough do we react from the point of view of the consumer, so I urge each of you to take 10 minutes out of your busy day, and just react to media as a consumer. Whether this means surfing the web, picking up a magazine, or watching ten minutes of television, try to remove yourself from your position in the workforce and react as a general member of the public.
Cross-media campaigns that not only understand the mindset of the target and the behavior of the target, but also understand the context of the environment they are placed in, are much more effective. You cannot claim to develop a truly effective campaign without understanding the environment, and you cannot understand the environment if you view it from the eyes of a marketing professional.
If you can’t take 10 minutes to just “be” then you need to find someone who can on your team. Try it every day this week, and see what you come up with. See if you react to any ads in the moment, without analyzing them from the eyes of a marketer. See if you remember anything about the advertising 10 minutes after you’re done.