In the context of communication, the first hurdle for all of us is to obtain the attention of the user (consumer, buyer, etc or even a listener). This involves various aspects.
It is important for us to know where a communication should be place to increase the odds of reaching a particular type of consumer; this is the media decision. Careful analysis of the consumer use of various media (to display this I love to develop swimlanes > http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2012/03/swim-lane-diagram-great-tool-for.html ) allows us to identify those communication channels, devices and content to which target consumers are most likely to be exposed.
Various characteristics of communication forms have been found to increase the likelihood that someone will attend to an ad, announcement or even information. Messages that include relevant information for the consumer, such as a product benefit that is important to the consumer, are especially likely to attract attention. Information that is new to the consumer is also likely to obtain the attention of the consumer.
But it is again and again very difficult to raise the user’s attention if the user thinks he already know what the ad or system is going to tell him. For instance in the case the attention can be raised by innovative means of unique and or distinctive concepts, the application of the art of illusion and paradox, the handling of metaphor and analogy and deploying shock tactics and or humor.
When I watch such ‘creative’ outcomes especially if they are or should be funny, I often had to realize that the one how did it often refer to characteristics of strategies that gain attention but distract the viewer from the primary message as “creative clutter.” But there are also very good solutions. Several months ago Air New Zealand jumped on the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit hypewagon, Air New Zealand produced a hilarious in-flight safety demonstration video:
And just a few weeks ago Air New Zealand has done it again with its latest video that cleverly combines safety with nature via survival guru Bear Grylls.
Attention alone is not enough to make the communication strategies successful. Strategies that are interesting, amusing, and even irritating can attract attention; however, such strategies may not result in the consumer attending to or understanding the intended message of the sender. Assuring that users attend to and understand the intended message rather than secondary characteristics needs careful crafting of the meaning and information. Researchs showed that the way of communication must be clear and meaningful to the user; if the user does not notice and understand the message, it will not have the desired result. As we all know, it is important when creating the strategy to understand the situation(s), the context and how consumers think about products and product benefits and to use language that the user will understand.
And don’t we all know this situation – we are waiting for the take off, we have only our destination in mind and we are all sure to know everything about the security instruction?