Advertising remembered by design, not by chance

UDKU neuromarketer and senior strategist Arron Child
By UDKU neuromarketer and senior strategist Arron Child | 17 August 2017
Arron Child

AdNews and innovation agency UDKU take a different look at how decision science can be applied to marketing in this series. Read the first piece on subconscious decision-making of sports stars here.

Legendary adman Dave Trott asserted that “4% (of ads are) remembered positively, 7% remembered negatively, and 89% not noticed or remembered”. Whilst the article was written for the UK, Australia is a very similar market. If we assume that an ad has to be noticed or remembered to drive an action, this equates to over $12 billion of advertising unnoticed, not remembered and driving no action. Essentially, over $12 billion wasted on advertising in Australia every year.

Marketing and advertising, in its simplest form, is about communicating a message that resonates with the target market and inspires an action. The reality is not so simple. The landscape has become even more complicated as technological advancements have created more, highly targeted channels to reach the consumer, but conversely more ways for a consumer to escape the marketer’s grip.

To tackle this, we have to start working in the areas we don’t yet know much about. Understanding the insight from decision sciences shows a lot of promise. In fact, insights from decision science has revealed that 95% of purchasing decisions are made by the subconscious. That’s really important for marketers and advertisers to get to grips with.

We’ve also learned that while the brain is extremely powerful, it takes shortcuts to conserve energy. By understanding these shortcuts and how the subconscious processes information, we can make more accurate predictions of behaviour and outcomes. A study that validates this approach was conducted by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, UK. The IPA reviewed 880 case studies over a 25 year period and found that emotional based advertising outperforms rational based advertising in achieving every single business metric.

Decision sciences has shed light on how to to hijack the consumer’s attention, increase memory recall, enhance purchase intent and increase the consumer’s emotional attachment. It is these insights that help create advertising that is remembered by design, not by chance. The best marketers are applying this learning to the marketing decisions they make every day to avoid being part of the 89% of ads that aren’t remembered and to ensure their advertising spend works harder.

To ensure this isn’t all theory without application, in the next article we will walk through how we applied insights from decision sciences to exceed all metrics with Airtasker’s “Like A Boss” campaign.

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