Advertising Using Curiosity

Advertisements are everywhere! At the movie, in the mail, on television (where ad time almost equals program time in some cases), in printed material like magazines and newspapers, along the road, you name a place and there is probably an ad there. 

Advertisers face a daunting task of finding a way to get their ad past the mental block set up by consumers. How do you get consumers to see your ad among so many others? One effective method used is by building curiosity with sights and sounds.

Sounds often involve music. Many TV ads include some type of mood setting designed to make you at least watch the ad. Other types of sounds also build curiosity and attract attention. The Superman serials on TV in the 50’s were popular with kids partly because of the air sound as the hero landed or took off.

Visual curiosity is also used. The newest model of a car is covered with a cloth to build curiosity. Women are used in ads because in general they attract the attention of male consumers. Movie trailers use a collage of clips to titillate the interest and make people so curious that they won’t miss the full show.

The double edged sword of both sound and sight will help raise an ad from the ignored to the noticed. By using both the ear gate and eye gate attention is more likely gained. Yet, if everyone does this, then your ad will remain indistinct.

One form of advertising uses sights and sounds to build curiosity, and eliminates the competition, all at the same time. This method is called banner ads. A long banner or a billboard is pulled behind an airplane over a large congregation of people. Since no other ads are in sight on a beach or music festival, the ad has the full attention of the audience.

Picture yourself sitting on a beach, basking in the sun when you hear in the distance the drone of a plane. You are relaxing so you have time and interest to check it out. Coming your way is a single engine plane pulling some type of banner. Your curiosity is pricked. You want to know what it says. You wait with anticipation until the banner is in plain view and you read it, probably several times.

The plane disappears but in a few minutes it passes by again and you read it a second time. By the third time this happens you have the message memorized and after that, the sound of the plane along causes you to recite the message in your mind.

The advertiser has reached his goal. He has built your curiosity, used sights and sounds to present you the message, and repeated it without competition for attention until it was fixed in your memory. And no competitors could get a word in edgewise during that time. If his product or service is of use to you, it is pretty sure that his name will be your first choice. 

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